Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1…Rose of rock..AXL
Axl Rose is the lead vocalist of the American rock band, Guns N’ Roses.
4…Incidental catches by South Pacific tuna fishermen..OPAHS
Opah is the more correct name for the fish also known as the sunfish, moonfish or Jerusalem haddock. I’ve seen one in the Monterrey Aquarium. It is huge …
13…Endodontic therapy..ROOT CANAL
The specialty field of dentistry known as endodontics is concerned with the treatment of the dental pulp, the living tissue found within a tooth.
15…”Finding Dory” studio..PIXAR
Pixar’s 2016 animated feature “Finding Dory” is a sequel to the megahit film “Finding Nemo”. “Finding Dory” seems to have built on the success of its predecessor and had the highest-grossing opening weekend ever in North America for an animated movie.
19…When the French fry?..ETE
In French, “été” (summer) is “la saison chaude” (the warm season).
There are two letters R (ar) in the word “terrible”.
We can use the French phrase “vis-à-vis” as a preposition meaning “compared with”. When used as an adverb or adjective, it means “face-to-face”, which is a more literal translation from French.
26…Canada’s highest peak..LOGAN
Mount Logan in southwestern Yukon is the highest peak in Canada, and in North America is second only in height to Denali in Alaska. The Canadian peak is named for the founder of the Geological Survey of Canada, geologist Sir William Edmond Logan.
31…World leader whose name shares its last four letters with a state..OBAMA
The president’s name “Obama” and the state name “Alabama” share the last four letters.
33…”South Park” kid..STAN
“South Park” is an adult-oriented cartoon series on Comedy Central. I don’t do “South Park” …
34…Station that employed Lou Grant..WJM
The character Lou Grant originated on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. Grant was Mary Richards’ boss at WJM-TV in Minneapolis, and was played by Ed Asner. As Lou Grant, Asner is the only actor ever to win a comedy and drama Emmy for playing the same character.
35…WWI hero portrayed by Gary Cooper..SGT YORK
The marvelous 1941 film called “Sergeant York” stars Gary Cooper playing the real-life WWI hero Alvin York. York was the most decorated American soldier in the First World War, and the movie about his life became the highest-grossing film of 1941. For his heroism, York was not only awarded the Medal of Honor by the United States, but also the French “Légion d’honneur” (the highest decoration in France) and the Italian “Croce di Guerra”.
38…Bond yield: Abbr…INT
42…Golfer with an “army”..ARNIE
Arnold Palmer was one of the greats of the world of golf. He was very popular with many fans of the game, and his followers were usually referred to as “Arnie’s Army”. Off the course, Palmer was an avid pilot, until his latter years. He resided in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for much of the year and the local airport is named in his honor: Arnold Palmer Regional Airport.
44…Line after Casca’s “Speak, hands, for me!”..ET TU, BRUTE
Julius Caesar was assassinated on the 15th (the ides) of March, 44 BC. He was attacked by a group of sixty people in the Roman Senate, and was stabbed 23 times. The first to strike a blow was Servilius Casca, who attacked Caesar from behind and stabbed him in the neck. In Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, Casca utters the words “Speak, hands, for me!” just before making the fatal blow. The following line, uttered by Caesar, is more famous though: “Et tu, Brute?”
46…Longtime Indiana senator Dick..LUGAR
Richard “Dick” Lugar served as Republican Senator representing Indiana in the US Congress from 1977 to 2013. He was the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and is noted for his work to dismantle existing weapons of mass destruction all around the world.
47…Hall of Fame outfielder Richie of the ’40s-’50s Phillies..ASHBURN
Richie Ashburn was a center fielder for over ten years with the Philadelphia Phillies, from 1948 to 1959. Ashburn also played with the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets for a couple of years at the end of his playing career. Soon after hanging up his glove, Ashburn started a new career as TV and radio color commentator for the Phillies.
48…Automaker that introduced headlight wipers..SAAB
SAAB stands for Svenska Aeroplan AB, which translates into English as Swedish Aeroplane Limited. SAAB was, and still is, mainly an aircraft manufacturer. If you take small hops in Europe you might find yourself on a SAAB passenger plane. The SAAB automotive division was acquired by General Motors in the year 2000, who then sold it to a Dutch concern in 2010. However, SAAB (automotive) finally went bankrupt in 2011. A Chinese consortium purchased the assets of SAAB Automotive in 2012, and so SAAB vehicles are in production again. The new vehicles are using the SAAB name, but cannot use the SAAB griffin logo, the rights to which have been retained by the mother company.
