Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers refers to a significant event from 1917, from a century ago. Happy New Year, everyone!
- 22A. Fundraising items first sold in 1917 : GIRL SCOUT COOKIES
- 28A. Treats inspired by a coal miner in 1917 : MOONPIES
- 42A. World Series winner in 1917 : CHICAGO WHITE SOX
- 67A. American citizenship grantee in 1917 : PUERTO RICAN
- 91A. America bought it from Denmark in 1917 : US VIRGIN ISLANDS
- 108A. Orphanage founded in 1917 : BOYSTOWN
- 116A. Subject of an act passed in 1917 : SELECTIVE SERVICE
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Olympian queen : HERA
In Greek mythology, Hera was the wife of Zeus and was noted for her jealous and vengeful nature, particularly against those who vied for the affections of her husband. The equivalent character to Hera in Roman mythology was Juno. Hera was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.
9. Baker/literacy advocate Wally who hosted “Learn to Read” : AMOS
Wally Amos was a talent agent, one who was in the habit of taking home-baked cookies with him as an enticement to get celebrities to see him. He was urged by friends to open a cookie store (the cookies were that delicious, I guess) and this he did in Los Angeles in 1975 using the name “Famous Amos”. The store was a smash hit and he was able build on the success by introducing his cookies into supermarkets. The brand was eventually bought up making Wally a rich man, and Famous Amos cookies are still flying off the shelf. Wally Amos also became an energetic literacy advocate. He hosted 30 TV programs in 1987 entitled “Learn to Read” that provided reading instruction targeted at adults.
13. Big name in romance novels : AVON
Avon was a noted publisher of comic books and paperbacks. The company was founded in 1941, and focused on low-brow literature designed for popular appeal.
19. Goddess who saved infant Zeus from Cronus : RHEA
In Greek mythology Rhea was one of the Titans. She was the sister and husband of Cronus, and together they had six children, the last of which was Zeus. Cronus swallowed all of his children as soon as they were born, except for Zeus, who Rhea managed to hide from her husband.
22. Fundraising items first sold in 1917 : GIRL SCOUT COOKIES
Depending on which bakery makes the particular variety of Girl Scout cookie, the name can vary. For example, Little Brownie Bakers makes the Samoa cookies, while ABC Bakers uses the same recipe and calls the cookies Caramel Delites. The assumption is that these cookies have the exotic name of “Samoa” because they contain the tropical ingredients of coconut and cocoa. The most popular variety of Girl Scout cookie sold is Thin Mints.
28. Treats inspired by a coal miner in 1917 : MOONPIES
Workers in the coal mines around Chattanooga, Tennessee started dipping graham crackers in marshmallow cream as a snack. Then a local baker jumped on the idea, and came up with a sandwich made with a marshmallow filling between two round graham crackers. His young grandson remarked that the popped bubbles in the marshmallow (from baking) looked like moon craters, and the MoonPie was born. I used to love them as a kid, although we called them “Wagon Wheels” in our part of the world.
30. Sore spot : LESION
A lesion is a wound or any abnormal tissue found in an organism. The word “lesion” comes from the Latin word “laesio” meaning “injury”.
34. Valencian rice dish : PAELLA
Paella is sometime referred to as the Spanish national dish, but not by Spaniards. In Spain, paella is regarded as a typical regional dish from Valencia.
Valencia is one of the autonomous communities of Spain, and is located in the east of the country on the Mediterranean Coast. Its capital city is also called Valencia, and is the third-largest city in the nation, after Madrid and Barcelona.
35. Frame of Elmer, e.g. : CEL
In the world of animation, a cel is a transparent sheet on which objects and characters are drawn. In the first half of the 20th century the sheet was actually made of celluloid, giving the “cel” its name.
Elmer Fudd is one of the most famous of all the Looney Tunes cartoon characters, the hapless nemesis of Bugs Bunny. If you have never seen it, check out Elmer and Bugs in the marvelous “Rabbit of Seville”, a short cartoon that parodies Rossini’s “Barber of Seville”. Wonderful stuff …
37. Cpls., e.g. : NCOS
A corporal (cpl.) is a non-commissioned officer (NCO).
40. Bach’s east : OST
“Ost” is German for “east”.
