Edited by: Rich Norris
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Bill’s errors: 2
- HAN (Dan)
- HATARI (Datari)
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
11. Eleanor Roosevelt’s real first name : ANNA
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the daughter of Elliot, brother to President Theodore Roosevelt. “Eleanor” met Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was her father’s fifth cousin, in 1902, and the two started “walking out together” the following year after they both attended a White House dinner with President Roosevelt.
15. Controlled : RODE HERD ON
To ride herd on is to supervise a group of people.
16. 1967 self-titled folk album : JOAN
Joan Baez is an American folk singer and a prominent activist in the fields of non-violence, civil rights, human rights and environmental protection. Baez has dated some high-profile figures in her life including Bob Dylan, Steve Jobs (of Apple) and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead.
18. Abruzzi town in a Longfellow poem : ATRI
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote “The Sicilian’s Tale; The Bell of Atri”, a narrative poem set in the small town of Atri in the Abruzzo region of Italy.
19. British prime minister during two millennia : BLAIR
Tony Blair was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for ten years, from 1997 to 2007. Blair led his Labour Party from the left towards the center, helped along by the phrase “New Labour”. Under his leadership, Labour won a landslide victory in 1997, and was comfortably elected into power again in 2001 and 2005. Blair stepped down in 2007 and Gordon Blair took over as prime minister. Labour was soundly defeated at the polls in the next general election, in 2010.
24. Somme time : ETE
One might spend the summer (été) under the sun (le soleil) in France, and “juillet” is French for July (note that the name of months aren’t capitalized in French).
The Somme is a department in the very north of France, in the Picardy region. The Somme is famous as the site of devastating battles during WWI.
26. Somme co. : CIE
“Cie.” is an abbreviation used in French. “Cie.” is short for “compagnie”, the French word for “company”, and is used as we would use “Co.”
27. What may be seen before long : ERE
The phrase “ere long” is a poetic way of saying “before long”.
31. Supper, say : REPAST
Our word “repast”, meaning “meal”. came to us via French (in which language “repas” is “meal”). Ultimately the term comes from the Latin “repascere” meaning “to repeatedly graze”.
35. Language that gave us “galore” : ERSE
There are actually three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).
Our word “galore”, meaning “in great numbers”, comes from the Irish phrase “go leór” that translates as “sufficiently, enough”.
36. 1924 novel set during the British Raj : A PASSAGE TO INDIA
“A Passage to India” is a wonderful 1924 novel by E. M. Forster set in the days of the British Raj. There are two excellent adaptations for the screen that I would recommend. There’s a BBC television version from 1965 starring a wonderful cast including Virginia McKenna and Cyril Cusack. There is also an Oscar-winning movie version from 1984 with Alec Guinness and Peggy Ashcroft. Forster had first-hand knowledge of life during the Raj, having worked in India during the twenties.
41. Perfectly : TO A TURN
The term “done to a turn” means nicely cooked. The phrase dates back to 1780 and relates to meat cooked on a spit.
42. Attack from above : STRAFE
We’ve been using “strafe” to mean an attack on a ground position from low-flying aircraft since WWII. Prior to that, the word was used by British soldiers to mean any form of attack. It was picked up from the German word for “punish” as it was used in “Gott strafe England” meaning, “May God punish England”.
44. Con __: briskly, on scores : MOTO
The musical term “con moto” indicates that a passage should be played quickly, briskly, The term translates from Italian as “with motion”.
45. Diner owner __ Lee on “2 Broke Girls” : HAN
“2 Broke Girls” is a sitcom about two young ladies sharing an apartment in Brooklyn, and their attempts to launch a cupcake business. The title characters are played by Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs.
48. Metal precioso : ORO
In Spanish, “oro” (gold) is a “metal precioso” (precious metal).
49. Surfing need, briefly : ISP
An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is just what the name indicates, a company that provides its customers with access to the Internet. One way that ISPs differentiate themselves from each other is in the way in which end users are connected to the ISP’s network. So, there are cable ISPs, DSL ISPs, dial-up ISPs and satellite ISPs.
55. Chocolate __ : LAB
The Labrador (Lab) breed of dog has been around at least since 1814. The breed comes in three registered colors: black, yellow and chocolate.
59. Beneficial berry : ACAI
Açaí is a palm tree native to Central and South America. The fruit has become very popular in recent years and its juice is a very fashionable addition to juice mixes and smoothies.
