Edited by: Rich Norris
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Bill’s errors: 2
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Major clothing chain : TJ MAXX
TJ Maxx is a chain of department stores in the US, with outlets in Europe as well. Over in the UK however, the stores are known as TK Maxx.
16. Tufted tweeter : TITMOUSE
The birds known as chickadees or titmice in North America, are usually called simply “tits” in the rest of the English-speaking world.
19. “Women and Love” author Shere : HITE
Shere Hite is a German sex educator, although she was born in the US. Hite’s work focuses on sexual experience and what meaning it holds for an individual.
20. Tach readings : RPMS
The tachometer takes its name from the Greek word “tachos” meaning “speed”. A tachometer measures engine revolutions per minute (rpm).
22. Norwegian king during the Cold War : OLAV V
Olav V was King of Norway from 1903 until 1991. Tremendously popular and down-to-earth, Olav V was known as “the People’s King” (“Folkekongen” in Norwegian). He was also a grandchild of Edward VII, the British king.
The term “Cold War” was first used by the novelist George Orwell in a 1945 essay about the atomic bomb. Orwell described a world under threat of nuclear war as having a “peace that is no peace”, in a permanent state of “cold war”. The specific use of “cold war” to describe the tension between the Eastern bloc and the Western allies is attributed to a 1947 speech by Bernard Baruch.
23. Serial sequence : ARC
A story arc is a continuing storyline in say a television show that has a number of episodes. Story arcs are also found in comics, books, video games, and other forms of media.
26. Door opener? : DEE
The opening letter in the word “door” is a letter D (dee).
27. Where Martin Scorsese taught Oliver Stone: Abbr. : NYU
New York University (NYU) is comprised of fifteen schools, one of which it the Tisch School of the Arts. The Tisch is famous for its acting program, with notable alumni such as Debra Messing, Christopher Guest and Josh Radnor.
Director Oliver Stone attended the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University after he returned from Vietnam. Stone’s instructor in Sight and Sound was Martin Scorsese.
28. Rhein tributary : AARE
The Aar (also called the “Aare” in German) is the longest river entirely in Switzerland.
The river running through Europe that we know in English as the Rhine, is called “Rhein” in German, “Rhin” in French and “Rijn” in Dutch.
29. 16th-century rulers : TUDORS
The Wars of the Roses was a series of civil wars fought for the throne of England between the rival Houses of Lancaster and York. Ultimately the Lancastrians emerged victorious after Henry Tudor defeated King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Henry was crowned King Henry VII, and so began the Tudor dynasty. Henry Tudor united the rival houses by marrying his cousin Elizabeth of York. Henry VII had a relatively long reign of 23 years that lasted until his death, after which his son succeeded to the throne as Henry VIII, continuing the relatively short-lived Tudor dynasty. Henry VIII ruled from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry VIII was the last male to lead the the House of Tudor, as his daughter Queen Elizabeth I died without issue. When Elizabeth died, the Scottish King James VI succeeded to the throne as James I of England and Ireland. James I was the first English monarch of the House of Stuart.
34. Capital of Kazakhstan : ASTANA
Astana is the capital of Kazakhstan, although only since 1997. Prior to 1997, the nation’s capital was Almaty. The decision to move the capital was made as Almaty is in a part of the country populated by ethnic Russians and the new government wanted to distance itself even further from its Soviet history.
38. Mickey Rooney septet : EX-WIVES
Mickey Rooney was married eight times, divorced seven times, and so had seven ex-wives.
The actor Mickey Rooney first appeared on stage in vaudeville, at the age of six. He was still performing regularly when in his nineties, before passing away at 93 years of age in 2014. Rooney made millions of dollars over his long career, but lost it all. He passed away with assets amounting to merely $18,000.
42. Blue on screen : RATED X
The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) film-rating system (PG-13, R, etc.) is purely voluntary and is not backed by any law. Movie theaters agree to abide by the rules that come with the MPAA ratings in exchange for access to new movies.
44. Last Supper query : IS IT I?
At the Last Supper, Jesus told his apostles that one of them would betray him that day. According to the Gospel of Matthew:
And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?
48. Revival figs. : EMTS
Emergency medical technician (EMT)
51. I, perhaps : ONE
That would be the Roman numeral I.
