Edited by: Rich Norris
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Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Object of Canaanite worship..BA’AL
According to Canaanite mythology, Ba’al was the most powerful of all gods. He was worshiped as the sun, storm and fertility god.
5…Green Goblin portrayer in “Spider-Man”..DAFOE
Willem Dafoe is an American actor, from Wisconsin. He was born just plain William Dafoe, but didn’t like being called “Billy”. So, he changed his name to Willem, which was the pronunciation of his name by his Scottish babysitter. Those Scots …
The Green Goblin is a supervillain from Marvel Comics who generally is pitted against Spider-Man. The Green Goblin is the antagonist in the 2002 movie “Spider-Man”, and is played by Willem Dafoe.
13…Voice from a loft..ALTO
That would be a choir loft.
Emery is a very hard type of rock that is crushed for use as an abrasive. Emery paper is made by gluing small particles of emery to paper. Emery boards are just emery paper with a cardboard backing. And emery boards are primarily used for filing nails.
A “bigwig” is someone important. The use of the term harks back to the days when men of authority and rank wore big wigs.
17…Enjoy all the seasons..BINGE-WATCH
I’m a big fan of binge-watching, the practice of watching perhaps two or three (even four!) episodes of a show in a row. My wife and I will often deliberately avoid watching a recommended show “live” and wait until whole series have been released on DVD or online. I’m not a big fan of “tune in next week …”
19…”This American Life” host..IRA GLASS
Ira Glass is a well-respected presenter on American Public Radio, most noted for his show “This American Life”. I was interested to learn that one of my favorite composers, Philip Glass, is Ira’s first cousin.
Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are two much-loved cartoon characters from Warner Bros. Wile E. Coyote was created first, and Road Runner was invented as someone for Wile E. to play off. I love this cartoon; definitely one of the best …
One’s “hap” is one’s luck. So to be “hapless” is to be out of luck, unfortunate.
A corset is a close-fitting undergarment that is stiffened with a material such as whalebone. Corsets are more usually worn by women, to shape the body. The word “corset” is a diminutive of the Old French “cors” meaning “body”.
23…What some pros often do..MAKE PAR
That would be in golf.
29…Friend of Mozart..HAYDN
Josef Haydn was an Austrian composer, often called the “Father of the Symphony” due to his prolific output of symphonies that helped define the form. This is one of the reasons that he was known, even in his own lifetime, as “Papa Haydn”. Haydn was also the father figure among “the big three” composers of the Classical Period: Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Hayden was a good friend to Mozart, and a teacher of Beethoven.
30…Army officers: Abbr…LTS
33…Longtime CBS head..PALEY
William S. Paley was a pioneer in the world of broadcasting. Paley’s father purchased a 16-station radio network based in Philadelphia in 1920s. Within a decade, William had expanded the network, called the Columbia Phonographic Broadcasting System, to over 100 affiliate stations. Paley was the first to really understand that advertisers were the broadcaster’s customers, and that good programming attracted great advertisers/sponsors. Paley streamlined the company name to Columbia Broadcasting System, which eventually became the global giant named CBS.
35…Lon of Cambodia..NOL
Lon Nol was a soldier and politician in Cambodia, later serving twice as the country’s president. When the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia in 1975, Nol escaped the country to Indonesia. He eventually found a home in Fullerton, California, where he died in 1985.
“Swabbie” (also “swabby, swab, swabber”) is a slang term for a sailor, which we’ve been using since the late 1700s. A “swab” was originally a member of the crew assigned to the swabbing (mopping) of the ship’s decks.
After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Rus.) became the largest and most influential Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Today, Russia is a sovereign state, and the largest country in the whole world.
47…Right part of a map?..RED STATE
On political maps, red states are usually Republican and blue states usually Democrat. The designation of red and blue states is a very recent concept, only introduced in the 2000 presidential election by TV journalist, the late Tim Russert. In retrospect, the choice of colors is surprising, as in other democracies around the world red is usually used to describe left-leaning socialist parties (the reds under the bed!), and blue is used for conservative right-wing parties. In election cycles, swing/battleground states are often depicted in purple.
51…Canadian singer Murray..ANNE
Anne Murray is a singer from Springhill, Nova Scotia. Murray’s 1978 hit “You Needed Me” went to number one in the US charts, marking the first time that a Canadian female artist achieved such a feat.
There is a letter D (dee) at either end of the word “dead”.
55…Eclipses, to some..OMENS
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes into the shadow cast by the earth from the light of the sun, in other words when the earth is positioned directly between the sun and the moon. The more spectacular solar eclipse takes place when moon passes in front of the sun, so that the earth falls into the shadow cast by the moon.
