THEME: TURNED THE TABLES … the circled letters spell out six different types of table, with each answer taking a 90 degree turn part way through i.e. COFFEE table, ROUND table, POOL table, PRIZE table, DINNER table, GAME table
COMPLETION TIME: 9m 02s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
15. “M,” “W.” or “Z” : MOVIE
“M” is a German movie released in 1931, a thriller written and directed by Fritz Lang. The film starred Peter Lorre in his first major role. Before playing in “M”, Lorre was known for his comic roles, but in this he played the villain, a role in which he very much became typecast in Hollywood.
“W” is an Oliver Stone production, a biographical portrayal of the life and presidency of George W. Bush. It was released in 2008, and starred Josh Brolin as the President. Christian Bale was originally cast in the title role, and indeed worked for months perfecting his portrayal. In the end, Bale pulled out of the project, feeling that he couldn’t be convincing given his appearance, even with prosthetic makeup.
“Z” is a French film, a political thriller from 1969 directed by Costa Gavras. The movie is a fictionalized account of events leading up to the 1963 assassination of a Greek politician. There is an interesting “disclaimer” in the opening credits that translates to “Any resemblance to real events, to persons living or dead, is not accidental. It is DELIBERATE.”
16. Small dog, for short : POM
The Pomeranian is a breed of small dog, named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch’s pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen’s admittedly long reign, the size of the average “pom” was reduced by 50%.
19. Barnyard male : TOM
A male turkey is called a “tom”, taking its name from a “tomcat”. The inference is that like a tomcat, the male turkey is relatively wild and undomesticated, sexually promiscuous and frequently getting into fights.
20. Gucci of fashion : ALDO
Gucci was founded in Rome in 1921, by Guccio Gucci. Guccio’s son, Aldo Gucci, took over the company after his father’s death in 1953. It was Aldo that established the international presence for the brand, opening the company’s first overseas store in New York City.
26. New Orleans sandwiches, informally : PO’ BOYS
A po’ boy is a submarine sandwich from Louisiana. There are a lot of theories about where the name came from, and none sound too convincing to me. A po’ boy differs from a regular submarine sandwich in that it uses Louisiana French bread, which is soft in the middle and crusty on the outside.
27. “Do you have any jacks?” response, maybe : GO FISH
Go Fish a very simple card game, usually played by children.
31. Basketballer nicknamed the Big Aristotle : O’NEAL
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the heaviest players ever to have played in the NBA (weighing in at around 325 pounds). Yep, he’s a big guy, at 7 foot 1 inch. He is also the oldest player active in the NBA today, at 38 years old.
34. Nittany Lions’ sch. : PSU
The athletic teams of Pennsylvania State University are called the Nittany Lions, or for the female teams, the Lady Lions. The Nittany Lion was introduced as a mascot way back in 1904, and is modeled after mountain lions that used to roam Mount Nittany located near the school’s campus.
37. Regained one’s winning status … or a hint to this puzzle’s circled letters : TURNED THE TABLES
The expression “turn the tables” means to regain one’s winning status. It dates back to the 1630s and comes from the game of backgammon. The ancient game of backgammon was known as “tables” in Old English, so to “turn the tables” meant to turn the tide of the game in one’s favor.
41. “The buck stops here” prez : HST
The phrase “passing the buck” supposedly comes from poker. The marker that indicated whose turn it was to deal was called the buck, and it was passed from player to player. The phrase of course came to mean the passing of responsibility (or usually blame). President Harry S. Truman popularized the derivative phrase “the buck stops here” by placing a sign bearing those words on his desk in the Oval Office. That same sign was still on the desk when President Carter was in office.
Harry Truman wanted to go to West Point, having served with the Missouri Army National Guard on active duty in WWI, but he couldn’t get in because of his poor eyesight. He didn’t have the money to get into college anywhere else. He did, however, study for two years towards a law degree at the Kansas City Law School in the twenties, but never finished. So, Harry S. Truman was the only US President who did not have a college degree.
