THEME: Eating Money … all the theme answers are foods that contain a word used as a slang term for money i.e. Canadian BACON, Monterey JACK, Italian Bread, Boston LETTUCE
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 03s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
5. Small plateaus : MESAS
“Mesa” is the Spanish for “table” and is of course is how we get the name “mesa”, a geographic feature.
“What’s the difference between a butte and a mesa?” I hear you cry! Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, taller than it is wide. Now we know …
14. Pioneering razor with a pivoting head : ATRA
Fortunately for crossword setters, the Atra razor was introduced by Gillette in 1977. It was sold as the Contour in some markets, and its derivative products are still around today.
17. Actor Penn with two 23-Across : SEAN
Actor Sean Penn is a two-time Oscar winner, for his roles in “Mystic River” released in 2003 and “Milk” released in 2008. His celebrity on screen is only matched with his fame off the screen. Apart from his “big name” marriages to singer Madonna and actress Robin Wright, Penn is also well known for political and social activism. He perhaps inherited some of his political views from his father, actor and director Leo Penn. As an actor, Leo refused to “name names” in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee and so was black-listed in Hollywood, and had to move into directing to put bread on the table. In later years as a director he gave his son Sean his first acting role, in a 1974 episode of “Little House on the Prairie”.
18. Big name in Scotch : DEWAR
Dewar’s is a blended Scotch whisky introduced in 1846 by John Dewar. Dewar’s White Label is the company’s most popular Scotch, first created in 1899, with a taste that is described as “heather and honey”. Dewar’s also make some single malts, under the labels Aberfeldy 12 and Aberfeldy 21. Today, Dewar’s is owned by Bacardi.
20. Meal money in Manitoba? : CANADIAN BACON
Manitoba is the Canadian province that borders the US states of North Dakota and Minnesota. Even though Manitoba has an area of over 250,000 square miles, 60% of the population resides in the province’s capital city, Winnipeg.
23. Academy Awards : OSCARS
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards, also known as the “Oscars”. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929, with an audience of just 29 people. It’s a slightly bigger event these days …
24. Show that launched Eddie Murphy and Chevy Chase, for short : SNL
NBC first aired a form of “Saturday Night Live” in 1975, under the title “NBC’s Saturday Night”. The show was actually created to give Johnny Carson some time off from “The Tonight Show”. Back then “The Tonight Show” had a weekend episode, and Carson convinced NBC to pull the Saturday or Sunday episodes off the air and hold them for subsequent weeknights in which Carson needed a break. NBC turned to Lorne Michaels and asked him to pull together a variety show to fill the vacant slot … “Saturday Night Live”.
25. Gangster’s gun : GAT
“Gat” is a slang word used by “hoods” for a gun. It of course comes from the Gatling gun, the precursor to the machine gun. The Gatling gun was invented by Dr. Richard J. Gatling in 1861. Apparently he was inspired to invent it, so that one man could do as much damage as a hundred, thereby reducing the size of armies and diminishing the suffering caused by war. Go figure …
29. Quick bite : NOSH
Our word “nosh” has been around since the late fifties, when it was imported from the Yiddish word “nashn” meaning “to nibble”.
32. Persistent, irritating critic : GADFLY
A gadfly (in nature) is a fly that annoys horses and other livestock. It isn’t one particular species, but rather the name given to the horse-fly and botfly and other flies that bite and and generally irritate farm animals. “Gadfly” was absorbed into English in the 17th century, used for a particularly irritating person and one who is persistently critical of others.
34. Meal money in California? : MONTEREY JACK
What we now call Monterey Jack cheese was originally made by Franciscan friars in Monterey, California in the 19th century. Also in the 1800s, a powerful landowner called David Jack started to make the same cheese as the friars in his own dairy, and marketed it as “Jack’s Cheese” and later “Monterey Jack”.
39. Cenozoic or Mesozoic : ERA
Geologic time is divided into four different units of time, which are, starting from the longest:
So, supereons can be divided in eons, and eons divided into eras etc.
The Cenozoic Era is the most recent geologic era, and covers the period from 65.5 million years ago to the present day. The start of the Cenozoic Era is defined as the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, the cataclysm that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.
The Mesozoic Era is also known as the Age of the Dinosaurs, as most dinosaurs developed during that time, and the Era ended with the extinction of all dinosaur species (except the avian species, which developed into our modern birds). The Mesozoic Era started with another cataclysmic event, the so called “Great Dying”, the largest mass extinction in the history of our planet. During the “Great Dying” over 90% of all marine species and 70% of all terrestrial vertebrate species died off.
40. Scots Gaelic : ERSE
There are actually three Erse tongues. Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own languages, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).
41. Meal money in Tuscany? : ITALIAN BREAD
Tuscany is a beautiful region of central Italy, the capital of which is the city of Florence. Tuscany is considered to be the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, centered around Florence, and was home to great artistic icons such as Dante, Botticelli, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Galileo and Puccini.