50…Last pres. born in the 19th century..DDE
Future US president Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas in 1890 and given the name David Dwight Eisenhower, but by the time he made it to the White House he was going by the name Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE). Growing up, his family called him Dwight, and when “Ike” enrolled in West Point he himself reversed the order of his given names.
51…Dr. for women..GYN
“Gyneco-” is a prefix meaning female, as in gynecology. “Andro-” is a prefix meaning male, as in androgen, a steroid hormone that controls the development of masculine characteristics.
Rheum is a watery discharge that comes from the eyes or the nose. The term has been extended to mean a cold in general.
Both “jail” and “gaol” are pronounced the same way, mean the same thing and are rooted in the same Latin word for “cave”. The spelling “gaol” is seen quite often in the UK, although it is gradually being replaced with “jail”. The “gaol” spelling has Norman roots and tends to be used in Britain in more formal documentation.
58…Corfu locale..IONIAN SEA
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.
Corfu is an island in the very northwest of Greece, in the Ionian Sea. Corfu is a very, very popular vacation destination for European tourists, particularly those from the UK, Scandinavia and Germany.
62…”A Room With a View” author..EM FORSTER
E.M. Forster’s novel “A Room with a View” was first published in 1908. The novel’s title refers to the view that was promised two Englishwomen who check into a hotel in Florence. The pair expected a view of the River Arno, and instead get a view of the hotel’s courtyard. A fellow guest offers to swap rooms, and from there the plot thickens! There was a fantastic screen adaptation released in 1985 directed by James Ivory and produced by Ismail Merchant. There is a great cast, including Helena Bonham Carter, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Daniel Day-Lewis.
English novelist E.M. Forster penned three hugely successful novels, all of which were turned into exceptional films of the same name:
- “A Room with a View” (1908)
- “Howard’s End” (1910)
- “A Passage to India” (1924)
The River Styx in Greek mythology was the river that formed the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld (or Hades). The souls of the newly dead had to cross the River Styx in a ferry boat piloted by Charon. Traditionally, a coin would be placed in the mouths of the dead “to pay the ferryman”.
64…Nixon-Brezhnev missile pact..SALT I
There were two rounds of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) between the US and the Soviet Union, and two resulting treaties (SALT I & SALT II). The opening round of SALT I talks were held in Helsinki as far back as 1970, with the resulting treaty signed by President Richard Nixon and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev in 1972.
Leonid Brezhnev was the Soviet leader from 1964 until his death in 1982. Under Brezhnev, Soviet spending on the military grew to about 12.5% of the nation’s Gross National Product. This level of spending, without effective economic reform, led to the USSR’s “Era of Stagnation” that started in the mid-seventies. His large major political decision was to invade Afghanistan, a move that placed further strain on the fragile Soviet economy.
1…Some dadaist works..ARPS
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 …
An ocarina is an ancient wind-instrument that sounds like and is played like a flute. Usually an ocarina has an egg-shaped body with a number of finger holes cut into the material making up the instrument (usually ceramic). There is a tube protruding from the body through which one blows to make sounds. The air vibrates within the body of the instrument, and the pitch of the vibrations is changed by covering and uncovering the finger-holes. Ocarinas date back as far as 12,000 years ago when they were used both in China and Central America. The ocarina was brought to Italy in the 1800s where it became popular as a child’s toy, but also as a serious instrument. It was given the name “ocarina” as its shape resembles that of a goose, and “ocarina”is a diminutive word stemming from “oca”, the Italian word for “goose”.
5…So five minutes ago..PASSE
“Passé” is a French word, meaning “past, faded”.
6…Young Darth’s nickname..ANI
Anakin “Ani” Skywalker is the principal character in the first six of the “Star Wars” movies. His progress chronologically through the series of films is:
- Episode I: Anakin is a 9-year-old slave boy who earns the promise of Jedi training by young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- Episode II: Anakin is 18-years-old and goes on a murdering rampage to avenge the killing of his mother.
- Episode III: Anakin is 21-years-old and a Jedi knight, but he turns to the Dark Side and becomes Darth Vader. His wife Padme gives birth to twins, Luke and Leia Skywalker.
- Episode IV: Darth Vader, comes into conflict with his children, Luke Skywalker and the Princess Leia.
- Episode V: Darth Vader attempts to coax his son Luke over to the dark side, and reveals to Luke that he is his father.
- Episode VI: Luke learns that Leia is his sister, and takes on the task of bringing Darth Vader back from the Dark Side in order to save the Galaxy. Vader saves his son from the Emperor’s evil grip, dying in the process, but his spirit ends up alongside the spirits of Yoda and Obi-Wan. They all live happily ever after …
8…They may provide track details..SLEEVE NOTES
These days, the term “liner notes” is used for the informational booklet which comes with a music CD. The original liner notes (also “sleeve notes”) were the informational text printed on the inner sleeve (“liner”) of a 12-inch vinyl record.
