Resort chain since 1950 crossword nyt

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Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies


9 Highland boating spot : LOCH

“Loch” is the Scottish-Gaelic word for “lake”. The Irish-Gaelic word is “lough”, and the Welsh word is “llyn”.

18 Local at St. Mark’s Square : VENETIAN

St. Mark’s Basilica is the Roman Catholic cathedral in the city of Venice, Italy. In front of the basilica is the Piazza San Marco, the city’s main public square. St. Mark’s Square is a remarkable urban space in Europe as the sound of the human voice dominates, rather than the sound of traffic. That is indeed remarkable …

22 Plant with clusters of tiny white flowers : QUEEN ANNE’S LACE (using the QUEEN/ACE hole cards)

What we call “Queen Anne’s Lace” over here in the US is known by many in Britain and Ireland as “wild carrot”. The roots of Queen Anne’s Lace are indeed edible, just like carrots, but only when they are very young because later in life they get very woody. The wild carrot was given the name Queen Anne’s Lace when it was introduced into America as the flowers do resemble white lace. There is one small red flower in the center of the plant that is said to be a drop of blood that Queen Anne spilled when she pricked herself as she was making the lace.

26 Source of the phrase “Look before you leap” : AESOP

Aesop is remembered today as a fabulist, a writer of fables. Aesop lived in ancient Greece, probably around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. Aesop was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission but instead insulted the Delphians. He was tried on a trumped-up charge of stealing from a temple, sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.

33 MGM rival, once : RKO

During the Golden Age of Cinema (roughly, the thirties and forties), the “Big Five” Hollywood studios were:

  • Lowe’s/MGM
  • Paramount
  • Fox (later “20th Century Fox”)
  • Warner Bros.
  • RKO

34 Part of a sword : HILT

The hilt of a weapon is its handle. One might push in the blade of a knife to the hilt, to the maximum degree.

38 More versed in esoterica, maybe : NERDIER

Something described as esoteric is meant only for a select few with special knowledge. The term “esoteric” comes from the Greek “esoterikos” meaning “belonging to an inner circle”.

43 “Forbidden” fragrance : TABU

Tabu is a whole line of cosmetics and perfumes produced by the House of Dana. The company’s brand names were purchased by a Florida company called Dana Classic Fragrances in 1999.

50 Model Banks : TYRA

Tyra Banks is a tremendously successful model and businesswoman. Banks created and hosted the hit show “America’s Next Top Model “, and also had her own talk show. She was also the first African-American woman to make the cover of the “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit issue.

52 Bhutanese bovines : YAKS

The English word “yak” is an Anglicized version of the Tibetan name for the male of the species. Yak milk is much prized in Tibetan culture. It is made into cheese and butter, and the butter is used to make a tea that is consumed in great volume by Tibetans. The butter is also used as a fuel in lamps, and during festivals the butter is even sculpted into religious icons.

Bhutan is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located high up in the Eastern Himalayas between China to the north and India to the south, east and west. Bhutan has been a constitutional monarchy since 2008, and has been ranked by “Businessweek” as the “happiest” country in Asia.

53 Fire-resistant tree : ASPEN

The “quaking” aspen tree is so called because the structure of the leaves causes them to move easily in the wind, to “tremble, quake”.

57 Fruit also called blackthorn : SLOE

The sloe is the fruit of the blackthorn bush, and the main flavoring ingredient in sloe gin. A sloe looks like a small plum, but is usually much more tart in taste.

58 Works as a mixologist : TENDS BAR (using the TEN community card)

A mixologist is someone who is well versed in the mixing of cocktails, said he, reaching for the shaker …

62 Taken (with) : SMITTEN (using the TEN community card)

“Smitten” is the past participle of “to smite”, meaning “to inflict a heavy blow”. We tend to use “smitten” to mean “affected by love, love-struck”.

71 Control element in medical trials : PLACEBO (using the ACE community card)

A placebo is a medical treatment that is ineffective, but that is deliberately formulated to deceive the patient into thinking it is real. Placebos can be given as control treatments in trials, and so the level of deception can be relatively low, as the patients are aware of the possibility of being given an ineffective treatment. The term “placebo” is the Latin word for “I shall please”. The idea is that the treatment is given more to please than to benefit the patient.

