Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s themed answers are common phrases, but with PRO inserted:
- 23A. Website search response with an attitude? : PAGE NOT PROFOUND (from “page not found”)
- 37A. Competition at the geometry fair? : PROTRACTOR PULL (from “tractor pull”)
- 54A. “A penny saved is hardly worth the effort”? : IRREGULAR PROVERB (from “irregular verb”)
- 81A. “I’ll give you five bucks for your Egyptian water lily”? : LOTUS PROPOSITION (from “lotus position”)
- 98A. Positively charged vehicle? : ONE-PROTON TRUCK (from “one-ton truck”)
- 117A. Miscreant handling letters? : MAIL-IN REPROBATE (from “mail-in rebate”)
- 16D. Quality control job at a maraschino factory? : PROBING CHERRIES (from “Bing cherries”)
- 42D. Feature of Charlie Brown’s head? : CIRCULAR PROFILE (from “circular file”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
6. Second-rarest blood type, briefly : B-NEG
Here is an approximate distribution of blood types across the US population:
- O-positive: 38 percent
- O-negative: 7 percent
- A-positive: 34 percent
- A-negative: 6 percent
- B-positive: 9 percent
- B-negative: 2 percent
- AB-positive: 3 percent
- AB-negative: 1 percent
14. Worked at home : UMPED
That would be baseball.
21. “Hamilton” accolade : OBIE
The Obies are the “Off-Broadway Theater Awards”. The Obies are presented annually and the recipients are chosen by “The Village Voice” newspaper.
“Hamilton” is a 2015 musical based on the life or US Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, as described in the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow. The show opened off-Broadway in February 2015, and transferred to Broadway in August of the same year. Advance ticket sales for the Broadway production were unprecedented, and reportedly amounted to $30 million. The representations of the main characters is decidedly ground-breaking. The show is rooted in hip-hop and the main roles such as Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are all played by African-American and Hispanic actors.
22. “Ici on __ français” : PARLE
“Ici on parle français” translates from French as “Here, one speaks French”.
25. Spirits strength : PROOF
Alcoholic proof is a measure of the alcoholic strength of a beverage. In the US, alcoholic proof is twice the alcohol by volume (ABV), and ABV is simply the volume of alcohol in a the beverage compared to its total volume, and expressed as a percentage. Therefore a liquor that is 50% ABV, is 100 proof. The concept of “proof” dates back to the days of British sailors being paid partly with rations of rum. A “proof spirit” was the most dilute spirit that would sustain combustion of gunpowder. Simply stated, if the rum that a sailor was given was so dilute that it doused burning gunpowder, then it was unacceptable to the sailor. The person providing the rum had to give “proof” that the rum would catch light, proving it was strong enough to be used as payment. It was found experimentally that rum of 57.15% ABV was the lowest concentration that could sustain a flame, so this was named as 100 degrees proof. But nowadays we round down to 50% ABV.
26. Seven Wonders lighthouse : PHAROS
Alexandria is the largest seaport in Egypt. As one might tell from its name, the city was founded by Alexander the Great, in about 331 BC. Alexandria was the capital city of Egypt for almost a thousand years and was one of the most famous cities in the ancient world. It was also famous for its lighthouse, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The lighthouse was located on the island of Pharos, just off the coast of Alexandria, an island which gave its name to the lighthouse.
28. Mite : WEE BIT
A mite is a small amount, as in “the widow’s mite”, a story from the Bible.
29. “Round __ virgin … ” : YON
“’Round yon virgin, mother and child” is a line from the Christmas carol “Silent Night”.
The beautiful Christmas carol “Silent Night” was first performed in Austria in 1818, with words by a priest, Father Joseph Mohr, and melody by an Austrian headmaster, Franz Xaver Gruber. The carol was in German and called “Stille Nacht”. The English translation that we use today was provided to us by an American bishop in 1859, John Freeman Young from Florida.
33. “Guys and Dolls” composer : LOESSER
Frank Loesser was a songwriter who was famous for penning both lyrics and music for the Broadway show “Guys and Dolls” and “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying”. Loesser also wrote the marvelous song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.
