Edited by: Rich Norris
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Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…”The Winds of War” actress..ALI MACGRAW
Ali MacGraw’s most famous role was the female lead in the 1970 film “Love Story”. MacGraw became romantically involved with Steve McQueen as they filmed “The Getaway” in 1972. The pair eventually wed after they managed to unwind their first marriages. They divorced in 1978.
“The Winds of War” is a 1983 mini-series made from a book of the same name by Herman Wouk. Both book and TV movie depict events from March 1939 until the US joined WWII in December 1941. There is a large cast, with the bill topped by Robert Mitchum and Ali MacGraw.
“Bon mot” translates from French as “good word”. We use “bon mot” (and sometimes just “mot”) to mean a quip, a witticism.
14…”Love in the First Degree” all-female group..BANANARAMA
Bananarama is a female singing group that formed in London in 1979. Bananarama’s biggest hit was the 1986 hit “Venus” that topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. “Venus” was originally a number-one hit for the Dutch band Shocking Blue, back in 1969/1970.
Totem is the name given to any entity that watches over a group of people. As such, totems are usually the subjects of worship. Totem poles are really misnamed, as they are not intended to represent figures to be worshiped, but rather are heraldic in nature often celebrating the legends or notable events in the history of a tribe.
“Nene” is the Spanish word for a male baby or young child.
20…Ho Chi __ City..MINH
Hanoi was the capital of North Vietnam, and Saigon the capital of South Vietnam. After the Vietnam War, Hanoi was made capital of the reunified state. Saigon, the larger metropolis, was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi is located in the delta of the Red River, and is just over 50 miles from the Gulf of Tonkin in the South China Sea.
23…”The Legend of Zelda” currency..RUPEES
“The Legend of Zelda” is a video game. Apparently it’s very successful.
25…Sidecar ingredient..TRIPLE SEC
Triple sec is liqueur made from the dried peels of bitter and sweet oranges. I tend to use triple sec in cocktails calling for Grand Marnier or Cointreau, as it is a cheaper alternative and tastes very similar …
The Sidecar is actually my favorite cocktail. It was invented around the end of WWI possibly in the Ritz Hotel in Paris. It’s a simple drink to make, and contains brandy, cointreau or triple sec, and lemon or lime juice. It’s really the brandy version of a margarita (or vice versa).
32…Happy __: old snack brand mascot..HO HO
Ho Hos snack cakes were first produced in San Francisco in 1967. The “Happy Ho Ho” mascot was created for the brand in the 1970s, and was a cartoon character in a Robin Hood outfit. Ho Hos weren’t the best thing to come out of the sixties I’d say …
35…Slovenia neighbor, to the IOC..CRO
The Republic of Croatia is a Balkan country. The Croats declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Croatia became a member of NATO in 2009, and a member of the European Union in 2013.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded in 1894, and has its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
36…Singer Lambert with the album “Trespassing”..ADAM
Singer Adam Lambert is one of the “successes” to come out of the “American Idol” machine.
An angiogram is an x-ray (usually) image taken of the circulatory system, often enhanced by the introduction of a radio-opaque “dye” into the bloodstream.
38…Crisply and detached, to an orch…STAC
Staccato is a musical direction signifying that notes should be played in a disconnected form. The opposite of staccato would be legato, long and continuous notes played very smoothly.
The acronym TED stands for Technology Entertainment and Design. TED is a set of conferences held around the world by a non-profit group called the Sapling Foundation. The conference subjects are varied, and the meetings are often led by big names such as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Bill Gates and Jane Goodall. The Sapling Foundation then makes recordings of the conferences available for free online with the intent of disseminating the ideas globally. These conferences are known as “TED Talks”.