62. Cloud __ : NINE
I don’t think that anyone is really certain of the etymology of the term “on cloud nine” meaning “elated”, but I do like the following explanation. The 1896 “International Cloud-Atlas” was a long-standing reference used to define cloud shapes that was based on a classification created by amateur meteorologist Luke Howard some decades earlier. The biggest and puffiest of all cloud shapes (and most comfortable-looking to lie on) is cumulonimbus. And you guessed it, of the ten cloud shapes defined in the atlas, cumulonimbus was cloud nine …
1. Amp setting : TREBLE
An electric guitar, for example, needs an amplifier (amp) to take the weak signal created by the vibration of the strings and turn it into a signal powerful enough for a loudspeaker.
4. Big Macks : SEMIS
A “semi” is a “semi-trailer truck”. The vehicle is so called because it consists of a tractor and a half-trailer. The half-trailer is so called because it only has wheels on the back end, with the front supported by the tractor.
Mack Trucks was founded by John Mack in the early 1900s, after he had spent some years working in companies that made carriages and electric motor cars. Along with his two brothers, Mack started their company to focus on building heavy-duty trucks and engines.
5. Palate cleansers : SHERBETS
The frozen dessert called “sherbet” is a very similar to “sorbet”, the difference being that sherbet contains a small amount of milkfat.
6. Yeats’ yet : E’EN
Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 for “inspired poetry” that gave “expression to a whole nation”. Yeats was Ireland’s first Nobel laureate, but not her last …
7. Flat-screen predecessors : CRTS
Cathode Ray Tube (CRT)
8. Harem rooms : ODAS
“Oda” is the Turkish word for “room”, and is the name used for a room within a harem in the days of the Ottoman Empire. We use the derivative word “odalisque” for “a concubine” or “a chamber girl”.
“Harem” is a Turkish word, derived from the Arabic for “forbidden place”. Traditionally a harem was the female quarters in a household in which a man had more than one wife. Not only wives (and concubines) would use the harem, but also young children and other female relatives. The main point was that no men were allowed in the area.
9. Ancient mariners : NORSE
The Vikings were a Germanic people from northern Europe who were noted as great seafarers. Key to the success of the Vikings was the design of their famous “longships”. Made from wood, the longship was long and narrow with a shallow hull, It was also light, so that the crew would actually carry it small distances over land and around obstacles. Longships were designed to be propelled both by sail and by oars.
10. Letters after Sen. Schumer’s name : D-NY
Democrat, New York (D-NY)
Chuck Schumer is the senior US Senator from New York, and a Democrat. Schumer was elected Senate minority leader in 2016 following the retirement of Harry Reid. Schumer is a second cousin, once removed of comedian and actress Amy Schumer.
11. Bon Ami competitor : AJAX
Ajax cleanser has been around since 1947, and it’s “stronger than dirt!” That was the most famous slogan over here in the US. On my side of the pond, the celebrated slogan was “it cleans like a white tornado”.
Bon Ami cleanser was introduced just a few years after Bon Ami soap went to market in 1886. The cleanser was marketed by emphasising its “non-scratch” properties. The label showed a chick coming out of an egg, the idea being that a newly hatched chick hasn’t yet scratched the ground looking for worms and insects.
13. Jonquil and daffodil : NARCISSI
The bulbous flowering plant known as the jonquil is a species of Narcissus or daffodil. The name comes from “junquillo”, the Spanish for “rush”, reflecting the jonquil’s long, rush-like leaves.
Daffodils are more properly called narcissus plants, a whole genus in the Amaryllis family. Ancient Greeks believe that after the god Narcissus died (while obsessed with his reflection in a pool), his remains were turned in the Narcissus flower, hence the name. Back in the British Isles, the daffodil is most famous as the national flower of Wales. It is also remembered for its appearance in Wordsworth’s poem:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
29. Pudding starch : SAGO
When I was growing up in Ireland I was very familiar with pearl sago, which is very similar to pearl tapioca. Pearls of sago are simply little balls of sago starch used to make breads, pancakes, biscuits, or the steamed puddings that we ate as kids. Sago comes from pith of the sago palm tree. To get at the starch the tree has to be cut down and the trunk split to reveal the pith. The pith is crushed and manipulated to make the starch available, which is then washed out of a fibrous suspension. One sago palm tree yields about 150-300 kg of starch. Personally I love the stuff, but then, I am a bit weird …
30. Crossing the keel : ABEAM
The beam is the widest part of a nautical vessel. Something pointed out as lying abeam is something that it is 90 degrees from a line through the bow and the stern, in other words directly off to the right or the left.