“Guys and Dolls” is a musical with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser. It was first produced on Broadway, in 1950, and ran for 1200 performances. The show was based on a book written by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, which book was inspired by the short stories :The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown” and “Blood Pressure” by Damon Runyon. “Guys and Dolls” was chosen as winner of a Pulitzer in 1951, but the award was cancelled as Abe Burrows was having problems with the House Un-American Activities Committee at the time.
36. Archipelago part: Abbr. : ISL
“Archipelago” is a name often used for a group or chain of islands. “Archipelago” is our spelling of the Italian “arcipelago”, a word that has Greek roots. “Arcipelago” was the proper name for the Aegean Sea in Greek, a word that was eventually used for the Aegean Islands.
40. Marshal at Waterloo : NEY
Michel Ney was one of the first 18 Marshals of France created by Napoleon. When Bonaparte was eventually defeated for the last time, Ney was arrested and sentenced to death. He was executed in Paris by firing squad. Nay refused to wear a blindfold, and demanded that he himself be allowed to give the order to fire.
41. Pre-A.D. : 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.
46. Ballerina Shearer : MOIRA
Moira Shearer was a ballet dancer and actress born Scotland. Shearer’s most famous film role was in 1948’s “The Red Shoes”, in which she played the lead character, a ballet dancer called Vicky Page. She was married to the respected English journalist and broadcaster Ludovic Kennedy.
52. Lats relatives : PECS
“Pecs” is the familiar term for the chest muscle, more correctly known as the pectoralis major muscle. “Pectus” is a the Latin word for “breast, chest”.
The muscles known as the “lats” are the latissimi dorsi, the broadest muscles in the back. “Latissimus” is the Latin for “broadest” and “dorsum” is Latin for “back”.
61. Burkini wearer, perhaps : ARAB
A “burkini” is a woman’s swimsuit that covers almost all of the body, leaving just the face, hands and feet visible. The burkini was created by Lebanese-born Australian fashion designer Aheda Zanetti, with the intent of providing clothing in accord with the Islamic tradition of modest dress. The term “burkini” is a portmanteau of “burqa” and “bikini”.
62. Saltimbocca herb : SAGE
Saltimbocca is a dish from southern Europe made of veal topped with prosciutto and sage, and then marinated in perhaps wine. The name “saltimbocca” is Italian for “jump in the mouth”.
65. 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.
66. “‘Scuse Me While __ This Guy: and Other Misheard Lyrics”: Gavin Edwards book : I KISS
The author Gavin Edwards published a book in 1995 called “’Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy”, which is a book listing commonly misheard lyrics of popular songs. The title is a reference to the lyric “’Scuse me while I kiss the sky” from the 1961 Jimi Hendrix song “Purple Haze”, a lyric which is often heard as “’Scuse me while I kiss this guy”.
72. 89-Across’ Illinois headquarters : MOLINE
(89A. Farm equipment giant : DEERE)
Moline is a city in Illinois located on the border with Iowa. The biggest employer in town by far is John Deere, which has its headquarters there.
79. 66, e.g.: Abbr. : RTE
The famous old highway called Route 66 has largely been replaced by modern interstates. It ran from Chicago to Los Angeles, right through the heart of America, and so it was often called the “Main Street of America”. The road gained notoriety because of Nat King Cole’s song “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66”, and also because of the sixties TV show called “Route 66”.
80. Carrier known for tight security : 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.
81. “I’ll give you five bucks for your Egyptian water lily”? : LOTUS PROPOSITION (from “lotus position”)
The blue lotus is a water lily that is also known as the sacred lily of the Nile. In Egyptian mythology, the blue lotus was a symbol of the sun, as the flowers close at night and open in the morning.
Asana is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “sitting down”. The asanas are the poses that a practitioner of yoga assumes. The most famous is the lotus position, the cross-legged pose called “padmasana”.
86. Spanish 101 word : ERES
“Eres tú” is Spanish for “you are”.
88. Gorilla, for example : GREAT APE
The hominids are the great apes, and belong to the family of primates called Hominidae. Extant genera that make up the family Hominidae are:
The gorilla is the largest primate still in existence, and is one of the nearest living species to humans. Molecular biology studies have shown that our nearest relatives are in fact the species in the genus Pan (the chimpanzee and the bonobo), which split from the human branch of the family 4-6 million years ago. Gorillas and humans diverged at a point about 7 million years ago. The term “gorilla” derives from the Greek “gorillai” meaning “tribe of hairy women”. Wow!