Johann Sebastian Bach raised a very large family. He had seven children with his first wife, who died suddenly. He had a further thirteen children with his second wife. Of his twenty youngsters, there were four sons who became famous musicians in their own right:
- Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (aka “the Halle Bach”)
- Carl Philipp Bach (aka “the Hamburg Bach”)
- Johann Christoph Bach (aka “the Buckeberg Bach”)
- Johann Christian Bach (aka “the London Bach”)
41. She plays Watson in “Elementary” : LIU
Lucy Liu is an actress from Queens, New York. Liu’s big break came when she was chosen to play the Ling Woo character in “Ally McBeal”. I liked her in the 2000 film “Charlie’s Angels” but as I am no fan of Quentin Tarantino, I did not enjoy the movie “Kill Bill”. I am having fun watching one of Liu’s more recent projects, in which she plays Jane Watson, one of the two lead characters in the TV crime drama “Elementary”.
If you’ve seen the American television show “Elementary”, you will know that it is an adaptation of the classic tales by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that are set in the present day. “Elementary” is similar in look and feel to the excellent BBC series “Sherlock”, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a modern-day Holmes. We can pick up “Sherlock” in some parts of the country as part of “Masterpiece Mystery” on PBS.
42. World Series winner in 1917 : CHICAGO WHITE SOX
The Chicago White Sox Major League Baseball team was established in Chicago in 1900 and originally was called the White Stockings. The name was changed because the abbreviation “Sox” for “Stockings” was regularly used in newspaper headlines.
47. Hoppy brew, for short : IPA
India Pale Ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.
50. Fabled thorn victim : LION
In the story of Androcles and the lion, a runaway slave named Androcles takes shelter in a cave. Inside he finds a wounded lion. Androcles removes a thorn from the pad of the lion’s foot, and bandages the injured limb. Years later, Androcles is captured and is condemned to be devoured by wild animals in the Circus Maximus of Rome. The lion that he faces turns out to be the lion that he befriended, and so he is able to demonstrate to the crown in the Circus that he can tame the beast. As a result, the Roman Emperor pardons Androcles.
55. Site with a Pill Identification Tool : WEBMD
WebMD is a website containing health information that has been online since 1996. WebMD is read by over 80 million readers each month.
62. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” director Anderson : WES
Wes Anderson’s most famous movie is probably “The Royal Tenenbaums”, released in 2001, not my favorite film by any stretch. However, his 2007 release “The Darjeeling Limited”, that I enjoyed.
“Fantastic Mr. Fox” is a children’s novel by Roald Dahl. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” was adapted into a 2006 animated film directed by Wes Anderson.
64. Column width unit : PICA
A pica is a unit of measure used in typography. One pica is equivalent to 1/6 of an inch. Each pica unit contains 12 “points”.
67. American citizenship grantee in 1917 : PUERTO RICAN
Puerto Ricans were granted US citizenship in 1917 by virtue of the Jones Act. However, the new law was opposed by Puerto Rican politicians as they believed it a maneuver designed to draft Puerto Rican men into the armed forces as US involvement in World War I approached.
72. Gp. once led by Charles Mayo : AMA
The list of American Medical Association (AMA) past-presidents includes William James Mayo (1906-07) and Charles Horace Mayo (1917-18). William and Charles were brothers, and were two founders of the famous Mayo Clinic located in Rochester, Minnesota.
73. Book with entries : LOG
The word “logbook” dates back to the days when the captain of a ship kept a daily record of the vessel’s speed, progress etc. using a “log”. A log was a wooden float on a knotted line that was dropped overboard to measure speed through the water.
74. Black box, e.g. : RECORDER
In the aviation industry, a “black box” is an audio or data recorder installed in an aircraft as an aid in the event that an accident investigation is necessary. The “black” box is actually bright orange, so that it is easier to find after an accident.
76. Surgical knife : LANCET
“Lancet” is another name for a scalpel. There’s a publication called “The Lancet”, which is probably the world’s most respected medical journal. It is certainly the oldest, first published in 1823.
91. America bought it from Denmark in 1917 : US VIRGIN ISLANDS
The US Virgin Islands are located in the Caribbean, and are part of the Virgin Islands archipelago. The three largest islands of the US territory are Saint Croix, Saint John and Saint Thomas. The island chain was named by Christopher Columbus in 1493 in honor of Saint Ursula and her virgin followers. The United States bought the islands from Denmark during WWI in a move designed to thwart plans by Germany to use them as a submarine base.
94. Letters in early dates : BCE
The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.
96. Prefix with fiction : ECO-
“Ecofiction” is genre of literature that emphasises humanity’s connection with nature. The term was coined in the 1970s, although works that fit into the genre have existed for centuries. Classical examples might be Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick”, Mark Twain’s “The Adventure’s of Huckleberry Finn” and H. G. Wells’ “The Island of Dr. Moreau”.
