Edited by: Rich Norris
Quicklink to a complete list of today’s clues and answers
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Indian state bordering Bhutan..ASSAM
Assam is a state in the very northeast of India, just south of the Himalayas. Assam is noted for its tea as well as its silk.
Bhutan is a landlocked country in South Asia located 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.
6…Lab glassware eponym..PETRI
Julius Richard Petri was a German bacteriologist and was the man after whom the Petri dish is named. The petri dish can have an agar gel on the bottom which acts a nutrient source for the specimen being grown and studied, in which case the dish plus agar is referred to as an “agar plate”.
An eponym is a name for something derived from the name of a person, as in the “sandwich” named for the Earl of Sandwich.
An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is just what the name indicates, a company that provides its customers with access to the Internet.
AOL was a leading Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the 1980s and 1990s. The company does still provide dial-up access to the Internet for some subscribers, but most users now access AOL using faster, non-AOL ISPs.
Hamal is the brightest star in the constellation of Aries the Ram, and is one of the brightest stars in the night sky. The name “Hamal” comes from the Arabic “ras al-hamal” meaning “head of the ram”.
16…Indianapolis’ __ Dome..RCA
The RCA Dome was probably better known as the Hoosier dome, home to the Indianapolis Colts from 1984-2007. It was torn down in 2008, but the inflated roof was put to good use afterwards. The material was re-purposed by local artisans, creating wallets, messenger bags etc. These can still be purchased, with proceeds going to charity.
17…2008 Jack Black title role..KUNG FU PANDA
“Kung Fu Panda” is a 2008 animated film from DreamWorks. It’s all about a panda who is expert in kung fu, as one might guess …
The actor Jack Black was born in Santa Monica, California and is the son of two satellite engineers who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope program.
Aristotle Onassis was born to a successful Greek shipping entrepreneur in Smyrna in modern-day Turkey. However, his family lost its fortune during WWI and so Aristotle worked with his father to build up a new business empire centered on the importation of tobacco. In 1957, Aristotle founded the Greek national airline, what is today called Olympic Air, and he also got into the business of shipping oil around the world. He married Athina Livanos in 1946, the daughter of a wealthy shipping magnate. They couple had two children together, with one being the famous Christina Onassis. Livanos divorced Onassis on discovering him in bed with the opera singer Maria Callas. Onassis ended his affair with Callas in order to marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968.
It’s really quite unfortunate that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are very different, and someone who has learned to sign in one cannot understand someone signing in the other.
23…Sch. with a Riverhead campus..LIU
Long Island University (LIU) in Brooklyn, New York is a private school that was chartered in 1926. LIU’s focus has always been on providing moderately-priced, effective education to people from all walks in life. To that end, LIU opened a second campus in 1951 in Brookville in the suburbs of New York City, recognizing the need to serve families that were living outside of the metropolis. The athletic teams of LIU’s Brooklyn campus are known as the Brooklyn Blackbirds, and the teams of the Brookville campus are called the Post Pioneers.
25…Film for which Anthony Quinn won an Oscar..VIVA ZAPATA!
“Viva Zapata!” is a 1952 film directed by Elia Kazan. The film is based on the life the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, with a screenplay written by John Steinbeck.
Anthony Quinn was a Mexican-born American actor who is perhaps best known for playing the title role in the 1964 film “Zorba the Greek”. Off the screen, Quinn was an accomplished artist, with his works being exhibited both domestically and internationally.
The writer Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993. Amongst other things, Morrison is noted for coining the phrase, “our first black President”, a reference to President Bill Clinton.
Benzene is a remarkable chemical compound, from a molecular standpoint anyway. It is made up of six carbon atoms arranged in a ring, with one hydrogen atom attached to each carbon. Benzene is a significant component of gasoline, and is also very carcinogenic.
33…Tender in Warsaw..ZLOTY
The zloty is the currency of Poland, with word “zloty” translating into English as “golden”. The zloty has been around since the Middle Ages.