76 Zip : ELAN

Our word “élan” was imported from French, in which language the word has a similar meaning to ours, i.e “style, flair”.

78 Waters of the world, figuratively : SEVEN SEAS (using the SEVEN community card)

The phrase “the seven seas” has been used for centuries by many different peoples. The actual definition of what constitutes the collection of seven has varied depending on the period and the culture. Nowadays we consider the seven largest bodies of water as the seven seas, namely:

  • The North Pacific Ocean
  • The South Pacific Ocean
  • The North Atlantic Ocean
  • The South Atlantic Ocean
  • The Indian Ocean
  • The Southern Ocean
  • The Arctic Ocean

80 From Serbia or Croatia, say : SLAVIC

The Slavic peoples are in the majority in communities covering over half of Europe. This large ethnic group is traditionally broken down into three smaller groups:

  • the West Slavic (including Czechs and Poles)
  • the East Slavic (including Russians and Ukrainians)
  • the South Slavic (including Bulgarians, Croats and Serbs)

81 Anne Hathaway’s role in 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland” : WHITE QUEEN (using the QUEEN community card)

Actress Anne Hathaway is a favorite of mine, I must say. She starred in “The Devil Wears Prada” in 2006 and in 2007’s “Becoming Jane”, a film that I particularly enjoyed. And yes, baby Anne was named after Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare.

83 Actress Perlman of “Cheers” : RHEA

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Rhea Perlman’s most famous role has to be Carla Tortelli, the irascible waitress in the long-running sitcom “Cheers”. Perlman is also a successful children’s author, and has published a series of six books called “Otto Undercover”. She married Hollywood actor Danny DeVito in 1982.

85 Uses a ride-ordering service : UBERS

The rideshare service Uber takes its name from the English colloquial word “uber” meaning “super, topmost”, which in turn comes from the German “über” meaning “above”.

86 Public discussion venues : FORA

The Latin “forum” (plural “fora”) translates as “marketplace, town square”. “The Roman Forum” is the most famous example of such a space. The Forum at the heart of the city of Rome is surrounded by the ruins of several ancient government buildings, and has been referred to as the most celebrated meeting place in the world.

88 1975 Wimbledon winner : ASHE

Arthur Ashe was a professional tennis player from Richmond, Virginia. In his youth, Ashe found himself having to travel great distances to play against Caucasian opponents due to the segregation that still existed in his home state. He was rewarded for his dedication by being selected for the 1963 US Davis Cup team, the first African-American player to be so honored. Ashe continued to run into trouble because of his ethnicity though, and in 1968 was denied entry into South Africa to play in the South African Open. In 1979, Ashe suffered a heart attack and had bypass surgery, with follow-up surgery four years later during which he contracted HIV from blood transfusions. Ashe passed away in 1993 due to complications from AIDS. Shortly afterwards, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

92 Roulette bets with nearly 1:1 odds : EVENS

The term “roulette” means “little wheel” in French, and the game as we know it today did in fact originate in Paris, in 1796. A roulette wheel bears the numbers 1-36. A French entrepreneur called François Blanc introduced the number “0” on the wheel, to give the house an extra advantage. Legend has it that Blanc made a deal with the devil in order to unearth the secrets of roulette. The legend is supported by the fact that the numbers 1 through 36 add up to a total of “666”, which is the “Number of the Beast”. Spooky …

94 Old imperial title : TSAR

The term “czar” (also “tsar”) is a Slavic word that was first used as a title by Simeon I of Bulgaria in 913 AD. “Czar” is derived from the word “caesar”, which was synonymous with “emperor” at that time. We tend to use the “czar” spelling, as opposed to “tsar”, when we describe a person today with great power or authority, e.g. “Drug Czar”.

96 Steve Martin, Tina Fey and Drew Barrymore, all more than five times : SNL HOSTS

The youngest person to host “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) was Drew Barrymore, at age 7 in 1982. The oldest host was Betty White, at 88 in 2010.

101 Fraser of 1999’s “The Mummy” : BRENDAN

Brendan Fraser is a Canadian-American actor (both parents are Canadian), who was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. Fraser was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2006, making him the first American-born actor to be so honored.