54. U.N. ambassador appointed by JFK : AES
Adlai Stevenson (AES) ran for president unsuccessfully against Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE) in 1952 and in 1956. Some years after his second defeat, Stevenson served under President Kennedy (JFK) as Ambassador to the United Nations. Stevenson was always noted for his eloquence and he had a famous exchange in a UN Security Council meeting during the Cuban missile crisis. Stevenson bluntly demanded that the Soviet representative on the council tell the world if the USSR was installing nuclear weapons in Cuba. His words were “Don’t wait for the translation, answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’!” followed by “I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over!”
55. 2008 Best New Artist Grammy winner : ADELE
Adele is the stage name of English singer Adele Adkins. Adele’s debut album is “19”, named after the age she was during the album’s production. Her second album was even more successful than the first. Called “21”, the second album was released three years after the first, when Adele was three years older. More recently, her third studio album “25”, released in 2015, broke the first-week sales records in both the UK and the US.
58. Sweet sign-off : XOXO
In the sequence XOX, the X represents a kiss, and the O a hug. OOO is a string of hugs, and XXX a string of kisses. Hugs and kisses …
59. King Ahab’s father : OMRI
Omri was the sixth king of Israel, and was succeeded by his son Ahab.
62. Boxer Rebellion setting : PEKING
The city of Beijing in China was given its name in 1403, with “Beijing” chosen as it translates as “Northern Capital”. The name distinguished it from the city of Nanjing, which name translates as “Southern Capital”. Beijing was written in English as Peking for centuries.
The Boxer Rebellion took place in China between 1899 and 1901. It was a violent uprising by nationalists targeting foreigners and Chinese Christians. Leaders of the revolt were the “Yihequan”, known in English as “The Righteous and Harmonious Fists” or “Boxers United in Righteousness” (or simply “Boxers”). The Boxers were typically well-trained, athletic young men who practiced martial arts, hence the moniker. The rebellion was quelled by an international coalition referred to as the Eight Nation Alliance”, comprising military forces from Japan, Russia, Britain, France, the US, Germany, Italy and Austria-Hungary.
65. Shady Records co-founder : EMINEM
The Shady Records label was founded by rapper Eminem and his manager in 1999. The label’s name comes from Eminem’s album “The Slim Shady LP” released earlier that year.
67. Event associated with warm climates and big midday meals : SIESTA
We use the word “siesta” to describe a short nap in the early afternoon, taking the word from the Spanish. In turn, the Spanish word is derived from the Latin “hora sexta” meaning “the sixth hour”. The idea is that the nap is taken at “the sixth hour” after dawn.
2. “Star Trek: Voyager” actress : JERI RYAN
Jeri Ryan’s most famous role is that of the de-assimilated Borg known as Seven of Nine, on “Star Trek: Voyager”. I haven’t seen that show, so I know Ryan from a supporting role on the legal drama “Shark”, playing opposite James Woods. She also plays Ronnie Cooke on “Boston Public”.
3. Initial encounter in a romcom : MEET CUTE
“Meet cute” is a term used since the 1930s or 1940s for a scene in a film or TV show in which a future couple have an amusing first encounter.
5. Frat letters : XIS
The Greek letter “xi”, despite the name, is not the precursor of our letter X. Our X comes from the Greek letter “chi”.
6. Former Nissan SUV : XTERRA
The Xterra is a compact SUV built by Nissan in Smyrna, Tennessee (and in Brazil).
7. Hinders : STYMIES
The word “stymie” comes from golf, and is a situation in which one’s approach to the hole is blocked by an opponent’s ball.
8. “Bullets Over Broadway” Oscar winner : WIEST
Dianne Wiest is an actress from Kansas City, Missouri. Wiest has won two Best Supporting Actress Academy Awards, for “Hannah and Her Sisters” in 1987 and for “Bullets over Broadway” in 1995. In both movies, she was directed by Woody Allen.
9. Sci-fi staples : ETS
12. Katy of “High Noon” : JURADO
Katy Jurado was an actress from Guadalajara, Mexico who made several appearances in Hollywood westerns in the fifties and sixties. Jurado became the first Latin American actress to win a Golden Globe, doing so for her performance in 1952’s hit movie “High Noon”. Her second husband was fellow actor Ernest Borgnine.