The Islamic Republic of Mauritania is a country in North Africa, on the Atlantic coast. The country is named after the old Roman province of Mauretania, although the ancient province was located further north in what is now Morocco and part of Algeria.
14…Running, with “on”..THE LAM
To be “on the lam” is to be in flight, to have escaped from prison. “On the lam” is American slang that originated at the end of the 19th century. The word “lam” also means to “beat” or “thrash”, as in “lambaste”. So “on the lam” might derive from the phrase “to beat it, to scram”.
“Poesy” is an alternative name for poetry, often used to mean the “art of poetry”.
Elizabeth Barrett was a very popular poet in England in the mid-1800s. The successful poet and playwright Robert Browning was an admirer of her work, and wrote to her saying so. The two met, and began a famous courtship that led to a secret marriage that they had to hide from Elizabeth’s father.
20…River through Umbria..TIBER
The Tiber is the principal river in Italy in that it runs through the capital of Rome. It is also the third longest river in the country.
Umbria is a region in central Italy, and the only administrative region in the country that is not bordering another nation or a sea. Umbria’s capital is the city of Perugia, which sits on the river Tiber. Umbria is also home to the famous city of Assisi.
26…Focus of an EPA phasedown introduced in 1973..LOW-LEAD GAS
The Ethyl Corporation produced the controversial anti-knock fuel additive known as Ethyl (tetra-ethyl lead), and we are still with the consequences.
An “objet d’art” is an item that has artistic merit. The term is French for “art object”.
28…Mathematical approach to military strategy, say..GAME THEORY
Game theory is a mathematical theory used to test strategies for maximizing gains and minimizing losses within a “game”. That “game” might be poker or bridge, or perhaps global nuclear war …
36…Chess luminary Kasparov..GARRY
Garry Kasparov is a Russian chess grandmaster and former World Chess Champion. When he first became champion in 1985 he was 22 years old, making him the youngest ever undisputed World Chess Champion. Kasparov retired in 2005 in order to pursue a career in Russian politics.
37…Much of Botswana..KALAHARI
The Kalahari is a vast desert region in southern Africa that covers much of Botswana, and parts of Namibia and South Africa. The desert is located within a larger lowland known as the Kalahari Basin, which covers almost a million square miles. The name “Kalahari” comes from one of two Tswana words, meaning either “the great thirst” or “a waterless place”.
Botswana is a country in southern Africa, located just north of South Africa. Someone from Botswana is called a “Motswana” (yes, with an M), with the plural being “Batswana” (yes, with a B).
43…17th-century Flemish painter..RUBENS
Peter Paul Rubens was a Flemish painter who worked in the city of Antwerp in Belgium. Rubens was knighted by two monarchs: Philip IV of Spain, and Charles I of England. When Rubens was 53-years-old, four years after the death of his first wife, he married a 16-year-old girl. It was his young second wife who inspired many of the voluptuous figures with whom Rubens became associated later in his career.
45…Film Warren commissioned?..BUGSY
“Bugsy” is a 1991 biographical drama about the life of mobster Bugsy Siegel, and his relationship with mob courier Virginia Hill. The roles of Siegel and Hill are played by Warren Beatty and Annette Bening. Beatty and Bening became romantically involved soon after filming completed and the couple married the following year.
53…”Teach __ number our days”: Psalm 90..US TO
From the King James Version of the Bible, one line from Psalm 90 is:
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
Someone described as a “doormat” is habitually humiliated by others, is walked all over.
That would be a “yard sale”.
In the world of medicine, the suffix -oma is used to denote a swelling or a tumor. For example, a lipoma is a benign fatty tumor.
60…Org. with Colts and Cowboys..NFL
The Indianapolis Colts professional football team has been in Indiana since 1984. The team traces its roots back to the Dayton Triangles, one of the founding members of the NFL created in 1913. The Dayton Triangles relocated and became the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1930, and then the Brooklyn Tigers in 1944. The team merged with the Boston Yanks in 1945, so then played in Boston. The Yanks were moved to New York in 1949, and then to Dallas in 1952 as the Dallas Texans. The Texan franchise moved to Baltimore in 1953, forming the Colts. The Colts made their last move in 1984, to Indianapolis. Whew!
The Dallas Cowboys play in the National Football Conference of the NFL. The Cowboys are famous for a lengthy streak of 20 consecutive winning seasons, from 1966 to 1985. They are the highest-valued sports franchise in the country. The only team in the world that’s worth more money is the UK’s Manchester United soccer team.