107 Part of U.S.D.A.: Abbr. : AGR

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) dates back to 1862, when it was established by then-president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln referred to the USDA as the “people’s department” as our economy had such a vast agrarian base back then.

108 Original first name of Mickey Mouse : MORTIMER

Walt Disney’s iconic cartoon character Mickey Mouse, was introduced to the public in 1928 in the cartoon “Steamboat Willie”. Mickey was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1978, making him the first cartoon character to be so honored. Walt Disney had some nice words to say in Disneyland in 1954:

I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.

111 It can have a French or pistol grip : EPEE

The sword known as an épée has a three-sided blade. It is similar to a foil and saber, although the foil and saber have rectangular cross-sections.

115 Trumpeter Armstrong : LOUIS

Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans in 1900. Armstrong had a poor upbringing, and only stayed in school until he was 11 years old. The exact origin of Louis’s nickname “Satchmo” seems to be a little unclear. One story is that he used to dance for pennies in New Orleans as a youngster and would hide those pennies in his mouth away from the other kids. For this he earned the nickname “satchel mouth”, which was shortened to “Satchmo”.

119 F.D.R. initiative for workers’ rights : NRA

The National Recovery Administration (NRA) was one of the first agencies set up under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program. On the one hand, the NRA helped set minimum wages and maximum working hours for workers in industry, and on the other hand it helped set minimum prices for goods produced by companies. The NRA was very popular with the public, and businesses that didn’t opt to participate in the program found themselves boycotted. The NRA didn’t survive for long though, as after two years of operation it was deemed to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court and so it ceased operations in 1935.

120 Sci-fi author Asimov : ISAAC

Isaac Asimov was a wonderful science fiction writer, and a professor of biochemistry. He was a favorite author as I was growing up and I must admit that some hero worship on my part led me to study and work as a biochemist for a short while early in my career. My favorite of his works is the collection of short stories called “I, Robot”, although Asimov’s most famous work is probably his “Foundation” trilogy of novels. Asimov wrote three autobiographies, the last of which was called “I, Asimov”, which was published in 1994, two years after his death.

126 “Whole ___ Love” (Led Zeppelin hit) : LOTTA

Led Zeppelin was an English rock band founded in 1968. The band’s most famous release has to be the classic “Stairway to Heaven”. Led Zeppelin broke up right after drummer John Bonham was found dead in 1988.

127 Artifacts : RELICS

A relic is something that has survived from the past, reminding us of that past.

130 Philosopher Descartes : RENE

Anything pertaining to the philosophy of the great Rene Descartes can be described by the adjective “Cartesian”.

131 1998 Matt Damon film featuring this puzzle’s game : ROUNDERS

Matt Damon is an actor and screenwriter from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Damon’s big break came with the 1997 movie “Good Will Hunting”, in which he starred. He co-wrote the screenplay with his childhood friend Ben Affleck.


1 Pop culture sister site of The Onion : AV CLUB (using the CLUB)

“The Onion” is a satirical news network, with a print newspaper and a heavy online presence. “The Onion” newspaper was founded by two college students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988. The founders sold the operation a year later for about $20,000. The paper grew steadily until 1996 when it began to publish online and really took off. I think it’s worth a tad more than $20,000 today …

3 Flowers like marigolds and petunias : ANNUALS

Marigolds are a very popular choice of flower at weddings in the Hindu tradition. They are said to represent the Sun, and symbolize positive energy and brightness.

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The flowering plants known as petunias are in a genus related to the tobacco plant. The name “petunia” comes from the obsolete French word “petun” meaning “tobacco plant”.

5 French summer : ETE

In French, “été” (summer) follows “printemps: (spring).

6 “___ consummation / Devoutly to be wish’d”: Hamlet : ‘TIS A

Here are some lines from Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy:

To die- to sleep-No more; and by a sleep to say we endThe heartache, and the thousand natural shocks1755That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummationDevoutly to be wish’d. To die- to sleep.

7 Yarn : TALE

The phrase “to spin a yarn”, meaning “to tell a tall tale”, originated in the early 1800s with seamen. The idea was that sailors would tell stories to each other while engaged in mindless work such as twisting yarn.

8 Aplenty : IN SPADES (using the SPADE)

The phrase “in spades” meaning “in abundance” dates back to the late twenties. The term probably comes from the game of bridge, in which spades are the highest-ranking suit.

