Edited by: Rich Norris
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Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. The punch in Planter’s Punch : ETHANOL
Planter’s Punch is a cocktail that may have originated in the Planters Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina some time in the 19th century, hence the name. It is a rum-based cocktail that also includes several fruit juices, grenadine and Angostura bitters.
14. Disk problem : SCIATICA
Sciatica is pain caused by compression and inflammation of one or both of the sciatic nerves that run from the lower back down to the lower legs.
15. Curly-haired “Peanuts” character : FRIEDA
Charles Schulz introduced the Frieda character in the sixties. She is a little girl with a head of curly, red hair. Schulz modeled Frieda on his longtime friend from real life Frieda Rich, a local artist from Minneapolis.
17. Like rattlers : FANGED
The scales covering the tip of a rattlesnake’s tail are made of keratin, the same structural protein that makes up the outer layer of human skin, as well as our hair and nails. The rattlesnake shakes its tail vigorously to warn off potential predators, causing the hollow scales to vibrate against one another and resulting in that scary “rattle” sound. The rattler’s tail muscles “fire” an incredible fifty times a second to achieve that effect, demonstrating one of the fastest muscular movements in the whole animal kingdom.
19. Former Haitian president : ARISTIDE
John-Bertrand Aristide is a Haitian native. When he was 29 years old he entered the priesthood, after having studied in Italy, Greece and Israel. He served as a priest in Haiti under the brutal regimes of François “Papa Doc” Duvalier and his son, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc”. Aristide became an outspoken critic of the dictators, and many times incurred their wrath. While still a priest, he was elected to the office of president, in the country’s first democratic election. Aristide was also an outspoken critic of the church, and in 1994 left the priesthood, getting married 12 months later.
22. Display some guns : FLEX
“Guns” is a slang term for very strong arms or biceps.
The biceps muscle is made up of two bundles of muscle, both of which terminate at the same point near the elbow. The heads of the bundles terminate at different points on the scapula or shoulder blade. “Biceps” is Latin for “two-headed”.
23. “Wuthering Heights” setting : MOOR
“Wuthering Heights” is the only novel written by Emily Brontë, and one that she published using the pen name Ellis Bell. “Wuthering Heights” was published in December of 1847, a date chosen to take advantage of the wave of success enjoyed by Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” that had been published just two months earlier.
25. Taylor of “American Crime” : LILI
The actress Lili Taylor had supporting roles in films like “Mystic Pizza”, “The Haunting” and “Rudy”. She also had a recurring role in the HBO series “Six Feet Under”.
“American Crime” is a crime drama TV series that ran for three seasons from 2015 to 2017. I haven’t seen this one, but I hear good things.
26. Wedding announcement : BANNS
In the Christian tradition, the banns of marriage are the public announcement posted in a parish church of an intended marriage. The banns are intended to give anyone a chance to raise any valid objections to the union.
28. Sachet filler : LAVENDER
“Lavender” is the common name for the plant genus Lavandula. Lavender is used as an ornamental plants, as a culinary herb and for the production of essential oils. The plant’s name might ultimately be derived from the Latin word “lavare” meaning “to wash”, a reference to the use of essential oils in bathing.
38. Lummox : APE
The word “lummox” comes from East Anglian slang (northeast of London), and describes an ungainly and often clueless person. The term is probably a contraction of “lumbering ox”.
39. Covered carriages : SHAYS
A chaise is a light carriage with a folding hood that transports one or two people. “Chaise” is the French for “chair”, and takes its name from the “sedan chair” means of transportation. In the US, the name “chaise” evolved into “shay”.
42. Reverse of a knit : PURL
As all of us knitters know, the purl stitch and knit stitch are very similar, one being sort of the inverse of the other. Yes, I’ve knitted a few sweaters in my day …
45. Pâté base : FOIE
Pâté is a rich spreadable paste made up of a mixture of ground meat and fat, to which various vegetables, herbs and spices may be added. The most famous version of the paste is pâté de foie gras, made from the fattened livers of geese (“foie gras” means “fat liver” in French).
46. Month after diciembre : ENERO
In Spanish, “el año” (the year) starts in “enero” (January) and ends in “diciembre” (December).
47. Immortal Kiev-born pianist : HOROWITZ
Vladimir Horowitz was a classical pianist from Kiev who escaped to the West in 1925, and then settled in the US. Horowitz was married to Wanda Toscanini, daughter of the famed Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini.
50. Commonly seen brown vehicle : UPS VAN
United Parcel Service (UPS) is based in Sandy Springs, Georgia and has its own airline that operates out of Louisville, Kentucky. UPS often goes by the nickname “Brown”, because of its brown delivery trucks and brown uniforms.
54. Like the praying mantis : ONE-EARED
The term “praying mantis” is often used for species of insects more correctly called simply “mantises”. The familiar term refers to the prayer-like posture adopted by the insect with their fore-limbs folded. Strangely, the praying mantis is the only animal that we know with only one ear. That ear is located deep in the thorax or chest.