14. Player of Kent : REEVES
The actor George Reeves played Superman (aka Clark Kent) on the fifties TV show “Adventures of Superman”. Reeves died from a gunshot wound in the head in 1959. Officially, the death was recorded as suicide, despite a lot of conflicting evidence. The lack of fingerprints on the gun, and lack of gunpowder residue on Reeves’ hands, led to a lot of speculation that the actor might have been murdered.
24. Fiction’s Lord Greystoke : TARZAN
In the stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes was actually Englishman John Clayton, Viscount Greystoke.
25. Pringles alternative : STAX
Stax is a brand of potato snack made by Lay’s. Stax are similar to its famous competitor, Pringles.
Pringles snack chips were introduced in 1967 by Procter & Gamble and were first sold as “Pringles Newfangled Potato Chips”.
31. Stand for 45-Down : DAIS
(45. They involve insult comedy : ROASTS)
Ultimately our word “dais”, meaning “raised platform for a speaker”, comes from the Latin “discus” meaning a “disk-shaped object”.
33. First name in architecture : EERO
Eero Saarinen was a Finnish American architect, renowned in this country for his unique designs for public buildings such as Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport Terminal, and the TWA building at JFK. The list of his lesser-known, but still impressive, works includes several buildings erected on academic campuses. For example, the Chapel and Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus, the Emma Hartman Noyes House at Vassar College, the Law School building at the University of Chicago, and Yale’s David S. Ingalls Rink.
37. “Nos __”: 2000s French-Canadian drama set in a summer home : ETES
“Nos étés” (“Our Summers” in English) is a French-Canadian TV series that originally aired from 2005 until 2008. The story follows the lives of two interconnected families over the course of the twentieth century. One family comprises wealthy merchants from Montreal, the other modest famers from a village on the Saint Lawrence River.
39. Total assets? : VITAMINS
General Mills produces a range of breakfast cereals using the “Total” name. The marketing message for the brand is that one serving provides the total daily allowance of several vitamins and minerals.
40. One way to connect nowadays : ETHERNET
Ethernet is the name given to a standardized configuration of local area networks (LANs). An ethernet cable is that one that has a connector on the end that looks like a regular telephone connector, but is about twice as wide. Ethernet dates back to the mid seventies, when it was developed by the Xerox Corporation.
41. Quality control process with an alphanumeric symbol : SIX SIGMA
Six Sigma is a quality control process that was introduced by Motorola in 1986. The process uses statistical methods to determine when a manufacturing process has strayed from the norm, requiring it to be halted so that the necessary corrections can be made.
47. Superior, vis-à-vis Michigan : DEEPER
Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes, and the largest freshwater lake in the world by area. The lake was referred to by the first French explorers as “le lac supérieur”, which translates literally as “the upper lake”. The British anglicized the name to “Lake Superior”.
49. Metaphors, e.g. : TROPES
A “trope” is a figure of speech, from the Greek word “tropos” that has the same meaning.
57. Language that gave us “plaid” : ERSE
There are actually three Erse languages: Irish, Manx (spoken on the Isle of Man) and Scots Gaelic. In their own tongues, these would be Gaeilge (in Ireland), Gaelg (on the Isle of Man) and Gaidhlig (in Scotland).
Tartan is sometimes called “plaid” over here in the US, a word not used in the same sense outside of this country. In Scotland a “plaid” is a blanket or a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder.
59. Tom Joad, e.g. : OKIE
“Okies” was a derogatory term used during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s for farming families who migrated from Oklahoma (hence the name), Arkansas, Kansas and Texas in search of agricultural jobs in California. The road used by many of these migrant families was Route 66, which is also called “Mother Road”.
Tom Joad is the protagonist the John Steinbeck’s novel “The Grapes of Wrath”. The role of Joad was played by Henry Fonda in the 1940 film adaptation directed by John Ford. Ford’s movie has a place in history, as it was one of the first 25 movies selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
61. Flare producer : SUN
A “solar flare” is a sudden energy release from the surface of the Sun that can be perceived as a flash of brightness and an eruption of magnetic energy. That magnetic energy reaches the Earth about two days after the event, and can disrupt long-range radio communications on our planet. The location of solar flares has been strongly linked to sunspot groups, groups of dark spots on the Sun’s surface.
63. “Big four” record company : EMI
EMI was a British music company, with the abbreviation standing for Electric and Musical Industries.
The Big Four recording labels were (until EMI was broken up in 2012 and absorbed by what became “the Big Three”):
- Universal Music Group
- Sony Music Entertainment
- Warner Music Group