Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
14…Freezer bar with Sir Isaac Lime and Alexander the Grape flavors..OTTER POP
Otter Pops are plastic tubes filled with frozen fruit juice. Well, Otter Pops are usually sold at room temperature and are frozen by the consumer before consumption.
15…Aleichem who created Tevye..SHOLEM
“Shalom aleichem” translates from Hebrew as “peace be upon you”. Sholem Aleichem was also the pen name of Yiddish author Solomon Rabinovich, who wrote the stories about Tevye the Dairyman who inspired the musical “Fiddler on the Roof”.
19…Sea lion, e.g…EARED SEAL
There are three families of seals. The first is the walrus family, the second the eared seals (like sea lions), and thirdly the earless seals (like elephant seals).
In Spanish, a “galeón” (galleon) might carry “oro” (gold).
The etymology of a word is the derivation of that word.
Many Roman Catholics are very familiar with the Latin phrase “mea culpa” meaning “my fault”, as it is used in the Latin Mass. The additional term “mea maxima culpa” translates as “my most grievous fault”.
29…Light carrier..FIBER OPTIC CABLE
Optical fibers are lengths of glass or plastic that are slightly thicker than a human hair. They are usually bundled into cables, and then used for transmission of data signals. Optical transmission has advantages over electrical transmission, especially in terms of interference and loss of signal strength.
35…Text ending in Panama?..A MAN, A PLAN, A CANAL …
The three most famous palindromes in English have to be:
- Able was I ere I saw Elba
- A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
- Madam, I’m Adam
One of my favorite words is “Aibohphobia”, although it doesn’t appear in the dictionary and is a joke term. “Aibohphobia” is a great way to describe a fear of palindromes, by creating a palindrome out of the suffix “-phobia”.
38…Medicare card fig…SSN
President Obama signed “The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act” in April of 2015. Among other things, the bill calls for the removal of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from Medicare cards, a move designed to protect cardholders from identity theft.
The sun sets, goes down, for example.
40…__ Banos, California..LOS
Los Banos isn’t too far from here, and lies in the San Joaquin Valley of California. The original name of the city was “Los Baños”, the Spanish for “the baths”, a homage to the nearby source of water, the San Joaquin River. Even though the city’s name is spelled without the tilde, it is still pronounced “los banyos”. Go figure …
The exact etymology of “April”, the fourth month of our year, seems to be uncertain. The ancient Romans called it “mensis Aprilis”, which roughly translated as “opening month. The suggestion is that April is the month in which fruits, flowers and animals “open” their life cycles.
44…Courses for coll. credit..APS
The Advanced Placement (AP) program, as many of us parents know, offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school. After being tested at the end of the courses, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.
52…Berkshire attraction for race fans..ASCOT
Ascot Racecourse is used for thoroughbred horse racing, and is located in the town of Ascot, Berkshire in England. The course is located just six miles from Windsor Castle, and is often visited by members of the royal family. Royal Ascot is the name given to the most famous race meeting in the year, at which members of the royal family attend each day, arriving in horse-drawn carriages amidst great ceremony.
57…Mae West’s final film..SEXTETTE
“Sextette” is a 1978 comedy-musical film starring the fabulous Mae West. The movie is based the play “Sex”, which West herself wrote and starred in on Broadway way back in 1926. “Sextette” was to West’s last film appearance, as she passed away two years later in 1980. From what I’ve read, it’s not a great movie at all, despite an outstanding cast that includes Timothy Dalton, Dom DeLuise, Tony Curtis, Ringo Starr, George Hamilton, Alice Cooper, Keith Moon Walter Pidgeon, Regis Philbin and George Raft. Whew!
59…Get smashed..TIE ONE ON
“To tie one on” is a slang expression meaning “to get drunk”.
“Sotto voce” literally means “under the voice” in Italian, and describes the deliberate lowering of one’s voice for emphasis.
3…Unborn, after “in”..UTERO
“In utero” is a Latin term meaning “in the uterus”. The Latin “uterus” translates as both “womb” and “belly”. The Latin word was derived from the Greek “hystera” also meaning womb, which gives us the words “hysterectomy”, and “hysterical”.
The Cree are one of the largest groups of Native Americans on the continent. In the US most of the Cree nation live in Montana on a reservation shared with the Ojibwe people. In Canada most of the Cree live in Manitoba.
Annual percentage rate (APR)
The shad is also known as the river herring. The eggs (roe) of the female shad are prized as a delicacy in the Eastern US.
Sardines are oily fish related to herrings. Sardines are also known as pilchards, although in the UK “sardine” is a noun reserved for a young pilchard. Very confusing …
11…”__ awake at night”: “Pretty Boy” lyric..I LIE
“Pretty Boy” is a song released by the Norwegian pop duo M2M.
M2M were a pop duo from Norway comprising Marion Raven and Marit Larsen. The pair’s friendship began when they were only five years old, and they formed their first band, called “Hubba Bubba”, when they were at the ripe old age of eight years. At 12, they released an album for children under the name “Marion & Mariot”. It was this early name for the duo that evolved into “M2M”. The pair disbanded, with both now pursuing solo careers.