103. Stern with strings : ISAAC
Isaac Stern was Ukrainian-born, but moved with his family to San Francisco at a very young age. He was a wonderful violin virtuoso who passed away in 2001.
105. UPS Store customer : SENDER
The franchised UPS Stores make up the world’s largest network of retail shipping, printing and business service centers. The first such outlets were branded and owned by Mail Boxes Etc., starting in 1980. UPS acquired Mail Boxes Etc. in 2001, and introduced the UPS Store brand in 2003. I’m a big fan …
108. Orphanage founded in 1917 : BOYS TOWN
The village of Boys Town, Nebraska is a suburb of Omaha. The village was founded in 1917 as the headquarter of the Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home, which is dedicated to the care of at-risk children.
112. Crumbly English cheese : STILTON
Stilton is a lovely village in Cambridgeshire in England, and is the original home of the delicious blue cheese called Stilton.
116. Subject of an act passed in 1917 : SELECTIVE SERVICE
The US government maintains information on all males who are potentially subject to military conscription, using what is called the Selective Service System(SS). In the event that a draft was held, men registered would be classified into groups to determine eligibility for service. Class 1-A registrants are those available for unrestricted military service. Other classes are 1-A-O (conscientious objector available for noncombatant service), 4-A (registrant who has completed military service) and 4-D (Minister of religion).
119. Like some ducks? : LAME
The original usage of the term “lame duck” was on the London Stock Exchange where it referred to a broker who could not honor his debts. The idea was that a lame duck could not keep up with the rest of the flock and so was a target for predators.
120. Full of chutzpah : BRASH
Our word “chutzpah” meaning “nerve, gall, impudence” is derived from the Yiddish “khutspe”, which has the same meaning.
121. Philosopher Descartes : RENE
The great French philosopher Rene Descartes made the famous statement in Latin, “Cogito ergo sum”. This translates into French as “Je pense, donc je suis” and into English as “I think, therefore I am”.
124. Sources of pliable wood : YEWS
Yew is the wood of choice for the longbow, a valued weapon in the history of England. The longbow is constructed with a core of yew heartwood (as the heartwood resists compression) that has a sheath of yew sapwood (as the sapwood resists stretching). The yew was in such demand for longbows that for centuries yew trees were in short supply in Britain and the wood had to be imported from all over Europe.
125. Column that’s beside the point? : ONES
In a column of numbers that includes a decimal point, the “ones column” is to the left of that point.
126. “Immediately!” : STAT
The exact etymology of “stat”, a term meaning “immediately” in the medical profession, seems to have been lost in the mists of time. It probably comes from the Latin “statim” meaning “to a standstill, immediately”. A blog reader has helpfully suggested that the term may also come from the world of laboratory analysis, where the acronym STAT stands for “short turn-around time”.
3. Grandma Moses subject : RURAL LIFE
Grandma Moses was the nickname of American folk artist Anna Moses. Anna’s moniker is perhaps particularly apt as she really only took up art as a career when she was 78 years old.
4. “O Come, __ Faithful” : ALL YE
The lovely Christmas hymn “Adeste Fideles” (entitle “O Come, All Ye Faithful” in English) was written by one John Francis Wade in the 13th century. Well, he wrote the original four verses, with four more verses being added over time. A kind blog reader pointed out to me that the English translation is in fact a little “off”. The term “adeste” best translates from Latin as “be present, attend”, rather that “come”. The verb “come” appears later in the lyrics in “venite adoremus”, meaning “come, let us worship”.
5. Code of conduct : PROTOCOL
Our word “protocol” can describe a code of conduct, but can also mean the the original record of perhaps a meeting or a transaction. The term ultimately comes from the Greek “protokollon” meaning “first sheet glued into a manuscript”, from “protos” (first) and “kolla” (glue).
6. Moo __ pork : SHU
Moo shu pork (also “mu shu pork”) is a traditional dish from northern China, with the main ingredients being shredded pork and scrambled egg.
11. Dairy Queen Blizzard flavor : OREO
Soft serve ice cream was developed by John McCullough in 1938. McCullough was able to get his new dessert carried by a local ice cream store in Illinois. He and the store owner became so swamped with sales that they opened a store specifically built around the product in Joliet, Illinois, hence creating the first Dairy Queen outlet. There are now over 5,700 Dairy Queen franchises in 19 countries. We’ve even got one in Ireland …
12. Online admins : SYSOPS
System Operator (sysop)
14. Dunkin’ Donuts order : VANILLA CHAI
Chai is a drink made from spiced black tea, honey and milk, with “chai” being the Hindi word for “tea”. We often called tea “a cup of char” growing up in Ireland, with “char” being our slang word for tea, derived from “chai”.