The British developed the first underwater detection system that used sound waves. Research was driven by defence demands during WWI, leading to production of working units in 1922. This new sound detection system was described as using “supersonics”, but for the purpose of secrecy the term was dropped in favor of an acronym. The work was done under the auspices of the Royal Navy’s Anti-Submarine Division, so ASD was combined with the IC from “superson-ic-s” to create the name ASDIC. The navy even went as far as renaming the quartz material at the heart of the technology “ASDivite”. By the time WWII came along, the Americans were producing their own systems and coined the term SONAR, playing off the related application, RADAR. And so the name ASDIC was deep-sixed …
44…Dairy Queen offerings..BLIZZARDS
Soft serve ice cream was developed by John McCullough in 1938. McCullough was able to get his new dessert carried by a local ice cream store in Illinois. He and the store owner became so swamped with sales that they opened a store specifically built around the product in Joliet, Illinois, hence creating the first Dairy Queen outlet. There are now over 5,700 Dairy Queen franchises in 19 countries. We’ve even got one in Ireland …
Adolph Ochs was a former owner of “The New York Times”. Ochs had purchased a controlling interest in “The Chattanooga Times” when he was only 19 years of age, and took control of “The New York Times” in 1896 when he was 38 years old. It was Ochs who moved the paper’s headquarters to a new building on Longacre Square in Manhattan, which the city later renamed to the famous “Times Square” after the newspaper. The Ochs-Sulzberger family has owned the paper ever since.
49…Quo warranto, e.g…WRIT
A writ of “quo warranto” was issued under English law to compel a person to show by what authority he or she had a particular liberty or office. In US law today, a quo warranto is a trial or hearing to determine the same thing.
50…Short-lived ’80s sports org…USFL
The United States Football League (USFL) was started in 1983 as a league playing during the spring and summer. The league’s backer’s thought there would be a lot of interest in watching and attending games during the NFL’s offseason. The USFL folded after three years, so apparently the backers were wrong …
59…Grammy-winning Santana song..MARIA MARIA
Santana is a Latin rock band from by guitarist Carlos Santana in San Francisco in 1967. Santana’s big break came with a well-received performance at Woodstock in 1969, when the band was completely unknown.
1…Help with a job..ABET
The word “abet” comes into English from the Old French “abeter” meaning “to bait” or “to harass with dogs” (it literally means “to make bite”). This sense of encouraging something bad to happen morphed into our modern usage of “abet” meaning to aid or encourage someone in a crime.
2…”Mission: Impossible” theme composer Schifrin..LALO
Lalo Schifrin is an Argentine pianist and composer best-known for writing film and television scores. Famously, Schifrin wrote the theme for “Mission: Impossible”, but also for “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, “Mannix” and “Starsky and Hutch”.
4…Jerry Herman musical..MAME
The musical “Mame” opened on Broadway in 1966, with Angela Lansbury in the title role. The musical is based on the 1955 novel “Auntie Mame” written by Patrick Dennis.
Jerry Herman is a composer and lyricist best known for his work on Broadway musicals. Herman’s biggest hits as a composer are “Hello, Dolly!”, “Mame” and “La Cage aux Folles”.
7…Where Ulysses rests..GRANT’S TOMB
The bodies of President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia Dent Grant are entombed in sarcophagi in the structure known as “Grant’s Tomb” in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City. There’s an old chestnut of a riddle that goes “Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb?” The answer is “No one”, as the former president and first lady are entombed above ground.
The word “amen” is translated as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is likely to be also influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.
11…Penn, for one..MOVIE ACTOR
Actor Sean Penn is a two-time Oscar winner, for his roles in “Mystic River” released in 2003 and “Milk” released in 2008. Penn’s celebrity on screen is only matched with his fame off the screen. Apart from his “big name” marriages to singer Madonna and actress Robin Wright, Penn is also well known for political and social activism. He perhaps inherited some of his political views from his father, actor and director Leo Penn. As an actor, Leo refused to “name names” in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee and so was blacklisted in Hollywood and had to move into directing to put bread on the table. In later years as a director he gave his son Sean his first acting role, in a 1974 episode of “Little House on the Prairie”.
13…AAPL and GOOG..TECH STOCKS
The NASDAQ ticker symbol for Apple is AAPL, and for Google is GOOG. Well, GOOG used to be Google’s ticker symbol. GOOG is now assigned to Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company that was formed in 2015.