42. Speech setting : DAIS
Ultimately our word “dais” comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”. “Discus” morphed into the Old French word “dais” meaning a table or platform, before being absorbed into English. So, we end up with both “dais” and “discus”, from the same root, via two different roots, having two different meanings.
47. Justice Stephen of the Supreme Court : BREYER
Associate Justice Stephen Breyer was appointed to the US Supreme Court by President Clinton in 1994. Justice Breyer is from a San Francisco family, and would you believe that he and his brother are Eagle Scouts? In 2007, Breyer was given the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award by the Boy Scouts of America.
50. Rice dish : PILAF
Pilaf is a Persian word, and we use it to describe rice that is browned in oil and then cooked in a seasoned broth.
52. A-number-one : PRIMO
“Primo” is slang for “first rate”, a derivative of the word “prime”.
54. It takes a while to tell : SAGA
“Saga” is an Old Norse word for a long and elaborate story, and a word that we’ve been using in English only since the early 1700s.
58. Carpenter’s curved tool : ADZ
An adze (also adz), while similar to an axe, is different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool’s shaft, whereas in an axe the blade is set inline with the shaft.
62. 32-Down’s woodlands mate : DOE
32. 62-Across’s woodlands mate : STAG
64. Al ___ (like some noodles) : DENTE
The Italian expression “al dente” literally means “to the tooth” or “to the bite” and is used to describe not only pasta, but also vegetables that are cooked so that they are tender yet still crisp.
1. “Joy of Cooking” author Rombauer : IRMA
Irma Rombauer was the author of the famous cookbook “The Joy Of Cooking”. Rombauer self-published the book back in 1931 in St. Louis, Missouri. She and her family continued to publish privately as demand was high, until a commercial printing house picked it up in 1936. It has been in print continuously ever since.
2. Holiday number : NOEL
Noel is the French word for the Christmas season, ultimately coming from the Latin word for “birth”, “natalis”. Noel has come to be used as an alternative name from a Christmas carol.
4. Native of the land known by natives as Eesti : ESTONIAN
Estonia is one of the former Soviet Socialist Republics. It is located in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea, due south of Finland. Estonia has been overrun and ruled by various empires over the centuries. Estonia did enjoy a few years of freedom at the beginning of the 20th century after a war of independence against the Russian Empire. However, the country was occupied first by the Russians in WWII, then the Germans, and reoccupied by the Soviets in 1944. Estonia has flourished as an independent country again since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.
5. Stephen of “V for Vendetta” : REA
Stephen Rea is an Irish actor, whose most famous role was that of the “retired” IRA man in the brilliant 1992 film “The Crying Game”. He also starred in the chilling movie “Stuck”, a 2007 film that is based on a true story about a woman who commits a hit and run on a homeless man. The woman leaves the scene of the crime with the victim still “stuck” in her windshield. The woman leaves the man to die in her garage. Chilling, eh? But, true …
7. Postaccident conditions : COMAS
“Coma” comes from the Greek word “koma” meaning “deep sleep”.
8. Indianapolis 500 track, e.g. : OVAL
The first Indy 500 race was held on Memorial Day in 1911. The winner that day was one Ray Harroun. He had seen someone using a rear view mirror on a horse-drawn vehicle, and decided to fit one on his Marmon “Wasp” motor car. Supposedly that was the first ever use of a rear view mirror on a motor vehicle.
9. Biblical fruit : FIG
The third plant named in the Bible, after the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge, was the fig tree. Adam and Eve used leaves from the fig tree to sew garments when they realized that they were naked.
11. Football ploy : OPTION PLAY
Sorry, this Irishman isn’t going to try to understand this one …
13. TV awards : EMMYS
The Emmy Awards are the television equivalent of the Oscars for film, the Grammy Awards for music and the Tony Awards for the stage. Emmy Awards are presented throughout the year, depending on the sector of television being honored. The most famous of these ceremonies are the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Daytime Emmy Awards. The distinctive name of “Emmy” is a softened version of the word “immy”, the nickname given to the video camera tubes found in old television cameras.