The name “Warsaw” in Polish means “belonging to Warsz”. Legend has it that Warsz, was a fisherman who fell in love with a mermaid called Sawa. It’s a nice story, but actually Warsz was a nobleman from the 12th or 13th century who owned a local village.
35…Georgia of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”..ENGEL
Georgia Engel is a very funny comedy actress who is best known for playing Georgette Baxter, wife of Ted Baxter, on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. Engel’s father was a Vice Admiral in the Coast Guard, and her sister was Miss Hawaii for 1967.
The Baptist denominations of the Christian tradition embrace the doctrine of believer’s baptism as opposed to infant baptism.
38…Austrian composer Webern..ANTON
Anton Webern was a composer and conductor from Austria. In his compositions, Webern used the twelve-tone technique devised by Arnold Schoenberg, which means that I find his music a tad difficult to appreciate …
The phrase “pet peeve”, meaning “thing that provokes one most”, seems to be somewhat ironic. A “peeve” is a source of irritation, and the adjective “pet” means “especially cherished”.
42…Grill guard : U.S. :: __ bar : Australia..ROO
A grill guard is fitted to the front of a vehicle as protection in the event of a collision. They are commonly seen on vehicles. Grill guards are also referred to as bullbars in the US, moose bumpers in Canada and roo bars in Australia.
Señorita (Srta.) is Spanish and mademoiselle (Mlle.) is French for “Miss”.
44…Holder of an affectionate message..CANDY HEART
The forerunner to Sweethearts candy was introduced in 1866, with the famous sayings written on the candy tailored for use at weddings. One of the original expressions was, “Married in pink, he will take a drink”. The original candy was a lot bigger, to fit all those words! The smaller, heart-shaped candy hit the shelves in 1901. We’ve been able to buy Sweethearts with the words “Text me” since 2010.
A “vandal” is someone who destroys something beautiful or valuable. The term comes from the Germanic tribe called the Vandals who sacked Rome in the year 455. Our contemporary term “vandalism” was coined by Henri Grégoire in 1794, when he was describing the destruction of artwork during the French Revolution.
48…JFK, for one..DEM
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) was the son of Joe Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald, hence the president’s double-barreled name.
50…Most like a dive..SEEDIEST
We use the word “seedy” to mean “shabby”. The usage probably arose from the appearance of a flowering plant that has gone to seed.
Richard III ruled England for just two years, and was the last king of the House of York. Richard’s reign came to an early close with his defeat and death at the Battle of Bosworth Field, which brought an end to the Wars of the Roses and the start of the Tudor Dynasty. His death at the hands of Henry Tudor made him the last English king to die in battle. Richard’s remains were hastily buried in a friary in Leicester in the midlands of England. The friary was demolished in the mid-1500s, and Richard’s remains went missing for centuries. Famously, the friary and the king’s remains were discovered in an archeological dig in 2012 under a city car park, and reinterred in Leicester Cathedral in 2015.
56…Genre of Madonna’s “Ray of Light” album..ELECTRONICA
Madonna’s full name is Madonna Louise Ciccone. Born in Bay City, Michigan, Madonna was destined to become the top-selling female recording artist of all time.
58…Longtime Elton John label..MCA
Elton John’s real name is Reginald Dwight. Sir Elton was knighted in 1998, not for his music but for his charitable work. He founded his own Elton John AIDS Foundation back in 1992.
Both animals and plants can suffer from edema, a swelling caused by excessive accumulation of fluid.
63…Ridges on the neck..FRETS
A fret is a metal strip embedded in the neck of a stringed instrument, like a guitar perhaps. The fingers press on the frets, shortening a string and hence changing the note played. The note increases by one semitone as a finger shortens a string by one fret.
Flax is mainly grown for its seeds (to make oil) and for its fibers. Flax fibers have been used to make linen for centuries, certainly back as far as the days of the Ancient Egyptians. Flax fibers are soft and shiny, resembling blonde hair, hence the term “flaxen hair”.
