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Author Topic: Yo, it's the February 12 crossword!  (Read 1877 times)


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Yo, it's the February 12 crossword!
« on: February 12, 2016, 05:06:20 PM »
ROCKYBALBOA is the "Fighter whose stock greeting affects" the four long answers in today's crossword by Jeffrey Wechsler. The character of Robert "Rocky" Balboa was created by Sylvester Stallone, who portrayed Rocky in seven movies. His most recent portrayal, as the trainer and mentor of boxer Donnie Creed in the 2015 movie Creed, earned him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor.

Balboa's "stock greeting" of "Yo!" is added to each of four familiar phrases:

Eschew medical attention? STAYOFFDOCTORS

Staff doctors work at a hospital or medical center and are also known as attending physicians. They also charge way too much. I know from experience that they can lean into the doorway and ask "How are you doing?" and then charge a fee for a "consultation." Grrr!

Generic City Hall dog? MAYORSROVER

NASA has sent seven Mars Rover robotic exploration vehicles to Mars but only four of them have been successful. To learn more, visit

Essay on medication? YOGITRACT

"GI tract" is the gastrointestinal tract, also known as the alimentary canal. which.....well, I think we all know what it does. I don't need to explain it.

Why some seek a certain cactus? FORPEYOTESSAKE

Peyote (lophophora williamsii) is a cactus which yields the psychotropic alkaloid  mescaline. But who is "Pete" in the expression "For Pete's sake"? In the 1800s, a popular expression was "For the love of God." Many people thought it was blasphemous. In the 1880s, the expression "For the love of Mike" began to be used. Three decades later, "For the love of Pete" was common and was possibly a reference to Saint Peter. "Pete" then replaced "God" in the expression "For God's sake."

"Make effervescent" is AERATE. Until I consulted the American Heritage Dictionary, I thought the clue was wrong. I still do. Air is not carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide is not air. However, dictionaries record all common usages of a word, even if some of those usages are technically wrong. Thus, we have a third definition of "aerate." 

1. To supply with air or expose to the circulation of air.
2. To expose to oxygen, as in the oxygenation of the blood by respiration.
3. To supply or charge (liquid) with a gas, especially to charge with carbon dioxide.

Air and oxygen are not the same, so I could make a strong case for saying that the second definition of "aerate" is also wrong. I won't dwell on it though -- I don't want anyone here accusing me of blowing a lot of hot air. :)


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