Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s contains four sets of circled letters that form BOXES. The letters in each BOX spell out a brand of SOAP:
- 40A…Speaker’s stand … or what each set of circled squares graphically represents..SOAPBOX
The four SOAPBOXES contain the brands:
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Host of “Late Night Joy”..BEHAR
Joy Behar is a comedian, and former co-host of the hit talk show “The View”. Behar was one of the original co-hosts of “The View”, and stayed with the show from 1997 until 2013. She started hosting her own talk show called “Late Night Joy” in 2015.
The last few weeks of the baseball season are known as “a pennant race”. Before 1969, the term was perhaps more apt, as the pennant winner (league champion) would be the team with the best win-loss record at the end of the season. Starting in 1969, when both the National and American Leagues formally split into East and West divisions, the pennant has been awarded to the winner of a best-of-five series of games played by the division winners each October. The pennant winners then go on to the best-of-seven World Series, also played in October.
10…Herbal seed used in smoothies..CHIA
Chia is a flowering plant in the mint family. Chia seeds are an excellent food source and are often added to breakfast cereals and energy bars. There is also the famous Chia Pet, an invention of a San Francisco company. Chia Pets are terracotta figurines to which are applied moistened chia seeds. The seeds sprout and the seedlings become the “fur” of the Chia Pet.
19…Language of Pakistan..URDU
Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan (the other being English), and is one of 22 scheduled languages in India. Urdu partly developed from Persian and is written from right to left.
Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Otello” was first performed in 1887 at La Scala Theater in Milan. The opera is based on Shakespeare’s play “Othello” and is considered by many to be Verdi’s greatest work.
22…She played Jackie on “Nurse Jackie”..EDIE
“Nurse Jackie” is a comedy-drama series centered on an emergency room nurse at a hospital in New York City. The lead character is played by Edie Falco, who also played Tony Soprano’s wife on the “The Sopranos”. I binge-watched “Nurse Jackie” a while back and found it to be a very well-written show …
23…Age of Reason philosopher..LOCKE
The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason) was an era bridging the 17th and 18th centuries in which rationalism and scientific method started to hold sway against ideas grounded in tradition and faith. Key figures in the Age of Enlightenment were the likes of John Locke, Isaac Newton and Voltaire.
27…Sloth and envy..SINS
The cardinal sins of Christian ethics are also known as the seven deadly sins. The seven deadly sins are:
29…First name in scat..ELLA
Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song”, had a hard and tough upbringing. She was raised by her mother alone in Yonkers, New York. Her mother died while Ella was still a schoolgirl, and around that time the young girl became less interested in her education. She fell in with a bad crowd, even working as a lookout for a bordello and as a Mafia numbers runner. She ended up in reform school, from which she escaped, and found herself homeless and living on the streets for a while. Somehow Fitzgerald managed to get herself a spot singing in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. From there her career took off and as they say, the rest is history.
Scat singing is a vocal improvisation found in the world of jazz. There aren’t any words as such in scat singing, just random nonsense syllables made up on the spot.
A Political Action Committee (PAC) is a private group that works to influence the outcome of a particular election or group of elections. Any group becomes a PAC by law when it receives or spends more than $1,000 for the purpose of influencing the outcome of an election. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that PACS that did not make direct contributions to candidates or parties could accept unlimited contributions. These “independent-expenditure only committees” are commonly referred to as “super PACs”.
Kabul is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. The city has been the site of major conflict for much of the 3,500 years that it has been in existence. In the past, this conflict was mainly driven by the city’s strategic location on the major trade routes of south and central Asia.
40…Speaker’s stand … or what each set of circled squares graphically represents..SOAPBOX
Back in the 1650s, a “soap box” was just that, a wooden box for holding or transporting soap. Empty soap boxes were easily carried by a potential orator and used as a stand from which to deliver an address.
42…Mama bear, in Baja..OSA
Baja California is both the most northern and the most western of the Mexican states. The name translates from Spanish as “Lower California”.