89. Farm equipment giant : DEERE
John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. Prior to Deere’s invention, farmers used an iron or wooden plow that constantly had to be cleaned as rich soil stuck to its surfaces. The cast-steel plow was revolutionary as its smooth sides solved the problem of “stickiness”. The Deere company that John founded uses the slogan “Nothing Runs Like a Deere”, and has a leaping deer as its logo.
90. Actress __ Sue Martin : PAMELA
The actress Pamela Sue Martin is perhaps best known for playing Nancy Drew on the “The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries” TV series in the seventies, and spoiled heiress Fallon Carrington Colby in the nighttime soap “Dynasty” in the eighties. Interestingly, Martin left both shows of her own accord, so that the roles had to be recast.
92. Do fair work : GET A C
A homework assigned a grade of “C” might be considered “fair” work.
95. Mule’s father : ASS
A hinny is the offspring of a male horse (the “h-” from h-orse) and a female donkey/ass (the “-nny” from je-nny). A mule is more common, and is the offspring of a female horse and male donkey/ass.
96. Cabinet dept. : AGR
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) actually dates back to 1862 when it was established by then-president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln referred to the USDA as the “people’s department” as our economy had such a vast agrarian base back then.
In the Westminster system, the Cabinet is a group of sitting politicians chosen by the Prime Minister to head up government departments and also to participate collectively in major governmental decisions in all areas. In the US system, the Cabinet is made up not of sitting politicians, but rather of non-legislative individuals who are considered to have expertise in a particular area. The Cabinet members in the US system tend to have more of an advisory role outside of their own departments.
98. Positively charged vehicle? : ONE-PROTON TRUCK (from “one-ton truck”)
A proton is a subatomic particle, with at least one found in the nucleus of every atom. A proton is not a “fundamental particle”, as it itself is made up of three quarks; two up quarks and one down quark.
105. River past Logroño : EBRO
The city of Logroño in northern Spain is the capital of the province of La Rioja. The economy of Logroño is heavily dependent on the wine industry as the city is a center of the trade in the world famous Rioja wine.
The Ebro is the longest river in Spain. The river was known by the Romans as the Iber, and it is the “Iber” river that gives the “Iberian” Peninsula its name.
109. Obliterate : EFFACE
“To efface” is to erase or obliterate. coming from the MIddle French “effacer” meaning “to wipe out”, or more literally “to remove the face”.
114. Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto : ALOMAR
Roberto Alomar is a former Major League Baseball player, considered by many to be the greatest ever second baseman. Alomar won 10 Gold Glove awards in his career, which is more than any other second baseman in history.
116. “If I Were __ Man” : A RICH
If I Were a Rich Man” is a wonderful song from the 1964 musical “Fiddler on the Roof”. The musical is based on stories about “Tevye the Dairyman” by Yiddish author Sholem Aleichem. The song’s title is inspired by a specific Sholem Aleichem monologue entitled “If I Were a Rothschild”, a reference to the wealthy Rothschild family.
121. Fracas : MELEE
Our word “melee” comes from the French “mêlée”, and in both languages the word means “confused fight”.
“Fracas” is a French word that we absorbed into English. In turn, the French usage evolved from the Italian “fracasso” meaning “uproar, crash”.
122. Chow : EATS
“Chow” is an American slang term for food that originated in California in the mid-1800s. “Chow” comes from the Chinese pidgin English “chow-chow” meaning “food”.
124. Ranked tournament players : SEEDS
A “seeded” player or team in a tournament is one given a preliminary ranking that is used in the initial draw. The intention is that the better competitors do are less likely to meet each other in the early rounds.
125. “Let’s Get It On” singer : GAYE
“Let’s Get It On” is a song by Marvin Gaye, first recorded in 1973. The song’s lyrics have to be among the most sexually charged in the popular repertoire, and helped to earn Gaye a reputation as a sex icon.
2. Snake state : IDAHO
The Snake River in the US northwest is the largest tributary of the Columbia River.
3. New England touchdown site : LOGAN
Boston’s Logan Airport is named after General Edward Lawrence Logan, a military officer from South Boston who fought in the Spanish-American War.
