Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
8…Black Friday store opening event?..MAD DASH
In the world of retail, “Black Friday” is the day after Thanksgiving in the US. Black Friday is when many stores start the holiday shopping season, and so offer deep discounts to get ahead of the competition.
18…Island where Dionysus discovered Ariadne..NAXOS
Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea. According to Greek mythology, Zeus was raised in a cave on the island.
Dionysus was the party animal of Greek mythology. Dionysus was the god of wine, ritual madness and ecstasy! His Roman equivalent was Bacchus.
In Greek mythology, Ariadne was the daughter of Minos, the King of Crete and master of the Minotaur. Minos charged his daughter with control of the labyrinth that housed the Minotaur. However, Ariadne fell in love with Theseus who had vowed to kill the Minotaur, and she helped him fulfill his mission. In other myths, Ariadne became the bride of the god Dionysius.
20…Disney’s “__ & Stitch”..LILO
“Lilo & Stitch” was released by Disney in 2002. Compared to other Disney feature-length cartoons, “Lilo & Stitch” was relatively cheaply produced, using the voices of lesser-known actors. One interesting change had to take place in the storyline during production, when Lilo was meant to fly a Jumbo Jet through downtown Honolulu in one sequence. This was replaced with a sequence using a spaceship instead, as the producers were sensitive to public sentiment after the September 11 attacks.
21…Hebrew for “skyward”..EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”.
The barn owl is the most common species of owl. The barn owl is found everywhere in the world, except in desert and polar regions.
24…”At Seventeen” Grammy winner __ Ian..JANIS
Janis Ian is a singer-songwriter, mainly of folk music, who was most successful in the sixties and seventies. Her most famous song by far is the 1975 recording “At Seventeen”. In more recent years, Ian has been published several times as a science-fiction author.
25…Spender of rials..OMANI
The Rial is name of the currency of Oman (as well as that of Yemen , Iran, Cambodia and Tunisia).
Kneel, and the Queen might “dub thee a knight” if you’re lucky. “Dub” is a specific term derived from Old English that was used to mean “make a knight”. As the knight was also given a knightly name at the same time, “dub” has come to mean “give someone a name”.
28…Suzanne Collins trilogy, with “The”..HUNGER GAMES
“The Hunger Games” is a 2008 novel by Suzanne Collins, the first in a trilogy of titles that also includes “Catching Fire” (2009) and “Mockingjay” (2010). “The Hunger Games” was adapted into a very successful movie released in 2012, with the sequels following soon after. Amazon.com reports more sales of “The Hunger Games” series books than even the “Harry Potter” series.
A rebus is a puzzle that uses pictures to represent letters and groups of letters. For example, a picture of a “ewe” might represent the letter “U” or the pronoun “you”.
The modern state that we know as Syria was established after WWI as a French mandate. Syria was granted independence from France in 1946.
39…Loreena McKennitt genre..CELTIC MUSIC
Loreena McKennitt is a musician from Canada who writes and performs mainly Celtic music.
41…Big name in jewelry..KAY
Kay Jewelers is perhaps the most famous store brand owned by Sterling Jewelers. Sterling is the largest fine jewelry chain in the country, with the company’s main competitor being Zale Corporation.
43…Half a ’60s pop group..MAMAS
The folk group called the Magic Circle renamed itself to the Mamas and the Papas in the early sixties. Sadly, the Mamas and the Papas weren’t a happy bunch, always fighting over who was getting credit for songs and whose voice was getting mixed out of recordings, so they split up, twice. While they were together though, they wrote and recorded some great songs, songs which really do epitomize the sound of the sixties. “Monday, Monday” was written by John Phillips, one of “the Papas”, and it was to become the only number one hit for the group. Here’s a shocker … when it hit number one in 1966, it was the first time that a group made up of both sexes topped the American charts!
46…Lesage hero Gil __..BLAS
Alain-René Lesage was a novelist and playwright from France. Lesage is best known for his novels “The Devil upon Two Sticks” (1707) and “Gil Blas” (1715-1735).
51…__ I: Jewish month added in leap years..ADAR
Adar is the twelfth month of the Hebrew ecclesiastical calendar. Adar is equivalent to February-March in the Gregorian calendar.