12…Name on the 1984 album “My Kind of Country”..REBA
Reba McEntire is a country music singer and television actress. McEntire starred in her own sitcom called “Reba” that aired on the WB and the CW cable channels from 2001 to 2007.
13…__ Sinclair, protagonist of Hesse’s “Demian”..EMIL
“Demían: The Story of Emil Sinclair’s Youth” is a coming-of-age novel by Hermann Hesse. When first published in 1919, Hesse used the pen name “Emil Sinclair”, the name of the story’s narrator.
15…”The Office” star..STEVE CARELL
The actor Steve Carell has achieved great success on both television and in movies. On the small screen, Carell came to prominence on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and then of course as the lead in the US version of “The Office”. On the big screen he starred in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”, “Evan Almighty” and my personal favorite, ”Dan in Real Life”, starring opposite the wonderful Juliette Binoche.
22…French governing group..SENAT
In French, the “Parlement français” (French parliament) is divided into the “Sénat” (Senate) and the “Assemblée nationale” (National Assembly).
Qom (also Qum) is a city in Iran located about 100 miles southwest of Tehran. Qom is a holy city in the Shi’a Islam tradition, and a pilgrimage destination.
26…Marryin’ Sam presided over his wedding..ABNER
Marryin’ Sam is a character in the “Li’l Abner” comic strip. Marryin’ Sam is a travelling preacher who is known for performing $2 weddings.
“Li’l Abner” was created and drawn by Al Capp for over 43 years starting in 1934. Al Capp stopped producing the strip in 1977, largely due to illness (he died from emphysema two years later). As the strip finished up, he went so far as to apologize to his long-standing fans, saying that he should have stopped 3-4 years earlier as he felt that the quality of his work had gone down in those latter years.
28…Big name in backpacks..KELTY
Kelty is company based in Boulder, Colorado that manufactures backpacks, tents and sleeping bags. The business was founded by Dick Kelty, who many consider to be the inventor of the aluminum-framed backpack.
An imam is a Muslim leader, often the person in charge of a mosque or perhaps a Muslim community.
33…Bite with un aperitivo..TAPA
In Spain, the “aperitivo” is a snack that usually includes drinks, and that takes place before lunch. It sounds like a “warmer upper” for lunch!
“Tapa” is the Spanish word for “lid”, and there is no clear rationale for why this word came to be used for an appetizer. There are lots of explanations cited, all of which seem to involve the temporary covering of one’s glass of wine with a plate or item of food to either preserve the wine or give one extra space at the table.
34…Willie of “Eight Is Enough”..AAMES
Willie Aames is an actor from Newport Beach, California. Aames is best known for playing Tommy Bradford on the TV comedy “Eight is Enough” that originally aired in the seventies.
43…JFK Library architect..IM PEI
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library is a splendid structure located right beside the Boston campus of the University of Massachusetts. President Kennedy chose the location for his library just one week before he was assassinated. The library itself was designed by architect I. M. Pei.
44…Less than right?..ACUTE
In geometry, there are several classes of angles:
- acute (< 90 degrees)
- right (= 90 degrees)
- obtuse (> 90 degrees and < 180 degrees)
- straight (180 degrees)
- reflex (> 180 degrees)
45…__ Alegre, Brazil..PORTO
Pôrto Alegre is the capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil. The city was founded in 1772 by immigrants from the Azores, and later received a big influx of immigrants from Germany, Italy and Poland. Most of the residents of Pôrto Alegre today are descendants of those Europeans.
Jan Steen was a Dutch painter active in the Dutch Golden Age, the 17th century. Steen’s most famous work is probably “The Feast of Saint Nicholas”, which you can see at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
The celebrated Dutch painter’s full name was Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (sometimes Ryn). Rembrandt is perhaps most appreciated for his portraits, and left the world a remarkable collection of self-portraits.
49…Sharp brand introduced in 1977..ATRA
Fortunately for crossword setters, the Atra razor was introduced by Gillette in 1977. The Atra was sold as the Contour in some markets and its derivative products are still around today.
50…Lou Gehrig’s number..FOUR
Baseball legend Lou Gehrig was known as a powerhouse. He was a big hitter and just kept on playing. Gehrig broke the record for the most consecutive number of games played, and he stills holds the record for the most career grand slams. His durability earned him the nickname “The Iron Horse”. Sadly, he died in 1941 at 37-years-old suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an illness we now call “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”. The New Yankees retired the number four on 4th of July 1939 in his honor, making Lou Gehrig the first baseball player to have a number retired.
53…Acronymous WWII gun..STEN
The STEN gun is an iconic armament that was used by the British military. The name STEN is an acronym. The S and the T comes from the name of the gun’s designers, Shepherd and Turpin. The EN comes from the Enfield brand name, which in turn comes from the Enfield location where the guns were manufactured for the Royal Small Arms Factory, an enterprise owned by the British government.
The term “pink-slip” can be used as a verb meaning “to terminate an employee”. No one really seems to know for sure where the term originated, but there are lots of stories.