4. River of Germany : EDER
The Eder is a river in Germany, a tributary of the Fulda River. The Eder has a dam near the small town of Waldeck which holds water in the large Edersee reservoir. This was one of the dams that was attacked by the RAF during WWII with the famous Barnes Wallis bouncing bombs. It was destroyed in the Dam Busters raid in 1943, but rebuilt the same year.
5. “The Bathers” artist : RENOIR
“The Bathers” is a 1918/1919 oil painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir that is housed in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. One of the models Renoir used for the work was actress Catherine Hessling. A few years after posing, Hessling married Pierre-Auguste’s son Jean Renoir, who was to become one of France’s most famous film directors.
6. Short lunch order? : BLT
The BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) is the second most popular sandwich in the US, after the plain old ham sandwich.
8. Writes ths clue, say : ERRS
There’s an error, a typo in this clue, as “ths” should read “this”.
10. __ doll : VOODOO
Voodoo is a religion that originated the French slave colony of Saint-Domingue on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.
13. Brother of Jack and Bobby : TED
Ted Kennedy was the youngest boy in the family that included his older brothers: Joseph Jr. (killed in action in WWII), John (assassinated) and Robert (assassinated). Ted went into the US Senate in 1962 in a special election held after his brother became US President. He remained in the Senate until he passed away in 2009, making Ted Kennedy the fourth-longest-serving Senator in history.
President John F. Kennedy was often referred to by his initials JFK, the F standing for Fitzgerald, his mother’s maiden name. The president’s brother Robert F. Kennedy was also referred to using his initials, RFK, with the F standing for his middle name Francis.
15. Farm girl : MARE
There are lots of terms to describe horses of different ages and sexes, it seems:
- Foal: horse of either sex that is less that one year old
- Yearling: horse of either sex that is one to two years old
- Filly: female horse under the age of four
- Colt: male horse under the age of four
- Gelding: castrated male horse of any age
- Stallion: non-castrated male horse four years or older
- Mare: female horse four years or older
16. Quality control job at a maraschino factory? : PROBING CHERRIES (from “Bing cherries”)
The bing cherry is the most widely grown sweet cherry in the US. The cultivar was created in Oregon in 1875 by Seth Lewelling. Lewelling was a horticulturist, and he named the cherry for his Chinese foreman Ah Bing.
Maraschino liqueur gets its name from the Marasca cherry that is used in its preparation. Traditionally, whole Marasca cherries would be preserved in the maraschino, giving rise to the name “maraschino cherry”. The maraschino cherries that are served up today are a very different product, with not one Marasca cherry in sight. And, there’s a lot of brine used in the preparation, as well as sulfur dioxide, calcium carbonate, sugar syrup and food coloring. Enjoy …
17. Plaza Hotel imp : ELOISE
Kay Thompson wrote the “Eloise” series of children’s books. Kay Thompson actually lived at the Plaza Hotel in New York, the setting she would choose for her “Eloise” stories. Eloise started out as a hit song for Thompson, a success that she parlayed into the book franchise.
20. Sagan series : COSMOS
“Cosmos: A Personal Journey” is a TV show co-written and presented by astronomer Carl Sagan. Originally airing in 1980, it was the most-watched series in the history of public television until Ken Burns started to produce his documentaries a decade later. Sagan’s opening words for the series are:
The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.
28. Bandleader Lawrence : WELK
The bandleader and accordion player Lawrence Welk hosted “The Lawrence Welk Show” for over thirty years starting in 1951. Lawrence was from Strasburg, North Dakota and grew up in a German-speaking community. His parent were ethnic Germans who emigrated to the US from Odessa, now in Ukraine.
31. Sport-__ : UTE
A utility vehicle is often called a “ute” for short. Nowadays one mainly hears about sports utes and crossover utes.
34. Holder of disks : SPINE
Our intervertebral discs are composed mainly of cartilage. They perform the crucial functions of separating the vertebrae while allowing slight movement, and also absorbing shock. A “slipped disc” isn’t really a disc that has “slipped”, but rather a disc that “bulges”. If that bulge causes pressure on the sciatic nerve then the painful condition known as sciatica can result.