4…German chancellor Merkel..ANGELA
The formidable politician Angela Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany, the country’s head of state. Merkel is the first female German Chancellor and when she chaired the G8 in 2007 she became only the second woman to do so, after the UK’s Margaret Thatcher. Merkel grew up in East Germany under Communist rule.
5…”The Magic School Bus” teacher..MS FRIZZLE
“The Magic School Bus” is a children’s cartoon show that originally aired on PBS in the nineties. The show was based on a series of books of the same name by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen.
QED is used at the end of a mathematical proof or a philosophical argument. The QED initialism stands for the Latin “quod erat demonstrandum” meaning “that which was to be demonstrated”.
8…Element in some solder..TIN
Solder is a metal alloy that is used to join pieces of a work together using the principle that the melting point of the alloy is below the melting point of the workpieces.
9…Site of a major part of the Bible?..RED SEA
The Red Sea (sometimes called the Arabian Gulf) is a stretch of water lying between Africa and Asia. The Gulf of Suez (and the Suez Canal) lies to north, and the Gulf of Aden to the south. According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, God parted the Red Sea to allow Moses lead the Israelites from Egypt.
The Iran-Contra affair (also called “Irangate”) came to light in 1986. The “Iran” part of the scandal was the sale of arms to Iran by the Reagan administration, initially to facilitate the release of US hostages. This was done in secret largely because there was ostensibly a US arms embargo in place against Iran. The “Contra” part of the scandal arose when the man in charge of the operation, Oliver North, took funds from the arms sales and funneled the cash to the Contra militants who were fighting to topple the government in Nicaragua.
“Guten Tag” is German for “hello, good day”. “Guten Morgen” means “good morning” and “guten Abend” means “good evening”.
25…Nixon and Ford..VEEPS
Richard Nixon was US Vice President from 1953 to 1961, under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Gerald Ford was US Vice President from 1973 to 1974, under President Nixon.
Someone might request a vegetarian meal on a flight.
The Latin word for “gate” is “porta”, giving us words like “portal” and “port”.
36…Novak’s TV partner..EVANS
Journalists Robert Novak and Rowland Evans teamed up in 1963 to write the political column “Inside Report” starting in 1963.
41…Its first truck was a Ford Model A..RYDER
The Ryder company was founded in 1933 in Miami, Florida by James Ryder. It started out as a concrete hauling company, but changed its focus a few years later to the leasing of trucks.
The Ford Model A was the original car produced by the Ford Motor Company. The first production run lasted from 1903 to 1904, when it was replaced by the Model C. The name “Model A” was brought back in 1927 and used for the successor to the Model T.
45…Key of Sibelius’ First Symphony..E MINOR
Jean Sibelius is the most famous Finnish classical composer, and shall forever be linked with his wonderful symphonic poem, “Finlandia”. Sibelius composed many lovely pieces of music right up until the mid 1920s when he was in his fifties. Despite all his efforts, he wasn’t able to produce any noted works for the last thirty years of his life.
47…Big name on the farm..DEERE
John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere’s invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of “stickiness”.
51…Peak west of the Ionian Sea..ETNA
Mt. Etna is the largest of three active volcanoes in Italy. Mt Etna is about 2 1/2 times the height of its equally famous sister, Mt. Vesuvius. The third of Italy’s famous volcanoes is Stromboli.
The Ionian Sea is that part of the Mediterranean that lies between Greece and the southern part of Italy (under the sole of the “boot”). The Ionian Sea is one of the most seismically active areas on the planet.
52…The Auld Sod..EIRE
“Auld Sod” (meaning simply “old sod”) is a familiar term for Ireland, especially when referring to the country as one’s homeland from abroad. ‘Tis true …
A scut is short erect tail, like that on a rabbit or a deer.
A tam o’shanter is a man’s cap traditionally worn by Scotsmen. “Tams” were originally all blue (and called “blue bonnets”), but as more dyes became readily available they became more colorful. The name of the cap comes from the title character of Robert Burns’ poem “Tam O’Shanter”.