The Oldsmobile Alero was the last car made under the Oldsmobile brand. The Alero was produced from 1999 to 2004.
Something described as “forensic” is connected with a court of law, or with public discussion or debate. The the term comes from the Latin “forensis” meaning “of a forum, of a place of assembly”. We mainly use the word today to mean “pertaining to legal trials” as in “forensic medicine” and “forensic science”.
7…Boston park, with “The”..FENS
The Fens is a picturesque parkland in Boston. Once a saltwater marshland, urban development since the late 1800s has turned the area into what is essentially a freshwater lagoon. The Fens (sometimes “Back Bay Fens”) gave its name to the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood, and ultimately to the famous Fenway Park baseball stadium.
The .org domain was one of the six original generic top-level domains specified. The complete original list is:
- .com (commercial enterprise)
- .net (entity involved in network infrastructure e.g. an ISP)
- .mil (US military)
- .org (not-for-profit organization)
- .gov (US federal government entity)
- .edu (college-level educational institution)
11…Game that’s hard to lose..TIC-TAC-TOE
When I was growing up in Ireland we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for the game tic-tac-toe.
12…It’s a real knockout..ETHER
Ethers are a whole class of organic compounds, but in the vernacular “ether” is specifically diethyl ether. Diethyl ether was once very popular as a general anesthetic.
15…”You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” singer Leo..SAYER
Leo Sayer is a British singer who was big in the seventies with hits such as “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” and “When I Need You”. Sayer now lives in Australia.
20…Spanish province or its capital..LEON
León is a province in the autonomous community of Castile and León in the northwest of Spain. The province’s capital is the city of León, which was founded as Roman military encampment around 29 BC.
The gangster Meyer Lansky was known as the “Mob’s Accountant”. When he died in 1983 at the ripe old age of 80 years, on paper Lansky was worth almost nothing. However, the FBI believed that he actually had about $300 million in hidden bank accounts, funds which the authorities were never able to find.
Even though the term “aborigine” is often associated with the indigenous peoples of Australia, in the widest sense “aboriginal” refers to any indigenous race. The Aborigines were a people in Roman mythology, the oldest inhabitants of central Italy.
28…Game played in whispers..TELEPHONE
The party game known as telephone here in the US is also known as Chinese whispers in other nations. The idea of the game is for a message to be whispered from player to player along a line. By the time the message has passed along the whole line, it usually changes due to mishearing. Comparison of the original and final versions of the message can be quite hilarious.
31…The limit, perhaps..SKY
The sky’s the limit.
34…They can also represent pounds..HASHTAGS
A hashtag is word preceded by the symbol #. Hashtags are big these days because of its use by Twitter. The “#” symbol is usually referred to as the “number sign”, but here in the US the name “pound sign” is very common as well.
37…Faces, in slang..MUGS
The verb “to mug” means to make an exaggerated facial expression. The term comes from mugs used to drink beer (called Toby mugs) that are the made in the shape of heads with grotesque expressions. “Mug” can also be a noun meaning “face”.
39…Macbeth, vis-à-vis Glamis..THANE
Thanes were Scottish aristocrats. The most famous thanes have to be the Shakespearean characters Macbeth (the Thane of Glamis, later Thane of Cawdor) and MacDuff (the Thane of Fife). Other thanes in “Macbeth” are Ross, Lennox and Angus, as well as Menteith and Caithness.
Our verb “to commute”, meaning “to go back and forth to work”, ultimately derives from the Latin “commutare”, meaning “to often change”. Back in the late 1800s, a “commutation ticket” was a season pass, so named because it allowed one to “change” one kind of payment into another. Quite interesting …
42…Great blue wader..HERON
The Great Blue Heron is native to North and Central America, but very occasionally is spotted over in Europe. There is even a Great Blue Heron that isn’t blue at all, but is white. The white Great Blue Heron is found in the Caribbean and southern Florida.
43…”Blue __”: 1963 and 1977 hit..BAYOU
“Blue Bayou” is a lovely ballad written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson, released in 1963 by Orbison. Although the song never made it to the top of the charts over here in the US, it did in Ireland! Linda Ronstadt recorded a famous cover version in 1977. In baseball parlance, a fastball is sometimes called a “Linda Ronstadt”, as it is a pitch that “blew by you …”
49…”Rattle and __”: U2 album..HUM
“Rattle and Hum” is a studio album released by Irish band U2 in 1988. The album’s title was also used for a “rockumentary” film that built around two concerts the band performed in Denver in 1987.