43…Sauce made with pine nuts..PESTO
The term “pesto” applies to anything made by pounding. What we tend to know as “pesto” sauce is more properly called “pesto alla genovese”, pesto from Genoa in northern Italy. I love, love pesto sauce …
45…Roll dipped in wasabi..SUSHI
Sushi is a Japanese dish that has as its primary ingredient cooked, vinegared rice. The rice is usually topped with something, most often fish, and can be served in seaweed rolls. If you want raw fish by itself, then you have to order “sashimi”.
Sometimes called Japanese horseradish, wasabi is a root used as a condiment in Japanese cooking. The taste of wasabi is more like mustard than a hot pepper in that the vapors that create the “hotness” stimulate the nasal passages rather than the tongue. Personally, I love the stuff …
49…Big name in golf clubs..PING
PING is a supplier of golf equipment that was founded in 1959 by Karsten Solheim, soon after he started making putters in his garage. Solheim chose the company name from the sound that he heard when his metal putter struck the ball.
51…Bugs’ voice..MEL BLANC
Mel Blanc was known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices”. We’ve all heard Mel Blanc at one time or another, I am sure. His was the voice behind such cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Woody Woodpecker, Elmer Fudd and Barney Rubble. And the words on Blanc’s tombstone are … “That’s All Folks”.
58…Airline known for tight security..EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv.
“Circa” is a Latin word meaning “around, near, about the time of”. We use “circa” directly in English to mean “about the time of”, as well as in derivative words such as “circle” and “circus”.
Oran lies on the Algerian coast, and is famous for being the port where the French Navy was largely destroyed by the British during WWII in order to avoid the French vessels falling into the hands of Nazi Germany after France surrendered. This decisive and unexpected unilateral action by the British sent a very strong message around the world that Britain was willing to fight alone against the axis powers if necessary.
Dave Barry is a very humorous guy, an author and columnist. Barry also plays lead guitar in a rock band called The Rock Bottom Remainders. Also included in the band are noted authors Stephen King, Amy Tan and Scott Turow.
67…Heated contest, in more ways than one..MEET
A sports meet might be a heated (very competitive) contest, and a contest comprising heats (races).
The noun “meet” was used in a sporting sense originally in the 19th century, with reference to hunting.
The term “heat”, meaning a qualifying race, dates back to the 1660s. Originally a heat was a run given to a horse to prepare it for a race, to “heat” it up.
Évian-les-Bains (or simply Évian) is in the very east of France, on the shores of Lake Geneva directly across the lake from Lausanne, Switzerland. As one might imagine, Évian is the home of Évian mineral water, the most successful business in town. Personally, I can’t stand the distinctive taste of Évian water …
Aquafina is a Pepsico brand of bottled water. Aquafina is just plain old municipal water that has been purified.
69…Some skinny jeans..LEES
The Lee company famous for making jeans was formed in 1889, by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.
The Torah ark is found in a synagogue, and is the ornamental container in which are stored the Torah scrolls. The word “Torah” best translates as “teaching”, I am told.
1…Refuse to, with “at”..BALK
To balk is to stop and refuse to go on. It’s not just a baseball term!
Outlook is the email management application that comes with Microsoft Office.
The Aztec god Quetzalcoatl’s name means “feathered serpent”. He was worshiped as the god of wind and of learning.
Jasmine rice is variety of fragrant, long-grain rice that is named for its color, as it is said to be as white as the jasmine flower.
8…Many a beach rental..CONDO
The terms “condominium” and “apartment” tend to describe the same type of residential property, a private living space with facilities shared with others residing in the same building or complex. The difference is that a condominium is usually owned, and an apartment is rented. At least that’s how it is in the US. The word “condominium” comes from the Latin “com-” (together) and “dominum” (right of ownership).
9…Bitter green in mixed greens..ENDIVE
Endive is a leaf vegetable belonging to the chicory genus, and is in the daisy family. Endive is also known as escarole.
10…Fur-loving de Vil..CRUELLA
Cruella de Vil is the villain in the 1956 novel “The Hundred and One Dalmatians” written by Dodie Smith. Most famously perhaps, Cruella was played so ably by Glenn Close in the Disney movie adaption “101 Dalmatians”, released in 1996.