18. ___ Lomond : LOCH
I would guess that Loch Lomond is one of the two most famous lakes in Scotland. Loch Ness is famous for its “monster”, and Loch Lomond is famous for the lovely song “The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond”. Oh, ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road …
25. Emerald ___ : ISLE
And of course Ireland is called the “Emerald Isle” because of all that green caused by all that rain.
26. Pub order : PINT
In Ireland if you go into a pub and just order a “pint” without specifying the type of beer, the assumption is that it’s a pint of the black stuff, Guinness. Getting thirsty now …
27. One dressed in black, maybe : GOTH
The goth subculture developed from the gothic rock scene in the early eighties, a derivative of the punk music movement. It started in England and spread to many countries around the globe. The term “goth” of course comes from the Eastern Germanic tribe called the Goths. Frankly, I don’t understand the whole goth thing though …
30. Propaganda, often : LIES
In 1622 Pope Gregory XV established a committee of cardinals charged it with “propagating the faith”, with responsibility for missions for example, aimed at growing the Roman Catholic Church. The committee was called “Congregation de Propaganda Fide”, using the Latin word “propaganda”, the feminine gerund of “propagare” meaning “to propagate”. In the 18th century, the “propaganda” from the committee’s name started being used to describe dissemination of a doctrine in general. During WWII, the term developed a negative connotation, which exists to this day.
32. 62-Across’s woodlands mate : STAG
62. 32-Down’s woodlands mate : DOE
36. “Back in the ___” : USSR
By the time the Beatles recorded “Back in the U.S.S.R”, they were having a lot of problems working with each other. The song was recorded in 1968, with the band formally dissolving in 1970. Tensions were so great during the recording of “Back in the U.S.S.R” that Ringo Starr actually stormed out saying that he had quit, and the remaining three Beatles made the recording without Ringo. Drums were played mainly by Paul McCartney, but there are also drum tracks on the final cut by both George Harrison and John Lennon. Interesting, huh?
38. Time of reckoning : D-DAY
The most famous D-Day in history was June 6, 1944, the date of the Normandy landings in WWII. The term “D-Day” is used in the military to designate the day on which a combat operation is to be launched, especially when the actual date has yet to be determined. What D stands for seems to have been lost in the mists of time, although the tradition is that it just stands for “Day”. In fact, the French have a similar term “Jour J” (Day J), with a similar meaning. We also use H-Hour to denote the hour the attack is to commence.
39. Indian tourist city : AGRA
The most famous mausoleum in the world has to be the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Taj Mahal was built after the death of the third wife of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal (hence the name of the mausoleum). The poor woman died in childbirth, delivering the couple’s 14th child!
45. Beaver’s work : DAM
Beavers build dams so that they can live in and around the slower and deeper water that builds up above the dam. This deeper water provides more protection for the beavers from predators such as bears. Beavers are nocturnal animals and do all their construction work at night.
46. Scout units : TROOPS
As every little boy knows, the Scouting movement was founded by Lord Baden Powell, in 1907. The Boy Scouts of America soon followed, in 1910.
50. Elton John’s instrument : PIANO
Elton John’s real name is Reginald Dwight. He was knighted in 1998, not for his music, but for his charitable work. He founded his own Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992.
60. The Indians or Browns, on a scoreboard : CLE
The Cleveland baseball franchise started out in 1869 as the Forest Citys named after Forest city, the nickname for Cleveland. After a number of transitions, in 1914 the team took on the name “Indians”. The media came up with name “Indians” after being asked for suggestions by the team owners. “Indians” was inspired by the successful Boston team of the day, the Boston Braves.
The Cleveland Browns football team were a charter member of the All-American Football Conference, formed in 1946. They were the most successful team in the AAFC when it was absorbed into the newly-formed NFL in 1950. Cleveland is the only city in the NFL that has never hosted, and has never sent a team to the Super Bowl.
61. Some E.R. cases : ODS
Overdose cases often end up in Emergency Rooms.