24…Letters before some state names..USS
The abbreviation “USS” stands for “United States Ship”. The practice of naming US Navy vessels in a standard format didn’t start until 1907 when President Theodore Roosevelt issued an executive order that addressed the issue.
25…Shout after the last shot..THAT’S A WRAP!
When shooting of a film is concluded the movie is said to “wrap”, and everyone heads to the wrap party. There is one story that “wrap” is actually an acronym for “wind, reel and print”, a reference to the transition of the filming process into post-production. But, this explanation is disputed.
26…Part of Beverly Hills’ Golden Triangle..RODEO DRIVE
There’s a three-block stretch of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California that is known for expensive shopping, mainly in designer clothes stores. The surrounding business district is known as the Beverly Hills “Golden Triangle”, which extends from Wilshire to Santa Monica Boulevards. The triangle is a mecca for shoppers and tourists.
28…Popular toy, for short..POM
The Pomeranian is a breed of small dog, named for the Pomerania region of Europe (part of eastern Germany and northern Poland). The breed was much loved by the royalty of Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, Queen Victoria owned a particularly small Pomeranian. Due to the notoriety of the monarch’s pet, the Pomeranian was bred for small size, so that during the Queen’s admittedly long reign, the size of the average “pom” was reduced by 50% …
Errol Morris is a film director, best known for his excellent 2003 documentary “The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara”. Morris also directed “The Unknown Known: The Life and Times of Donald Rumsfeld” in 2013.
Matzo is a unleavened bread, that is very brittle. The bread is crushed, creating Matzo meal that is then formed into balls using eggs and oil as a binder. The balls are usually served in a chicken stock.
40…”Leaves and Navels” artist..ARP
Jean Arp was a French artist renowned for his work with torn and pasted paper, although that wasn’t the only medium he used. Arp was the son of a French mother and German father and spoke both languages fluently. When he was speaking German he gave his name as Hans Arp, but when speaking French he called himself Jean Arp. Both “Hans” and “Jean” translate into English as “John”. In WWI Arp moved to Switzerland to avoid being called up to fight, taking advantage of Swiss neutrality. Eventually he was told to report to the German Consulate and fill out paperwork for the draft. In order to get out of fighting, Arp messed up the paperwork by writing the date in every blank space on the forms. Then he took off all of his clothes and walked with his papers over to the officials in charge. Arp was sent home …
45…”The Lion King” composer Hans..ZIMMER
Hans Zimmer is a film composer from Frankfurt in Germany. The long list of films that Zimmer has scored includes “Rain Man” (1998), “The Lion King” (1994), “Gladiator” (2000), “The Dark Knight” (2008), “Inception” (2010) and “12 Years a Slave” (2013).
52…”Animal House” group..FRAT
The very funny 1978 movie “Animal House” has the prefix “National Lampoon’s …” because the storyline came out of tales that had already appeared in “National Lampoon” magazine. “Animal House” was to become the first in a long line of successful “National Lampoon” films. The main pledges in the movie are Tom Hulce (Pinto), who later played a magnificent “Amadeus”, and Stephen Furst (Flounder), later played a regular role on television’s “Babylon 5”.
55…Singer of complex songs..WREN
A wren is a small songbird belonging to the family troglodytidae and the genus troglodytes.
56…Michael’s brother in “Prison Break”..LINC
“Prison Break” is TV drama that originally aired from 2005 until 2009. The storyline revolves around Lincoln Burrows, a convicted felon who is wrongfully charged with murder, and Michael Scofield, Lincoln’s brother who is devoted to getting his brother out of jail.
“Sate” is a variant of the older word “satiate”. Both terms can mean either to satisfy an appetite fully, or to eat to excess.
60…City on the Firth of Clyde..AYR
Ayr is a port town on the Firth of Clyde in southwest Scotland. The celebrated poet Robert Burns was born just three miles from Ayr.