15. Yale nickname : OLD ELI
Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut was founded in 1701, making it the third-oldest university in the US. Originally called the Collegiate School, it was renamed to Yale University in honor of retired merchant from London called Elihu Yale, who made generous contributions to the institution. Yale University’s nickname is “Old Eli”, in a nod to the benefactor.
16. Onetime Bahamian pirate base : NASSAU
Nassau on the island of New Providence is the capital of the Bahamas, and used to be called Charles Town. After being burnt to the ground by the Spanish in 1684, it was rebuilt and named Nassau in honor of King William III of England, a Dutchman from the House of Orange-Nassau (aka William of Orange). Nassau is a favored location for the James Bond series of movies. The city and surroundings feature in “Thunderball”, “Never Say Never Again”, “Casino Royale” and “For Your Eyes Only”.
24. Tagged before reaching, as home : OUT AT
That would be baseball.
29. Restless folk? : NATIVES
As in the phrase “the natives are getting restless”.
35. Looped in, briefly : CC’D
I wonder do the kids of today know that “cc” stands for carbon copy, and do they have any idea what a carbon copy was? Do you remember how messy carbon paper was to handle?
36. Website with detailed instructions : EHOW
eHow is a how-to website that was founded in 1999. eHow has an awful lot of content but doesn’t do a great job of assessing the value of that content. I wouldn’t recommend it …
40. Clearasil competitor : OXY
The OXY Skin Care products were developed by GlaxoSmithKline, but the brand name has been owned by Mentholatum since 2005.
43. Lethal snake : COBRA
“Cobra” is the name given to a group of snakes, some of which are in different animal families. The term “cobra” is reserved for those snakes that can expand their neck ribs to create a hood. The name “cobra” is an abbreviated form of “cobra de capello” which translates from Portuguese as “snake with hood”.
45. Like noble gases : INERT
The rare gases are better known as the noble gases, but neither term is really very accurate. Noble gas might be a better choice though, as they are all relatively nonreactive. But rare they are not. Argon, for example, is a major constituent (1%) of the air that we breathe.
46. Table scrap : ORT
Orts are small scraps of food left after a meal. “Ort” comes from Middle English, and originally described scraps left by animals.
53. Musical with the song “The Gods Love Nubia” : AIDA
The rock musical “Aida” is based on Giuseppe Verdi’s original opera. It premiered in 1998 and is still performed today. Music is by Elton John and lyrics are by Tim Rice.
54. Joey Votto’s team : REDS
Joey Votto is a MLB first baseman from Toronto who made his professional debut with the Cincinnati Red in 2007.
56. Rail stop : DEPOT
Our term “depot”, meaning a station or warehouse, derives from the word “dépôt”, French for “deposit” or “place of deposit”.
61. Software glitch : BUG
Back in 1947, the famed computer programmer Grace Hopper noticed some colleagues fixing a piece of equipment by removing a dead moth from a relay. She remarked that they were “debugging” the system, and so Hopper has been given credit for popularizing the term.
64. Like some ale : PALE
Pale ale is a beer made using mainly pale malt, which results in a relatively light color for a malted beer.
65. David Bowie’s love : IMAN
Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid is a supermodel from Somalia who goes simply by the name “Iman” these days. “Iman” is an Arabic word for “faith”. Iman is smart cookie. Imam has a degree in Political Science and is fluent in five languages: Somali, Arabic, Italian, French and English. Iman was married to English rock star David Bowie from 1992 until his death in 2016.
70. Circles of light : CORONAS
The external part of the sun is made up of ionized material at a very high temperature and a very low density. This external aura is known as the solar corona, with “corona” being Latin for “crown”. The corona is best observed during a solar eclipse, when the bright light from the sun’s main body is blocked by the moon.
71. Diva’s reward : BRAVA!
To express appreciation for a male performer at an operatic performance, traditionally one calls out “bravo!”. Appreciation for a female performer is shown by using “brava!”, and for more than one performer by using “bravi!”
75. Star of David displayer : EL AL
El Al Israel Airlines is the flag carrier of Israel. The term “el al” translates from Hebrew as “to the skies”. The company started operations in 1948, with a flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv.