A fob is attached to an object to make it easier to access. And so a key fob is a chain attached to a key so that it can be retrieved easily. There are also watch fobs, and the pocket in a vest in which a watch can be placed is called a fob. In fact, the original use of the term “fob” was for a small pocket in which one could carry valuables.
54…Parker or Getz..JAZZ SAXOPHONIST
Charlie Parker was a Jazz saxophonist, who was often just called “Bird” or “Yardbird”. He was a leader in the development of the style of jazz called “bebop”, which gained popularity in the forties. Charlie Parker had a rough life outside of music. He was a heroin addict, and a heavy drinker. When he died, the coroner who performed his autopsy estimated his age as between 50 and 60 years old based on the appearance of his body and condition of his organs. He was actually 34-years-old when he died in a New York City hotel room in 1955.
Stan Getz was a jazz saxophonist. Getz’s playing style earned him the nickname “The Sound”.
58…Ancient..OLD AS METHUSELAH
Methuselah was the son of Enoch and the grandfather of Noah, and the man in the Bible who is reported to have lived the longest. Methuselah passed away seven days before the onset of the Great Flood, and tradition holds that he was 969 years old when he died.
2…Like Romantic music..TONAL
The Romantic era was an artistic and intellectual movement that originated towards the end of the 18th century, and lasted until the mid-19th century. In terms of music, the era is more usually defined as the period between 1800 and 1850. The composers Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven tend to “pigeon-holed” into the preceding Classical era, with the likes of Chopin, Schumann, Debussy and Liszt labeled as Romantic composers.
3…Singer/songwriter __ Ray Joel..ALEXA
Singer-songwriter Alexa Ray Joel is the oldest daughter of Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley.
6…Commercial suffix with wheat..-ENA
Wheatena is a toasted wheat cereal that has been on the shelves since about 1879. Back in the golden days of radio, Wheatena sponsored the “Popeye the Sailor” show, which resulted in the jingle:
Wheatena is his diet,
He asks you to try it,
With Popeye the sailor man.
7…Word from Homer..D’OH!
“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which became such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001. “D’oh!” can be translated as “I should have thought of that!”
8…Mullally of “Will & Grace”..MEGAN
Megan Mullally is an actress probably best known for playing Karen Walker on the TV sitcom “Will & Grace”. Mullally also has a recurring role on the sitcom “Parks and Recreation”, playing Tammy Swanson, the ex-wife of Ron Swanson. In real life Tammy and Ron aren’t exes, as Megan Mullally is married to actor Nick Offerman who plays Ron Swanson.
9…Blue Cash Everyday card co…AMEX
The American Express card aimed at young people is called “Blue”. There is also a cashback version known as “Blue Cash”.
11…”CSI” facility..DNA LAB
The “CSI” franchise of TV shows has been remarkably successful. That said, only one of the four “CSI” shows is now in production (“CSI: Cyber”)
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (set in Las Vegas)
- CSI: Miami
- CSI: NY
- CSI: Cyber (set in Washington, DC)
12…How coq may be cooked..AU VIN
The French word “coq” actually means rooster, but a more tender bird is usually chosen for the classic French dish “coq au vin”. The most common wine used for the “vin” is burgundy, but sometimes another red wine is chosen, and you can also find on a menu “coq au Champagne” and “coq au Riesling”.
13…Absolut alternative, familiarly..STOLI
Stolichnaya is a brand of Russian vodka made from wheat and rye grain. Well, “Stoli” originated in Russia but now it’s made in Latvia, which is of course a completely different country, so you won’t see the word “Russian” on the label.
I must admit, if I ever do order a vodka drink by name, I will order the Absolut brand. I must also admit that I do so from the perspective of an amateur photographer. I’ve been swayed by the Absolut marketing campaign that features such outstanding photographic images. I’m sure you’ve come across examples …
The river rat, also known as the coypu or nutria, is a native of South America, although is now found all over the word as an invasive species. The river rat was introduced into locations outside of South America by ranchers who farmed them for their fur.
Mecca is in the Makkah province of Saudi Arabia. It was the birthplace of Muhammad and is the holiest city in Islam. Every year several million Muslims perform the Hajj, a holy pilgrimage to Mecca. We use the word “mecca” in English to describe any place that many people visit.