32. One of the Ivies : PENN
The University of Pennsylvania (Penn or UPenn) was founded in 1740 by by Benjamin Franklin. Penn was the first school in the country to offer both graduate and undergraduate courses. Penn’s sports teams are known as the Quakers, or sometimes “the Red & Blue”.
33. Silly question starter? : ASK A …
“Ask a silly question, and you’ll get a silly answer.”
34. Anne Frank’s father : OTTO
Anne Frank has to be one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust. This is largely because the story of this young girl lives on in her widely published diary, and in adaptations of the diary for stage and screen. Anne Frank was a German until she lost her nationality in 1941 when the Nazis came to power. By this time she was living with her family in Amsterdam, as the Franks chose to flee Germany in 1933. When the Germans occupied the Netherlands, the family went into hiding in the attic of Otto Frank’s office building (Otto was Anne’s father). There the family hid for two whole years until they were betrayed. The family was split up, and Anne and her sister died from typhus in a concentration camp in 1945.
37. Crime author Cornwell : PATRICIA
Patricia Cornwell is a writer of very entertaining crime fiction from Miami, Florida. Cornwell’s most famous series of novels features the medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta and so emphasise the forensic side of crime fighting. Cornwell is a personal friend of evangelist Billy Graham and former President George W. Bush.
38. Brazen : ARROGANT
Someone described as “brazen” might also be described as “shameless”. The term “brazen” comes from the Middle English “brasen” meaning “made of brass”. The suggestion is that a shameless person has a hardened, brass-like face.
39. Mohawk’s confederacy : IROQUOIS
The Iroquois Confederacy was also known as the Five Nations and was comprised of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca nations.
45. 1962 John Wayne film set in Africa : HATARI!
“Hatari!” is a film directed by Howard Hawks that was released in 1962. The movie stars John Wayne as a big game hunter in Africa. “Hatari” translates from Swahili as “danger”.
46. Blueblood, informally : ARISTO
“Aristo” is short for “aristocrat”.
The idiomatic phrase “blue blood” applies to someone of noble descent. The phrase is a translation from the Spanish “sangre azul”, which was applied to the royal family in Spain. The notion is that someone of noble birth does not have to work outdoors in the fields, and so has untanned skin. The veins showing in the skin had “blue blood”, whereas those veins were masked by the darker skin of the peasant classes.
47. Wrestling hold : NELSON
The full nelson and half nelson are wrestling holds in which one wrestler secures an opponent by encircling the opponent’s arm(s) under the armpit(s) and around the neck. Some say the holds are named after Admiral Nelson, who was renowned for using encircling tactics in battle.
50. Pizza Hut’s Texas headquarters : PLANO
Plano, Texas is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Settlers chose the name “Plano” in the 1840s. “Plano” is Spanish for “flat”, a reference to the terrain in the area.
Pizza Hut started out as a single location in Wichita, Kansas in 1958 and is now the world’s largest pizza franchise. Pizza Hut claims to be the world’s largest user of cheese, consuming 300 million pounds every year. The chain buys 3% of the cheese produced in the US, which means that 170,000 American cows are producing milk for Pizza Hut alone.
54. Gets moving : HIES
“To hie” is to move quickly, to bolt.
56. Band letters : AM/FM
The radio spectrum is divided into bands based on frequency. “High band” is composed of relatively high frequency values, and “low band” is composed of frequencies that are relatively low. FM radio falls into the band called Very High Frequency, or VHF. Television signals use frequencies even higher than VHF, frequencies in the Ultra High Frequency band (UHF). AM radio uses lower frequencies that fall into the relatively low bands of Low, Medium and High Frequency (LF, MF, and HF).
57. “Peaky Blinders” network, with “the” : BEEB
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is also known as “the Beeb”, a name given to the network by the great Peter Sellers on the classic British radio comedy called “The Goon Show”. The BBC was founded in 1922, and was the world’s first national broadcasting organization.
“Peaky Blinders” is a BBC crime drama that can be viewed on Netflix. The show follows the story of a gangster family in the English midlands city of Birmingham from just after the end of WWI. The show has a pretty good cast, led by Irishman Cillian Murphy as the gang’s leader, and New Zealander Sam Neill as police detective, the gangster’s nemesis.
60. Mil. VIP : CIC
Commander in Chief (CIC)
61. It replaced “Court” in a TV channel name : TRU
truTV is a Turner Broadcasting cable network, launched in 1991 as Court TV. The name was changed to truTV in 2008.