Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
8. Wunderkinds : PHENOMS
A “wunderkind” is a child prodigy, especially in the musical arena. The term is German in origin and translates literally as “wonder child”.
19. Carnival follower : LENT
In Latin, the Christian season that is now called Lent was termed “quadragesima” (meaning “fortieth”), a reference to the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public ministry. When the church began its move in the Middle Ages towards using the vernacular, the term “Lent” was introduced. “Lent” comes from “lenz”, the German word for “spring”.
The celebration of carnival comes right before the Lenten period in some Christian traditions. It is thought that carnival perhaps arose from the need to “eat and drink up” any excess food and drink before the beginning of Lent.
20. Long of “In Too Deep” : NIA
Nia Long is an American actress who is probably best known for playing Will Smith’s sometime girlfriend and fiancee Lisa Wilkes on the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”.
“In Too Deep” is a crime thriller movie released in 1999 starring Omar Epps and LL Cool J. I haven’t seen this one …
22. First AFL-CIO president : MEANY
George Meany was president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) from 1952-55, which merged with the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in 1955. He stayed on as president of the AFL-CIO until 1979. President Johnson presented Meany with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963.
24. Projection in the sky, briefly : ETA
Expected time of arrival (ETA)
26. One of the Visayan Islands : LEYTE
When the Spanish explorer Ruy Lopez de Villalobos discovered the islands of Leyte and Samar, he named them Felipinas, after King Philip II of Spain. Eventually, the name was used for the whole archipelago, becoming what we know in English as the Philippines.
Along with Luzon and Mindanao, the Visayan Islands is one of the three main geographical regions of the Philippines. The region consists of several islands, including Cebu and Leyte.
27. Fields with multiple “Ed Sullivan Show” appearances : TOTIE
Totie Fields was the stage name of comedian Sophie Feldman. “Totie” is a corruption of “Sophie” and was the nickname she was given as a child.
Ed Sullivan’s most famous television role was as host of the “The Ed Sullivan Show”, which ran from 1948 to 1971, a total of 23 years. In that final year, a new set of CBS executives wanted to update the image of the network and announced the cancellation of most of the “old” shows including “The Ed Sullivan Show”. Sullivan was so mad at the decision that he refused to make a “farewell” episode.
35. Vaulted alcoves : APSES
The apse of a church or cathedral is a semicircular recess in an outer wall, usually with a half-dome as a roof and often where there resides an altar. Originally, apses were used as burial places for the clergy and also for storage of important relics.
36. Its site has tracking tools : FEDEX
FedEx began operations in 1973 as Federal Express, but now operates very successfully under it’s more catchy, abbreviated name. Headquartered in Memphis with its “SuperHub” at Memphis International Airport, FedEx is the world’s largest airline in terms of tons of freight flown. And due to the presence of FedEx, Memphis Airport has the largest-volume cargo operation of any airport worldwide.
42. It was founded to build engines for The Bull Tractor Company : TORO
Toro is a manufacturer of mainly lawn mowers and snow removal equipment based in Bloomington, Minnesota. The company was founded in 1914 to build tractor engines.
43. Garage sale buys : LPS
The first vinyl records designed to play at 33⅓ rpm were introduced by RCA Victor in 1931, but were discontinued due to quality problems. The first long play (LP) 33⅓ rpm disc was introduced by Columbia Records many years later in 1948, with RCA Victor following up with a 45 rpm “single” the following year, in 1949.
44. Adriatic resort : LIDO
The Lido di Venezia is a famous sandbar, about 11 km long, in Venice, Italy. It may be just a sandbar, but it is home to about 20,000 residents, as well as the Venice Film Festival that takes place there every September. The Lido is also the setting for Thomas Mann’s famous novel “Death in Venice”. The name “lido” has become a term for any fashionable beach resort.
3. National park SE of Bangor : ACADIA
Acadia National Park in Maine was created in 1919, although back then it was called Lafayette National Park in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette who famously supported the American Revolution. The park was renamed to Acadia in 1929.
Bangor is the third-most populous city in the state of Maine (after Portland and Lewiston). The city was given its name in 1791, after the hymn “Antiphonary of Bangor” that was written at Bangor Abbey in Northern Ireland.