37. Famille member : PERE
In French, a father (père) is a member of the family (membre de la famille).
38. British philosopher A.J. : AYER
The British philosopher A. J. Ayer wasn’t only an academic, he was also an officer in the UK’s Special Operations Executive and MI6 during WWII.
42. Feature of Charlie Brown’s head? : CIRCULAR PROFILE (from “circular file”)
A wastebasket is in an office is sometimes referred to as the “circular file”.
The characters in the cartoon series “Peanuts” were largely drawn from Charles Schultz’s own life, with shy and withdrawn Charlie Brown representing Schultz himself.
47. “Encore!” : AGAIN!
“Encore” is French for “again, one more time”, and is a shout that an audience member will make here in North America to request another song, say. But, the term is not used this way in France. Rather, the audience will shout “Bis!”, which is the Italian for “twice!”
49. Lyricist Gershwin : IRA
Ira Gershwin was the lyricist who worked with his brother George to create such American classics as the songs “I Got Rhythm” and “Someone to Watch Over Me”, as well as the opera “Porgy and Bess”. After George Gershwin died, Ira continued to create great music, working with the likes of Jerome Kern and Kurt Weill.
50. Eggy quaff : NOG
It’s not really clear where the term “nog” (as in “eggnog”) comes from although it might derive from the word “noggin”, which was originally a small wooden cup that was long associated with alcoholic drinks.
51. Composer Charles : IVES
Charles Ives was one of the great classical composers, probably the first American to be so recognized. Sadly, his work largely went unsung (pun intended!) during his lifetime, and was really only accepted into the performed repertoire after his death in 1954.
53. Hill hundred : SENATORS
The six-year terms enjoyed by US senators are staggered, so that every two years about one third of the 100 US Senate seats come up for reelection.
55. Classic TV nerd : URKEL
Steve Urkel is a character on the TV show “Family Matters” that aired in the late eighties and nineties. The Urkel character was the archetypal “geek”, played by Jaleel White. Urkel was originally written into the show’s storyline for just one episode, but before long, Urkel was the show’s most popular recurring character.
56. Chou En-__ : LAI
Zhou Enlai (also “Chou En-Lai”) was the first government leader of the People’s Republic of China and held the office of Premier from 1949 until he died in 1976. Zhou Enlai ran the government for Communist Party Leader Mao Zedong, often striking a more conciliatory tone with the West than that of his boss. He was instrumental, for example, in setting up President Nixon’s famous visit to China in 1972. Zhou Enlai died just a few months before Mao Zedong, with both deaths leading to unrest and a dramatic change in political direction for the country.
59. Fruit-ripening gas : ETHENE
Ethylene (also called “ethene”) has a gazillion uses, including as an anesthetic and an aid to hastening the ripening of fruit. Ethylene’s most common use is as a major raw material in the manufacture of plastics (like polyethylene).
67. Revolve on an axis : SLUE
“To slue” (also “slew) is to turn sharply, or to rotate on an axis.
69. Lab dispenser : PIPETTE
A pipette (also “pipet”) is tool used in a lab to transport an accurately measured volume of liquid. Back in my day, we would suck up the liquid into the pipette by applying our mouths to the top of the instrument. This could be quite dangerous, as one ended up with a mouthful of something unsavory if one lifted the top of pipette out of the liquid too soon. Nowadays, things are much safer.
70. Prefix with meter : ODO-
An odometer measures distance traveled. “Odometer comes from the Greek “hodos” meaning “path” and “metron” meaning “measure”.
73. Intestinal divisions : ILEA
The human ileum is the lowest part of the small intestine, found below the jejunum and above the cecum of the large intestine.
75. Spanish pronoun : ESA
In Spanish, the other (otra) is neither this (esta) not that (esa).
77. “Rocky IV” boxer Ivan __ : DRAGO
Dolph Lundgren is an actor and martial artist from Sweden. Lundgren’s debut role was a small one, acting as a KGB henchman in the James Bond movie “A View to a Kill”. His big break was starring opposite Sylvester Stallone in “Rocky IV”, playing a scary Russian boxer named Ivan Drago.
