Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
9. Key of Elgar’s “Symphony No. 1” : A-FLAT
English composer Sir Edward Elgar completed two symphonies in all. His “Symphony No. 1” was first performed in Manchester, England in 1908 when the composer was 61 years old. It was an immediate success, and was destined to have over one hundred performances in Europe and America within a year of its première.
Sir Edward Elgar was the quintessential English composer, inextricably associated with his “Pomp and Circumstance” marches (including “Land of Hope and Glory”) and the “Enigma Variations”.
14. San Antonio Spurs’ 1993-2002 home : ALAMODOME
The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas opened for business in 1993. The Alamodome was home to the San Antonio Spurs basketball team from 1993 to 2002. Today, the facility hosts many sporting events, including football and ice hockey games. It is also used as a convention center.
The Spurs are the professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. The team was founded as the Dallas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1967.
16. Employer of a lizard and a pig : GEICO
The Gecko is the “spokes-lizard” for GEICO. When the Gecko was introduced in 1999, he was voiced by actor Kelsey Grammer of “Cheers” and “Frasier” fame. Since then, the Gecko has been voiced by British radio presenter Dave Kelly and most recently by actor Jake Wood, who plays Max Branning on the British soap opera “EastEnders”.
In addition to the famous gecko, GEICO commercials also feature Maxwell the Piggy. Maxwell, shouts out a long “whee, whee, whee” all the way home.
17. Author of the 2011 memoir “My Father at 100” : RON REAGAN
Ron Reagan’s views couldn’t be any further from those of his father President Ronald Reagan, I’d say. Before the radio network Air America went bust, Ron had a daily 3-hour spot, and these days he makes frequent appearances on MSNBC. Young Reagan is also a good dancer, and for a while was a member of the Joffrey Ballet.
18. Greek leader? : ALPHA
The Greek alphabet starts off with the letters alpha, beta, gamma …
20. National League athlete : MET
The Greek alphabet starts off with the letters alpha, beta, gamma …
21. Equilibrium : STASIS
Our word “equilibrium” meaning “state of balance”, comes from the Latin “aequus” meaning “equal” and “libra” meaning “balance, pair of scales”.
24. Weapon in some supernatural movies : STAKE
Legends about vampires were particularly common in Eastern Europe and in the Balkans in particular. The superstition was that vampires could be killed using a wooden stake, with the preferred type of wood varying from place to place. Superstition also defined where in the body should be staked. Most often, the stake was driven through the heart, but Russians and northern Germans went for the mouth, and northeastern Serbs for the stomach.
29. Joseph of ice cream fame : EDY
Dreyers’ ice cream sells its products under the name Dreyers in the Western United States, and Edy’s in the Eastern states. The company’s founders were William Dreyer and Joseph Edy.
30. One of the deadly sins : ENVY
The cardinal sins of Christian ethics are also known as the seven deadly sins. The seven deadly sins are:
35. Justin case? : BIEBER FEVER
Justin Bieber is a young pop singer from London, Ontario. Bieber was actually discovered on YouTube by talent manager Scooter Brown. Fans of Bieber call themselves “Beliebers”. Personally, I’m no believer in Bieber …
37. ___-A-Fella Records : ROC
Roc-a-Fella Records was founded in 1996 by three rap artists: Jay-Z, Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke. But, I really don’t do rap …
43. Hamilton notes : TENS
The US ten-dollar bill features the image of Alexander Hamilton, the first US Secretary of the Treasury, on the obverse. As such, ten-dollar bills are sometimes called “Hamiltons”. By the way, the $10 bill is the only US currency in circulation in which the portrait faces to the left. The reverse of the ten-dollar bill features the US Treasury Building.
45. Fight like sticks figures? : RASSLE
“Rassle” is a slang word for “wrestle”.
“The sticks” is a slang term meaning “rural area”.