4. Jewish star : MOGEN
Magen (also “Mogen”) David is Hebrew for “Shield of David”, and is another name for the Star of David. The use of the distinctive hexagram as a symbol for the Jewish community started in 17th-century Europe, and today the symbol is found at the center of the flag of Israel.
5. City near Vance Air Force Base : ENID
Enid, Oklahoma takes its name from the old railroad station around which the city developed. Back in 1889, that train stop was called Skeleton Station. An official who didn’t like the name changed it to Enid Station, using a character from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King”. Maybe if he hadn’t changed the name, the city of Enid would now be called Skeleton, Oklahoma! Enid has the nickname “Queen Wheat City” because is has a huge capacity for storing grain, the third largest grain storage capacity in the world.
Vance Air Force Base is located just a few miles south of Enid, Oklahoma. The main mission of the base is to train pilots for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Vance AFB is named after a Medal of Honor recipient from WWII, Leon Robert Vance, Jr.
8. Hawthorne heroine : PRYNNE
The main character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The Scarlet Letter” is Hester Prynne. When Prynne is convicted by her puritanical neighbors of the crime of adultery, she is forced to wear a scarlet “A” (for “adultery”) on her clothing for the rest of her life, hence the novel’s title “The Scarlet Letter”.
10. Stirrup site : EAR
The middle ear is the portion of the ear immediately behind the eardrum. The middle ear contains three small bones called the ossicles, the three smallest bones in the human body. The ossicles’ job is to transmit sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. The shape of the bones gives rise to their names: the hammer (malleus), anvil (incus) and stirrup (stapes).
11. Feature of a two-ltr. monogram : NMI
No middle initial (NMI)
14. With equanimity : SEDATELY
“Equanimity” is the quality of being composed and calm. The term comes from the Latin”aequus” (even) and “”animus” (mind). “Equanimity” is one of my favorite words of all time …
25. The Home Depot rival : LOWE’S
Lucius S. Lowe opened the first Lowe’s hardware store in 1921, in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Lucius only knew the one store, as it was family who expanded the company after he passed away in 1940.
26. Service provider? : LENOX
The Lenox Corporation is a manufacturer of tableware and collectibles in Bristol, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1889 by Walter Scott Lenox, the company is the only producer of bone china in the US. Lenox has made tableware for six US presidents, from Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush.
29. “Two Years Before the Mast” star : ALAN LADD
The last few years of actor Alan Ladd’s life were pretty rough. In 1962 he was found unconscious in a pool of blood with a bullet wound in his chest, an abortive suicide attempt. Two years later he was found dead, apparently having succumbed to an accidental overdose of drugs and sedatives. He was 50 years old.
“Two Years Before the Mast” is a 1946 movie based on a book of the same name by Richard Henry Dana Jr. The movie was filmed in 1944 at the height of WWII. The film’s star, Alan Ladd, was scheduled to be re-inducted into the army, but that was deferred so that Ladd could play his leading role.
31. Message medium : PA SYSTEM
Public address (PA) system
32. Descriptor akin to shiny, in song : RED-NOSED
We get the names for Santa’s reindeer from the famous 1823 poem called “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, although we’ve modified a couple of the names over the years. The full list is:
- Donder (originally “Dunder”, and now often “Donner”)
- Blitzen (originally “Blixem”)
Rudolph was added to the list by retailer Montgomery Ward, would you believe? The store commissioned Robert L. May to create a booklet that could be handed out to children around Christmas in 1939, and May introduced us to a new friend for Santa, namely Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
36. Spark producers : FLINTS
Flint is a form of the mineral quartz. Flint can be used to start a fire. The hard edge of flint when struck against steel can shave off a particle of the metal. The particle of steel contains exposed iron that reacts with oxygen in the air creating a spark that can light dry tinder.
41. Confined, as quarters : CLOSE
We use the term “quarters” for a place of abode, especially housing for military personnel. Back in the late 16th century, quarters were a portion (quarter) of a town reserved for a military force.
47. Org. concerned with climate change : EPA
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
49. LXVII x III : CCI
In Roman numerals, LXVII x III = CCI (67 x 3 = 201)