55. In Tupperware, say : SEALED
Back in the 1930s, Earl Tupper was working at the DuPont Chemical Company, and from DuPont obtained inflexible pieces of polyethylene slag. Tupper purified the slag and shaped it into unbreakable containers. He added airtight lids with a “burping seal”, which were provided tight seals similar to that provided by the lids on paint cans. He called his new product Tupperware.
2. Dessert with a kick : TIRAMISU
Tiramisu is an Italian cake. The name “tiramisu” translates from Italian as “pull me up”, and is often translated into our English phrase “pick-me-up”.
3. Mad __ : HATTER
In Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, the Mad Hatter makes his first appearance in a chapter called “A Mad Tea-Party”. This event is usually described as “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”, even though the Mad Hatter was just a guest. The host was the March Hare. In fact, the phrase “mad Hatter” doesn’t appear anywhere in Lewis Carroll’s novel, although the character, the Hatter (and sometimes “Hatta”), is described as mad.
5. West Coast ZIP starter : NINE
ZIP codes were introduced in 1963. The acronym ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan, a name indicating that mail travels more efficiently when the codes are included in the postal address.
6. Neatnik’s possible condition, briefly : OCD
Apparently, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the fourth most commonly diagnosed mental disorder, making it about as prevalent as asthma.
7. Mississippi explorer : LA SALLE
The French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the Mississippi River basin for France in 1682. He named the region “La Louisiane” in honor of Louis XIV, who was King of France at that time. It is from “La Louisiane” that we get the state name “Louisiana”.
9. Line 32 items on 1040 forms : IRAS
Here in the US we can choose one of three main forms to file our tax returns. Form 1040 is known as the “long form”. Form 1040A is called the “short form”, and can be used by taxpayers with taxable income below $100,000 who don’t itemize deduction. Form 1040EZ is an even simpler version of the 1040, and can be used by those with taxable income less than $100,000 who take the standard deduction and who also have no dependents. Form 1040 was originally created just for tax returns from 1913, 1914 and 1915, but it’s a form that just keeps on giving, or should I say “taking” …?
10. D, P or S, on quarters : MINT MARK
Mint marks are inscribed on coins to indicate where the coin was minted. In the US, the current mint marks are:
- “P” for the Philadelphia Mint
- “D” for the Denver Mint
- “S” for the San Francisco Mint
- “W” for the West Point Mint
12. Had way too much of : ODED ON
13. Angler’s gear : WADERS
We use the verb “to angle” to mean “to fish” because “angel” was an Old English word for a hook.
14. Grand children? : SPINETS
A spinet is the name given to a smaller version of keyboard instruments, such as the harpsichord, piano or organ. Spinets are still made today, as smaller and cheaper versions of full-size instruments.
20. Pull over, say? : REINJURE
To pull a muscle again is to reinjure said muscle.
22. Fin : FIVE SPOT
The US five-dollar bill is often called an “Abe”, as President Lincoln’s portrait is on the front. An Abe is also referred to as a “fin”, a term that has been used for a five-pound note in Britain since 1868.
28. Wranglers alternative : LEES
The Lee company that’s famous for making jeans was formed in 1889 by one Henry David Lee in Salina, Kansas.
Wrangler is a manufacturer of jeans headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina. Wrangler jeans were first made in the mid-1940s and were designed specifically for use by cowboys in rodeos.
29. Part of DINK : DUAL
The acronym “DINK” stands for “Dual Income, No Kids”, and describes a couple who are both working for a wage, and have no children. The extended term “DINKER” stands for “Dual Income, No Kids, Early Retirement”. The opposite situation is sometimes referred to as SITCOM, meaning “Single Income, Two Children, Oppressive Mortgage”!
31. Fleming work : SPY NOVEL
Ian Fleming is most famous for writing the “James Bond” series of spy novels. You might also know that he wrote the children’s story “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, which was made into a cute movie released in 1968 and even a stage musical that opened in 2002.
35. Ran off : XEROXED
A xerox is a copy made on a xerograph machine. Xerography is a dry photocopying technique that was invented in 1938 by Chester Carlson, although he originally referred to the process as electrophotography. Joseph Wilson commercialized Carlson’s process some years later, coining the term “Xerography” using the Greek words for “dry” and “writing”. Wilson changed the name of his own photographic company to Xerox.
37. Subway alternative : QUIZNOS
Quiznos is one the finer fast food joints, in my humble opinion. The main meal served is a toasted submarine sandwich.
39. Speed down a slope : SCHUSS
A schuss is a very fast run downhill in skiing, with no turns taken to slow the pace of the descent. “Schuss” is a German word for “shot”.
40. Rockers Mott the __ : HOOPLE
Mott the Hoople was a glam rock band from England that was big in the mid-seventies. The name of the band comes from the title of a novel by Willard Manus.
52. Literary assortment : ANA
An ana (plural “anas”) is a collection, perhaps of literature, that represents the character of a particular place or a person. “Ana” can be used as a noun or as a suffix (e.g. “Americana”).