9 Apollo vehicle, for short : LEM

In the Apollo program, the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) was the vehicle that actually landed on the moon and returned the astronauts to the command module that was orbiting overhead. The third LEM built was named “Spider”, and it participated in the Apollo 9 mission which tested the functionality of the LEM design in space. The fourth LEM was called “Snoopy” and it flew around the moon in the Apollo 10 mission, the dress rehearsal for the upcoming moon landing. Apollo 11’s LEM was called “Eagle” and it brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to and from the moon’s surface. Another famous LEM was Apollo 13’s Aquarius. Although Aquarius never landed on the moon, it did serve as a “lifeboat” for the three astronauts after the explosive rupture of an oxygen canister in the Service Module.

11 Insertion mark : CARET

The character known as a caret (^) was originally a proofreading mark, one used to indicate where a punctuation mark was to be inserted. “Caret” is Latin for “it lacks”.

14 Actor Schreiber : LIEV

Liev Schreiber is highly regarded as a stage actor, and has many classical roles under his belt. He won a Tony in 2005 for his Broadway performance in “Glengarry Glen Ross”, and earned excellent reviews for his performance in Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline”.

15 Footnote indicator : ASTERISK

The name of the typographical symbol “asterisk” comes from the Greek word “asteriskos” meaning “little star”. The original use of the asterisk was by printers of family trees in feudal times. Back then it was a symbol indicating the date of birth.

19 Some tow jobs, for short : REPOS

Repossession (repo)

29 Resort chain since 1950 : CLUB MED (using the CLUB)

Club Méditerranée is usually referred to as “Club Med”. It is a French company that started in 1950 with a resort on the Spanish island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean. It was originally a “club” with annual membership dues. Now it is an operator of numerous all-inclusive resorts located all over the world.

30 Tuna type : AHI

Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

32 QB stat: Abbr. : ATT

In football, a quarterback’s (QB’s) performance can be measured by attempts (ATT), a statistic (stat).

35 The Tabard in “The Canterbury Tales,” e.g. : INN

Tabards were tunics worn by knights over their armor. Often, the tabard was quite colorful and was emblazoned with the knight’s coat of arms. It was this usage of the word “tabard” that gave rise to the Tabard inn, which features in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales”.

“The Canterbury Tales” is a collection of stories penned by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. Written in MIddle English, the tales are presented as a storytelling contest held by a group of pilgrims as they travel from London to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. “The Canterbury Tales” is often cited as a landmark piece of English literature as it popularized the use of vernacular English, as opposed to the French or Latin works that were commonly published up to that time.

37 Schleps : HAULS

Our word “schlep” (sometimes “schlepp”) means “carry, drag”. “Schlep” comes from Yiddish, with “shlepen” having the same meaning.

39 123-Across’s holding that wins this puzzle’s game : ROYAL FLUSH

The poker hand called a royal flush is the highest-ranking hand possible. It consists of a run of 10, jack, queen, king and ace, with all in the same suit.

45 Language in which “khoobsurat” means “beautiful” : URDU

Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of the 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.

49 “America” singer, 1981 : NEIL DIAMOND (using the DIAMOND)

I saw Neil Diamond in concert back in the mid-nineties, and I must say he put on a great show. His voice has cracked a bit, but that didn’t seem to spoil anyone’s enjoyment. I’ve also seen Diamond interviewed a few times on television, and I wouldn’t say he has the most scintillating of personalities.

51 Noted sparkling wine region : ASTI

Asti is a sparkling white wine from the Piedmont region of Italy that is named for the town of Asti around which the wine is produced. The wine used to be called Asti Spumante, and it had a very bad reputation as a “poor man’s champagne”. The “Spumante” was dropped in a marketing attempt at rebranding associated with a reduction in the amount of residual sugar in the wine.

53 Some gear for a gig : AMPS

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Musicians use “gig” to describe a job, a performance. The term originated in the early 1900s in the world of jazz. The derivative phrase “gig economy” applies to a relatively recent phenomenon where workers find themselves jumping from temporary job to temporary job, from gig to gig.

54 Register ring-up : SALE

The “No Sale” key on a cash register is the one pushed to open the cash drawer without recording a transaction, when there is “no sale”.