47. Sch. with a Providence campus : URI
The University of Rhode Island (URI) was chartered as an agricultural school, back in 1888. Rhody the Ram was chosen as the school’s mascot in 1923, a nod to URI’s agricultural past. As a result, the school’s sports teams are known as the Rams. URI’s main campus is located in the village of Kingston.
49. __ Vogue : TEEN
“Teen Vogue” is a version of “Vogue” magazine that targets teenage girls.
51. Thins, e.g. : OREOS
For those of us counting calories, Oreo Thins were introduced in 2015. There are only 40 calories in each thin cookie, compared to 53 calories in the real deal.
52. Three-book Newton work : PRINCIPIA
Sir Isaac Newton’s 1687 publication “Principia” lays out his laws of motion and his law of universal gravitation. The full title of the work is “Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica” (“Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy” in Latin).
55. Shun : OSTRACIZE
The practice of ostracism, freezing out or exclusion, dates back to Ancient Greece. Back then citizens could write the names of men they thought were exceptionally dangerous on tiles that were publicly posted, resulting in a banishment of ten years. “Ostracize” derives from the Greek “ostrakon”, the word for a “tile”.
58. 1980s gaming release : NES
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was sold in North America from 1985 to to 1995. The NES was the biggest selling gaming console of the era. Nintendo replaced the NES with Wii, which is also the biggest-selling game console in the world.
3. Symposium groups : PANELS
In Ancient Greece a “drinking party” was called a “symposium” (just like today!). Often the drink was a mixture of water and wine that was placed in a large vase, called a krater, in the center of the room. Participants in the symposium would dip a smaller vessel into the krater to refill their drinking cups. And yes, “krater” is the root for our word “crater”.
4. Big name in anonymity : DOE
Though the English court system does not use the term today, “John Doe” first appeared as the “name of a person unknown” in England in 1659, along with the similar “Richard Roe”. An unknown female is referred to as “Jane Doe”. Variants of “John Doe” are “Joe Blow” and “John Q. Public”.
5. Cheese town : EDAM
Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.
6. Upscale tiers : LOGES
In most theaters today, “loge” is the name given to the front rows of a mezzanine level. Loge can also be used for box seating.
8. Japanese cabbage? : YEN
The Korean Won, the Chinese Yuan, and the Japanese Yen (all of which are Asian currencies) take their names from the Chinese written character that represents “round shape”.
9. Quartz type : AGATE
Agate is a micro-crystalline form of quartz (so is related to sand/silica). Some agate samples have deposited layers that give a striped appearance, and these are called “banded agate”.
10. Afrobeat star __ Kuti : FELA
Fela Kuti was a Nigerian musician, a pioneer in the genre known as “Afrobeat”. Fela had an interesting relationship with women, and actually married twenty-seven different women in the same year, in 1978. He then slowed down a little and maintained a rotating roster of only twelve wives at any one time. Fela died from AIDS in 1997.
15. “Harry Potter” father figure : MR WEASLEY
In the “Harry Potter” series of books, Ron Weasley’s father is Arthur Weasley, portrayed by English actor Mark Williams. PBS viewers might know the actor from the light-hearted period drama “Father Brown”, as Williams plays the title role.
21. Parachute : SKYDIVE
The term “parachute” was coined in 1784 by Frenchman François Blanchard, from “para-” meaning “defence against” and “chute” meaning “a fall”.
23. Arabian Peninsula veil : NIQAB
Some Muslim women wear a hijab in the presence of males outside of their immediate family. A hijab is a veil covering the head and chest. Some also wear a niqab as part of the hijab, which is a cloth that covers the face. Other Muslim women wear a burqa, which covers the whole body from the top of the head to the ground.
25. “Hello” singer : 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.
28. City in central Switzerland : LUCERNE
The Swiss city of Lucerne lies in the center of the country, in the German-speaking region. It is a popular tourist destination located on the shores of Lake Lucerne. One of the city’s most visited landmarks is the Chapel Bridge, the oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe. The Chapel Bridge is no small structure, being 670 feet long, and spanning the Reuss River. It was built in 1333!