47. Feudal worker : SERF
A serf was a member of the lowest feudal class, someone attached to land owned by a lord.
48. Tanning lotion letters : SPF
In theory, the Sun Protection Factor, is a calibrated measure of the effectiveness of a sunscreen in protecting the skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. The idea is that if you wear a lotion with say SPF 20, then it will take 20 times as much UV radiation to cause the skin to burn with lotion on, than without it. I say, just stay out of the sun …
54. Daytona 500 acronym : NASCAR
NASCAR is the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. NASCAR is very, very popular, commanding the second largest television audience of any professional sport in America, second only to football.
The Daytona 500 is the event with the largest purse on the NASCAR calendar.
56. Meal money in Massachusetts? : BOSTON LETTUCE
62. The Ram : ARIES
Aries is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, and is named after the constellation. Your birth sign is Aries if you were born between March 21 and April 20, but if you are an Aries, you would know that!
63. Benevolent and Protective Order group : ELKS
The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was founded in 1868, and is a social club that has about a million members today. It started out as a group of men getting together in a “club” in order to get around the legal opening hours of taverns in New York City. The club took on a new role as it started to look out for poor families of members who passed away. The club now accepts African Americans as members (since the seventies) and women (since the nineties), but atheists still aren’t welcome.
66. Baldwin of “30 Rock” : ALEC
Alec is the oldest of the acting Baldwin brothers. I think his big break really was playing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in “The Hunt for Red October”, but thank goodness that role was taken over by Harrison Ford for the subsequent Jack Ryan movies. He is making a name for himself these days playing Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, opposite Tina Fey.
68. New Mexico county whose seat is Alamogordo : OTERO
Alamogordo is a city in New Mexico, famous for its proximity to White Sands National Monument. It gained a little unwelcome notoriety in 2001 when a local church held a public book-burning, mainly of the Harry Potter series of children’s stories.
1. Georgia’s bulldog or Princeton’s tiger : MASCOT
Edmond Audran wrote an operetta called “La Mascotte” which was first performed in Paris in 1880. The storyline was about a farm girl who brought good luck to people. She was called “la mascotte”, a provincial French word for a good luck charm. It was because of the success of this operetta that we started using “mascot” in English to mean something that brought luck.
4. Yemen’s capital : SANAA
Sana (also Sanaa) is the capital city of Yemen. Within the bounds of today’s metropolis is the old fortified city of Sana where people have lived for over 2,500 years. The Old City is now a World Heritage Site.
5. President after Jefferson : MADISON
James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, was one of the Founding Fathers. Back during the founding of the nation, Madison was principal contributor to the Constitution, and so today he is often called the Father of the Constitution. While he was serving in the 1st US Congress, he wrote the first ten amendments to the constitution, the Bill of Rights. So, he is also known as the Father of the Bill of Rights. With such a contribution it is perhaps fitting that when President Madison passed away in 1836, at 85 years of age, he was the last of the Founding Fathers to die.
6. Home of Zeno : ELEA
Zeno of Elea was a Greek philosopher, around before the time of the more famous Socrates. He lived in Elea, a Greek colony in Southern Italy. Along with Parmenides, Zeno was at the heart of what became known the Eleatic school.
10. Folkie Guthrie : ARLO
Arlo Guthrie is the son of Woody Guthrie. Both father and son are renowned for their singing of protest songs about social injustice. He is most famous for his epic “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”, a song that lasts a full 18m and 34s. In the song, Guthrie tells how he was rejected for service in the Vietnam War after being drafted, based on his criminal record. He had one incident on his public record, a Thanksgiving Day arrest from littering and being a public nuisance when he was 18-years-old.
12. U.F.O.’s crew : ETS
In 1952, the USAF revived its studies of reports of UFO sightings, in a program called Project Blue Book. There were two prior USAF studies of the UFO phenomenon, namely Project Sign and Project Grudge. Project Blue Book ran from 1952 until it was shut down in 1969, concluding that there was no threat to national security, and that there were no sightings that could not be explained within the bounds of modern scientific knowledge.
13. Word repeated in the lyric “From ___ to shining ___” : SEA
When she was 33 years old, Katharine Lee Bates took a train ride from Massachusetts to Colorado Springs. She was so inspired by many of the beautiful sights she saw on her journey that she wrote a poem she called “Pikes Peak”. Upon publication the poem became quite a hit, and several musical works were adapted to the poem’s words, the most popular being a hymn tune composed by Samuel Ward. Bates’s poem and Ward’s tune were published together for the first time in 1910, and given the title “America the Beautiful”.
21. Villain in the title of a James Bond book : DR. NO
“Dr. No” may have been the first film in the wildly successful James Bond franchise, but it was the sixth novel in the series of books penned by Ian Fleming. Fleming was inspired to write the story after reading the Fu Manchu tales by Sax Rohmer, and if you’ve read the Rohmer books or seen the films, you’ll recognize the similarity in the characters.