55 Fore, for the H.M.S. Pinafore : PROW

“H.M.S. Pinafore” is one of my favorite of the Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas (and a production we staged at high school, many moons ago). “Pinafore” was one of the first big hits for Gilbert & Sullivan (in their native Britain, and in America), and they followed it up with “The Pirates of Penzance” and “The Mikado”.

72 Home of Iolani Palace : OAHU

The ‘Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu is unique within this country. It is the only royal palace in the US that was used as an official residence by a reigning monarch. The Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown in 1893 so the palace was used by successive governments even after Hawaii was awarded statehood in 1959. The palace has been a public museum since 1978.

77 Cardinal point? : NEST

Cardinals are a family of birds that inhabit the Americas. The northern cardinal is the species from which the family gets the cardinal name. It was named by early settlers from Europe for the red crest on the male, the color of which resembled the color of a Roman Catholic cardinal’s biretta (a square cap).

81 Small songbird : WREN

The wren is a small songbird belonging to the family troglodytidae and the genus troglodytes. Wrens are known for making dome-shaped nests.

84 Em or Bee, e.g. : AUNT

In the children’s novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, Dorothy Gale lives with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry.

Aunt Bee is a character in “The Andy Griffith Show”. The character’s full name is Beatrice Taylor but everyone in Mayberry calls her “Aunt Bee”. In the storyline, she is the aunt of protagonist Sheriff Andy Taylor, and great-aunt to Andy’s son Opie. Aunt Bee was played by actress Frances Bavier.

91 Counterpart of “Thx” : PLS

A texter might type PLS (please) and TY (thank you).

93 Humphrey Bogart role : SAM SPADE (using the SPADE)

Private detective Sam Spade is the main character in Dashiell Hammett’s novel “The Maltese Falcon”. Spade was played by Humphrey Bogart in the 1941 film adaptation directed by John Huston.

95 Common component of a tiki bar cocktail : RUM

The world’s first tiki bar was called “Don the Beachcomber”, and was opened in L.A. in 1933 by Ernest Gantt (also known as “Donn Beach”). The bar became famous for its exotic rum cocktails. Gantt was called to serve in WWII, and the business expanded dramatically under his ex-wife’s management so that there was a 160-restaurant chain waiting for Gantt when he returned stateside.

98 Diana Ross, once : SUPREME

The Supremes were the most successful vocal group in US history based on number-one hits. The group started out in 1959 as a four-member lineup called the Primettes. The name was changed to the Supremes in 1961. One member dropped out in 1962, leaving the Supremes as a trio. Lead singer Diana Ross began to garner much of the attention, which eventually led to a further name change, to Diana Ross & the Supremes.

99 One picking up the tab : TREATER

When we run a “tab” at a bar, we are running a “tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.

101 “Purple” and “Thai” herbs : BASILS

Traditionally, basil is considered “the king of herbs”. In fact, the herb’s name comes from the Greek “basileus” meaning “king”.

104 Big swigs : BELTS

A belt is a swift swig of hard liquor.

105 Sign of a full house : SRO

Standing room only (SRO)

110 Patterned fabric : TOILE

Toile fabric can be used as upholstery, as wallpaper, or even as a fabric for clothing. The name “toile” comes from the French word for “canvas, linen cloth”.

113 Kismet : FATE

“Kismet” is a Turkish word meaning “fate, fortune, lot”.

117 “___ Excited” (Pointer Sisters song) : I’M SO

The Pointer Sisters started out in 1969 as a duo, June and Bonnie Pointer. They grew to a quartet when sisters Anita and Ruth joined the lineup. Bonnie left the group to go solo, and the Pointer Sisters achieved their greatest success as a trio.

118 Yearly January speech to Congress: Abbr. : SOTU

The US President’s State of the Union (SOTU) address is a requirement called out in Article II of the Constitution. George Washington gave the first address before a joint session of Congress in 1790. Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice of making a personal address by sending Congress a written document that was then read out by a clerk. In 1913, Woodrow Wilson re-established the custom of delivering the message personally, there have been occasions since then when a written address has had to suffice, the last occasion being in 1981 when Jimmy Carter was in office.

125 1960s campus activist grp. : SDS

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.

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