32. LeBron’s birth city : AKRON
For part of the 1800s, the Ohio city of Akron was the fasting growing city in the country, feeding off the industrial boom of that era. The city was founded in 1825 and its location, along the Ohio and Erie canal connecting Lake Erie with the Ohio River, helped to fuel Akron’s growth. Akron sits at the highest point of the canal and the name “Akron” comes from the Greek word meaning “summit”. Indeed, Akron is the county seat of Summit County. The city earned the moniker “Rubber Capital of the World” for most of the 20th century, as it was home to four major tire companies: Goodrich, Goodyear, Firestone and General Tire.
Basketball player LeBron James (nicknamed “King James”) seems to be in demand for the covers of magazines. James became the first African American man to adorn the front cover of “Vogue” in March 2008. That made him only the third male to make the “Vogue” cover, following Richard Gere and George Clooney.
34. Schwinn component : BIKE SEAT
Schwinn is an American bicycle company that was founded in Chicago in 1895. The founder was Ignaz Schwinn, a German-born mechanical engineer. Schwinn dominated the market for domestic bicycles in the fifties, helped along by hefty tariffs imposed on imported cycles by the Eisenhower administration.
35. Redwood City locale : BAY AREA
Redwood City is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose. Redwood City uses an interesting slogan: “Climate Best by Government Test”. This is a reference to a climatological survey conducted jointly by the US and German governments prior to WWI. The survey rated the California city’s climate the best in the whole world, tied with Canary Islands and the Mediterranean coast of North Africa. I’m not sure that’s still the case …
36. Door-to-door offerings : CAROLS
The word “carol” came into English via the Old French word “carole”, which was a “dance in a ring”. When “carol” made it into English, about 1300 AD, the term was used to describe a dance as well as a joyful song. Around 1500 AD, carols that were sung came to be associated with Christmas.
39. First to fall in most strikes : ONE-PIN
Bowling has been around for an awfully long time. The oldest known reference to the game is in Egypt, where pins and balls were found in an ancient tomb that is over 5,000 years old. The first form of the game to come to America was nine-pin bowling, which had been very popular in Europe for centuries. In 1841 in Connecticut, nine-pin bowling was banned due to its association with gambling. Supposedly, an additional pin was added to get around the ban, and ten-pin bowling was born.
41. Elizabeth who plays the Scarlet Witch in Marvel movies : OLSEN
Elizabeth Olsen is an actress and singer, and the younger sister of the famed Olsen twins Mary-Kate and Ashley.
The Scarlet Witch is a superhero in Marvel Comics Universe who first appears in print in 1964. The alter ego of mutant Wanda Marya Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch regularly joins the Avengers team of superheroes. On the big screen, she is portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen.
42. Legal orders : WRITS
A writ is an order issued by some formal body (these days, usually a court) with the order being in “written” form. Warrants and subpoenas are examples of writs.
44. Wrest : SEIZE
The verb “to wrest” can mean to obtain by violent twisting and pulling. The word “wrest” derives from the Middle English “wresten” meaning “to twist”. Our word “wrestling” has the same etymology.
50. Turndowns from the tartan-clad : NAES
“Nae” is the Scottish vernacular for “no”.
52. Iberian land, to the IOC : POR
Portugal is the most westerly country in Europe, and is located in the west of the Iberian Peninsula alongside Spain. The name “Portugal” comes from the Latin “Portus Cale”, the name used by ancient Romans for Porto, now the country’s second largest city. Portugal was a far-reaching power in the 15th and 16th centuries, at the center of the world’s first truly global empire. A legacy of the Portuguese Empire is that today there are more than 240 million Portuguese speakers across the world.
53. Batter of balls? : CAT
I think that we’re looking at cats playing with balls, batting at them.