85. Deck wood : TEAK
Teak is a hardwood tree in the mint family, commonly found in monsoon forests of Asia. Teak’s tight grain and high oil content make it very suitable for constructing outdoor furniture, where weather resistance is valued. For the same reason, teak is the wood of choice for wooden decks on boats.
87. Osculates : SMOOCHES
To osculate is to kiss. The term comes from Latin, specifically from “os” meaning “mouth” via “osculum” meaning “little mouth”.
93. Wall St. hedger : ARB
“Arb” is short for an arbitrageur, one who profits from the purchase of securities in one market and the subsequent sale in another, hence taking advantage of price discrepancies across markets.
Originally, a “hedge fund” was a fund that paired long and short positions in a strategy designed to “hedge” market risk, to avoid major losses. That’s far from the case today, as hedge funds are now relatively high risk/reward investments that are not available to the general public as they avoid or partially avoid regulatory oversight.
94. Arrow poison : CURARE
Curare is the name given to the toxin(s) used historically by South American peoples to paralyze their prey. The tips of arrows and blowgun darts are dipped in curare so that when a hunted animal is pierced with a poisoned projectile it asphyxiates as the curare paralyzes the respiratory muscles.
99. Hole-in-one, for one : RARITY
One well-documented hole-in-one (ace) was during a round of the British Open in 1973. American golfer Gene Sarazen achieved the feat that day, at the age of 71. A less well-documented series of holes-in-one was reported by the North Korean press in a story about the Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The report was that Kim Jong-il scored 11 holes-in-one in his one and only round of golf.
101. Actress Hatcher : TERI
Teri Hatcher’s most famous role is the Susan Mayer character on the TV comedy-drama “Desperate Housewives”. I’ve never seen more than a few minutes of “Housewives” but I do know Teri Hatcher as a Bond girl, as she appeared in “Tomorrow Never Dies”. More recently, she portrayed Lois Lane on the show “Lois & Clark”.
102. Time periods? : COLONS
We routinely use a colon to separate hours and minutes when writing a time of day (“09:15”, for example). When reading British English, we’re more likely to see a period (“full stop”) used for the same purpose (as in “09.15”).
106. Muscat native : OMANI
Muscat is the capital of Oman, and lies on the northeast coast of the state on the Gulf of Oman, a branch of the Persian Gulf.
108. Retired sportscaster Musburger : BRENT
Brent Musburger was one of the original presenters of CBS’s program “The NFL Today”, and was considered by many to be the network’s top sportscaster. One of Musburger’s claims to fame is that he is considered the first broadcaster to describe the NCAA Basketball Championship as “March Madness”.
112. At a Dodger game, for short : IN LA
The Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team were known as the Brooklyn Dodgers before the franchise moved to California. Before being known as the Dodgers, the team was known in Brooklyn as the Robins, the Superbas, the Trolley Dodgers, the Bridegrooms/Grooms, the Grays and the Atlantics.
115. Parting words? : OBIT
“Obituary” comes from the Latin “obituaris”, originally the record of the death of a person, although the literal meaning is “pertaining to death”.
117. Bit of RAM : MEG
In the world of computers, a “bit” is the basic unit of information. It has a value of 0 or 1. A “byte” is a small collection of bits (usually 8), the number of bits needed to uniquely identify a character of text. The prefix mega- stands for 10 to the power of 6, so a megabyte (meg) is 1,000,000 bytes. And the prefix giga- means 10 to the power of 9, so a gigabyte (gig) is 1,000,000,000 bytes. Well, those are the SI definitions of megabyte and kilobyte. The purists still use 2 to the power of 20 for a megabyte (i.e. 1,048,576), and 2 to the power of 30 for a gigabyte.
Random-access memory (RAM) is a form of computer storage.
118. Drivers’ org. : AAA
The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a not-for-profit organization focused on lobbying, provision of automobile servicing, and selling of automobile insurance. The AAA was founded in 1902 in Chicago and published the first of its celebrated hotel guides back in 1917.
119. What Zener cards purportedly tested for : ESP
Zener cards were developed in the early thirties by psychologist Karl Zener, for use in experiments related to extra-sensory perception (ESP). These five simple and distinctive cards replaced the standard deck of cards that had been used in trials up to that point. The five symbols used on the cards are a circle, a cross, three wavy lines, a square and a star.