The nation of India comprises 29 states and 7 union territories. The largest state by area is Rajasthan, in the northwest of the country. The most populous state is the neighboring Uttar Pradesh.
An ague is a fever, one usually associated with malaria.
24…Honda Fit competitor..KIA SOUL
The Kia Soul is a compact car produced in South Korea, although it was designed by Kia here in the US, in Irvine, California. Yep, the Kia Soul is made in Seoul …
The Honda Fit (called the Jazz in some markets) is a subcompact hatchback. We looked at the Fit when shopping for a new car not that long ago, but opted for the larger Toyota Prius instead, a choice that we have not regretted …
26…Warning sign in the Rockies..ELK XING
The elk (also known as the wapiti) is the one of the largest species of deer in the world, with only the moose being bigger. Early European settlers were familiar with the smaller red deer back in their homelands, so when they saw the “huge” wapiti they assumed it was a moose, and incorrectly gave it the European name for a moose, namely “elk”. The more correct name for the beast is “wapiti”, which means “white rump” in Shawnee. It’s all very confusing …
30…Abundance in the cheerleading squad..PEP
Our contemporary term “pep”, meaning “vigor, energy”, is a shortened version of “pepper” that used to have the same meaning.
32…Observation with a sigh..C’EST LA VIE
“C’est la vie” is French for “that’s life”.
The fictional Kwik-E-Mart store is operated by Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on “The Simpsons” TV show. Apu is married to Manjula, and the couple have eight children. The convenience store owner doesn’t seem to be making much use of his Ph.D in computer science that he earned in the US. Apu’s undergraduate degree is from Caltech (the Calcutta Technical Institute), where he graduated top of his class of seven million students …
41…Many an Indian fan..OHIOAN
The Cleveland baseball franchise started out in 1869 as the Forest Citys named after Forest City, the nickname for Cleveland. After a number of transitions, in 1914 the team took on the name “Indians”. The media came up with name “Indians” after being asked for suggestions by the team owners. “Indians” was inspired by the successful Boston team of the day, the Boston Braves.
48…Puget Sound city..TACOMA
Tacoma is a city on Puget Sound in the state of Washington. The city took its name from Mount Rainier that is nearby, as the peak used to be known as Mount Tahoma.
George Vancouver was a British explorer, and an officer in the Royal Navy. As well as exploring the coast of Australia, he is best known for his travels along the northwest coast of North America. The city of Vancouver was named in his honor. Travelling with him on his American voyage was a lieutenant Peter Puget, and in his honor, Vancouver named the waters south of the Tacoma Narrows “Puget’s Sound”. Nowadays, the name Puget Sound describes an area much greater than Vancouver had envisioned.
The California gold rush actually started in 1848. The first to exploit the find were those people already in California. By 1849 the word had spread and gold-seekers started to arrive from all over the world. The “out-of-towners” who arrived in 1849 became known as forty-niners.
The oldest type of golf course is a links course. The name “links” comes from the Old English word “hlinc” meaning “rising ground”. “Hlinc” was used to describe areas with coastal sand dunes or open parkland. As a result, we use the term “links course” to mean a golf course that is located at or on the coast, often amid sand dunes. The British Open is always played on a links course.
56…Banks with a statue at Wrigley Field..ERNIE
First baseman Ernie Banks was known as “Mr. Cub”, and played his entire 19-year professional career with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs retired Banks’ uniform number 14 in 1982, making him the first Cubs player to be so honored.
The famous ballpark that is home to the Chicago Cubs was built in 1914. Back then it was known as Weeghman Park, before becoming Cubs Park when the Cubs arrived in 1920. It was given the name Wrigley Field in 1926, after the owner William Wrigley, Jr. of chewing gum fame. Wrigley Field is noted as the only professional ballpark that has ivy covering the outfield walls. The ivy is a combination of Boston Ivy and Japanese Bittersweet, both of which can survive the harsh winters in Chicago.
62…Part of a Wall St. address..NY, NY
New York’s famous “Wall Street” was originally named by the Dutch as “de Waal Straat”.