22. Ali, before he was Ali : CLAY
Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. was born in 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky, changing his name to Muhammad Ali when he converted to Islam in 1964. Who can forget Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame for the 1996 games in Atlanta? Ali won a gold medal in the 1960 games which he threw into the Ohio River after being refused service at a “whites only” restaurant. He was presented with a replacement medal during those 1996 Games.
26. Part of baseball’s postseason: Abbr. : ALCS
The American League Championship Series.
27. Rug rat : TYKE
“Tyke” has been used playfully to describe a young child since at least 1902, but for centuries before that a “tyke” was a cur or mongrel, and perhaps a lazy or lower-class man.
30. British W.W. II gun : STEN
The name STEN is an acronym. The S and the T came from the name of the gun’s designers, Shepherd and Turpin. The EN came from the Enfield brand name, which in turn came from location of Enfield, where the guns were manufactured for the Royal Small Arms Factory, an enterprise owned by the British government.
33. Played records at a party, say : DJED
Supposedly, the world’s first radio disk jockey was one Ray Newby of Stockton, California, in 1909 would you believe? When he was 16 years old and a student, he started to play his records on a primitive radio located in the Herrold College of Engineering and Wireless in San Jose. The records played back then were mostly recordings of Enrico Caruso.
34. Where Timbuktu is : MALI
Timbuktu is a city in the nation of Mali in West Africa. Over time, the name Timbuktu has developed an air of mystery about it. Today, many talk about Timbuktu as the epitome of a place that is far away, unreachable.
37. Elevator pioneer Elisha : OTIS
Elevators (simple hoists) had been around for a long time. What Otis did was come up with the “safety elevator”, a design that he showcased at the 1853 World’s Fair in New York. He would stand on an elevated platform in front of onlookers and order his assistant to cut the single rope holding up the platform. His safety system kicked in when the platform had only fallen a few inches, amazing the crowd. After this display at the fair, the orders came rolling in.
38. Who owned the too-soft bed that Goldilocks tried : MAMA BEAR
The story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” was first recorded in 1837, in England, although the narrative was around before it was actually written down. The original fairy tale was rather gruesome, but successive versions became more family oriented. The character that eventually became Goldilocks was an elderly woman in the early days, and the three “nameless” bears became Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear.
44. Che Guevara’s given name : ERNESTO
Ernesto “Che” Guevara was born in Argentina, and in 1948 started studying medicine at the University of Buenos Aries. While studying he satisfied his need to “see the world” by taking two long journeys around South America, the story of which are told in Guevara’s memoir later published as “The Motorcycle Diaries”. While travelling, Guevara was moved by the plight of the people he saw and their working conditions, and what he viewed as capitalistic exploitation. He dropped out of medical school, and became involved in social reform in Guatemala. In Mexico City he met brothers Raul and Fidel Castro, and was persuaded to join their cause, the overthrow of the US-backed government in Cuba. He rose to second-in-command among the Cuban insurgents, and when Castro came to power Guevara was influential in repelling the Bay of Pigs Invasion and bringing Soviet nuclear missiles to the island. Guevara left Cuba in 1965 to continue his work as a revolutionary. He was captured by Bolivian forces in 1967, and was executed. Fidel Castro led the public mourning of Guevara’s death, and soon the revolutionary was an icon for many left-wing movements around the world.
45. “… to buy ___ pig” : A FAT
“To market, to market, to buy a fat pig …” is a nursery rhyme that was first published without mention of any pig at all. The rhyme originally started out:
“To market, to market,
To buy a plum bun:
Home again, home again,
Market is done.”
48. Mulder’s partner on “The X-Files” : SCULLY
“The X-Files” is a very successful science fiction show that aired on the Fox network from 1993 to 2002. The stars of the show were David Duchovney (Fox Mulder) and the very talented Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully). By the time the series ended, it was the longest running sci-fi show in US broadcast history.
49. Green Bay athlete : PACKER
When Curly Lambeau founded his small-town football team Green Bay in 1919, he was working for the Indian Packing Company. He went to his employers looking for sponsorship and was given $250 provided that the team be named for the company. Initially Green Bay was referred to as the Green Bay Indians, but by the time they took to the field for their first game it had changed to the Packers.
50. Sprite alternative : FRESCA
Fresca is a Coca Cola product introduced in 1966, unusual in that it has no Pepsi Cola equivalent. It has always been marketed as a 0-calorie grapefruit drink, so is artificially sweetened.
58. River near the Great Pyramids : NILE
Depending on definition, the Nile is generally regarded as the longest river on the planet. The Nile forms from two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile which join near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. From Khartoum the Nile flows north, traveling almost entirely through desert making it central to life for the peoples living along its length.
61. Sport-___ (vehicle) : UTE
A utility vehicle is often called a “ute” for short. Nowadays one mainly hears about sports utes and crossover utes.