A “two” playing card might be called a “deuce”, from the Middle French “deus” (or Modern French “deux”) meaning “two”.
Deuces might be “wild”, might replace any card, in a variant of poker.
28…Some game enders: Abbr…HRS
Home run (HR)
Hang a uey, make a u-turn.
Back in the 15th century a “turnpike” was a defensive barrier across a road. By the 17th century the term was used for a barrier that stopped travellers until a toll was paid. By the 18th century a turnpike was the name given to a road with a toll.
NCR is an American company that has been in business since 1884, originally called the National Cash Register Company. The company has done well in a market where new technologies seem to be constantly disrupting the status quo.
Moira Kelly is an actress from Queens, New York. Kelly provided the voice for the female lion cub Nala in “The Lion King” and its sequel. I mostly remember her for playing a White House media consultant in the first series of the wonderful TV drama “The West Wing”.
In Greek mythology, Eos is the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos is Aurora.
33…Either of two Chinese dynasties..WEI
There were two Wei Dynasties in Chinese history. The Cao Wei (220-265) existed during the Three Kingdoms Period, and the Northern Wei (386-534) that existed during the Southern and Northern Dynasties Period.
The Escape (ESC) key on a PC keyboard is usually located in the top-left corner. The Escape key was introduced in 1960 by IBM programmer Bob Berner, originally to switch from one type of code to another. Nowadays, the Escape key is mainly used as “stop, quit, cancel, abort”.
37…Don Quixote’s unseen love..DULCINEA
The full name of Cervantes’s novel is “The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha”. In the story, Don Quixote is a retired country gentleman who heads out as a knight-errant and who renames himself Don Quixote of la Mancha. In his mind he designates a neighboring farm girl called Aldonza Lorenzo as his lady love, and renames her Dulcinea del Toboso.
40…Screen Actors Guild co-founder Lyle __..TALBOT
Lyle Talbot was an actor probably best known for playing Joe Randolph, the helpful neighbor on “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” in the fifties and sixties.
The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is a labor union representing TV and film performers that was founded in 1933. The SAG was effectively dissolved in 2012, when the organization merged with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) to create SAG-AFTRA.
41…2000s-’10s Afghan president..KARZAI
Hamid Karzai is the current President of Afghanistan, coming to power in 2004 after the Taliban were overthrown. Karzai remained in office for two five-year terms, being replaced in 2014 by Ashraf Ghani.
43…Not at all trivial..MAJOR
Trivia are things of little consequence. “Trivia” is the plural of the Latin word “trivium” which means “a place where three roads meet”. Now that’s what I call a trivial fact …
44…Allan-__: Robin Hood cohort..A-DALE
According to the legend of Robin Hood, Alan-a-Dale was a member of Robin’s outlaw band of Merry Men. Based on the legend, Alan-a-Dale was a wandering minstrel, a lute player.
45…With 53-Across, Japanese roadster..MAZDA
The Mazda MX-5 is sold as the Miata in North America, and as the Roadster in Japan. I’ve always liked the looks of the Mazda Miata, probably because it reminds me so much of old British sports cars. The Miata is built in Hiroshima, Japan.
Moshing (also “slam dancing”) is the pushing and shoving that takes place in the audience at a concert (usually a punk or heavy metal concert). The area directly in front of the stage is known as the mosh pit. When a performer does a “stage dive” it is into (or I suppose “onto”) the mosh pit. It doesn’t sound like fun to me. Injuries are commonplace in the mosh pit, and deaths are not unknown.
55…Georgia, once: Abbr…SSR
The former Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) of Georgia is now an independent country. Supposedly, the Georgian people were given their name because they especially revered St. George. The flag of Georgia does indeed feature five St. George’s crosses.
Phi is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet.
Upsilon is the 20th letter of the Greek alphabet, and the one that gives rise to our Roman “Y”.
The Huns were a nomadic people who originated in Eastern Europe in the 4th century. Under the command of Attila the Hun they developed a unified empire that stretched from modern-day Germany across to the steppes of Central Asia. The whole of the Hunnic Empire collapsed within a year of Attila’s death in 453 AD.