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.
77. El Cantar de mío __: Castilian epic poem : CID
“El Cantar de mio Cid” (“The Song of my Cid” in English) is an old epic poem from Spain that recounts the exploits of the Castilian hero El Cid. The composition was written sometime between 1140 and 1207.
Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar was known as El Cid Campeador, which translates as “The Champion” or perhaps “The Lord, Master of Military Arts”. El Cid was a soldier who fought under the rule of King Alfonso VI of Spain (among others). However, he was sent into exile by the King in 1080, after acting beyond his authorization in battle. El Cid then offered his services to his former foes, the Moorish kings, After a number of years building a reputation with the Moors, he was recalled from exile by Alfonso. By this time El Cid was very much his own man. Nominally under the orders of Alfonso, he led a combined army of Spanish and Moorish troops and took the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast, making it is headquarters and home. He died there, quite peacefully in 1099.
78. Blue Bird vehicle : BUS
Blue Bird is a manufacturer of buses headquartered in Fort Valley, Georgia. Mainly known for building school buses, Blue Bird also produces specialized vehicles such as mobile libraries and mobile police command centers.
80. Member of a small ruling class : OLIGARCH
An oligarchy is a form of government in which power rests with the few, perhaps with royalty or with the wealthy. The term derives from the Greek “oligos” meaning “few”.
83. Scottish pirate : KIDD
William Kidd was a Scottish privateer who went by the name “Captain Kidd”. Although Kidd was a privateer, someone authorized by the government to attack foreign shipping, he was eventually arrested and executed for piracy. There is common opinion held today that the charges against Kidd were actually trumped up. Captain Kidd’s story was the basis of a 1945 film called “Captain Kidd” starring Charles Laughton in the title role. Laughton also appeared as Captain Kidd in 1952’s comic movie “Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd”.
85. Key & Peele, e.g. : DUO
The Comedy Central sketch show “Key & Peele” starred comics Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. The duo wrote an action comedy film called “Keanu” that was released in 2016. The title character is a cat belonging to the boss of a drug cartel. Haven’t seen it …
89. Brit. medal : DSO
The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a British military award that is usually presented to officers with the rank of major or higher.
93. “À votre __!” : SANTE
“À votre santé” is French for “to your health”. Cheers!
95. Like Beethoven’s Ninth : CHORAL
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is his wonderful “Choral” symphony. When it was composed in 1824 it was the first time that a major composer had used voices in a symphony. By the time of the Ninth’s premier, Beethoven was essentially deaf. He insisted on sharing the stage with the musical director (who was conducting), and was visibly counting out time but was off by quite a few measures. When the last notes were played there was enthusiastic applause, although Beethoven was still conducting. The lead contralto had to walk over to Beethoven, stop him, and turn him to the audience to receive his adulation.
97. 2016 Conn Smythe Trophy recipient Sidney : CROSBY
Sidney Crosby is a professional ice hockey player from Canada, currently captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Crosby has the nicknames “The Next One” and “Sid the Kid”.
The Conn Smythe Trophy has been awarded annually since 1965 to the MVP during the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs. The recipient is decided based on votes submitted by members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. The award is named for Conn Smythe, former owner, general manager and coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
102. Big name in beauty : ESTEE
Estée Lauder was a very successful businesswoman, with a reputation as a great salesperson. Lauder introduced her own line of fragrances in 1953, a bath oil called “Youth Dew”. “Youth Dew” was marketed as a perfume, but it was added to bathwater. All of a sudden women were pouring whole bottles of Ms. Lauder’s “perfume” into their baths while using only a drop or two of French perfumes behind their ears. That’s quite a difference in sales volume …
104. African capital : CAIRO
Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It is the largest city on the continent of Africa and is nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” because of its impressive skyline replete with Islamic architecture. The name “Cairo” is a European corruption of the city’s original name in Arabic, “Al-Qahira”.
111. Kristoff’s pet reindeer in “Frozen” : SVEN
“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”.
114. Tree squirrel’s drey, e.g. : NEST
The nest of a tree squirrel or flying squirrel is known as a “drey” (sometimes “dray”). Squirrels usually build dreys where branches fork in large trees. Dreys can be hard to spot, until the leaves fall late in the year. They are roughly circular structures made from twigs, dry leaves and grass.
117. Slalom curve : ESS
“Slalom” is an anglicized version of the Norwegian word “slalam” that translates as “skiing race”. There is a longer version of the traditional slalom that is called giant slalom