Edited by: Rich Norris
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Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
1. Veal __ : PARM
Parmigiana is a dish from southern Italy. The original parmigiana was made with an aubergine (eggplant) filling, with cheese and tomato layers and then baked. Versions originating outside of Italy have replaced the aubergine with breaded cutlets of chicken or veal.
9. Actress Thompson of “Creed” : TESSA
Tessa Thompson is an actress from Los Angeles who is known for playing the supporting role of Jackie Cook on the TV show “Veronica Mars”, and for playing student leader Diane Nash in the 2014 film “Selma”.
“Creed” is a 2015 boxing movie, the seventh in the “Rocky” franchise. Sylvester Stallone returns as Rocky Balboa, but this time as a trainer. Rocky trains Apollo Creed’s son Adonis. Stallone was nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role in the film. It was the first Academy Award nomination he had received since the first “Rocky” film, which was released almost forty years earlier.
15. Posh “Peace!” : TA-TA!
An Englishman might say “ta-ta” or “cheerio” instead of “goodbye”. Well, supposedly so …
17. Israeli foreign minister during the Six-Day War : EBAN
Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician, born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban in Cape Town, South Africa. While working at the United Nations after WWII, Eban changed his given name to “Abba”, the Hebrew word for “father”. He made this change as reportedly as he could see himself as the father of the nation of Israel.
The Six-Day War took place from June 5th to June 10th, 1967, and was fought between Israel and its neighbors Egypt, Jordan and Syria. By the time the ceasefire was signed, Israel had seized huge swaths of land formerly controlled by Arab states, namely the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank of the Jordan River and the Golan Heights. The overall territory under the control of Israel grew by a factor of three in just six days.
18. It began in 2010 with the Tunisian Revolution : ARAB SPRING
The term “Arab Spring” has been applied to the wave of protests, riots and civil wars that impacted the Arab world from 2010 to 2012. The uprisings were sparked by the Tunisian Revolution at the end of 2010 that led to the ouster of the longtime president and the institution of democratic elections. The period of instability that followed in some Arab League countries has been dubbed the “Arab Winter”.
20. Legendary Shawnee leader : TECUMSEH
Tecumseh was a leader of the Shawnee nation who pulled together a large tribal confederacy that opposed the US in what became known as Tecumseh’s War. Tecumseh’s War spilled over into the War of 1812 when Tecumseh’s confederacy became an ally of the British. Tecumseh was killed in 1813 by American forces at the Battle of the Thames, after which his confederacy disintegrated.
22. __ Rico : PUERTO
Puerto Rico is located in the northeastern Caribbean (in the Atlantic Ocean), east of the Dominican Republic. The name “Puerto Rico” is Spanish for “rich port”. The locals often call their island Borinquen, the Spanish form of “Boriken”, the original name used by the natives.
27. Greek walkways : STOAS
A stoa was a covered walkway in Ancient Greece. A stoa usually consisted of columns lining the side of a building or buildings, with another row of columns defining the other side of the walkway. The columns supported a roof. Often stoae would surround marketplaces in large cities.
29. Spy-fi employer : CIA
Spy-fi is spy fiction that includes elements of science fiction.
30. Boggy biomes : FENS
I tend to think of “biome” is another word for ecosystem.
31. False pretenses : MOUNTEBANKERY
A mountebank is a charlatan, a swindler. The term applies more specifically to someone who sells quack medicines to a small crowd, using tricks and exaggerated stories to convince individuals to purchase. “Mountebank” comes into English via Italian from “monta” meaning “to mount” and “banco” meaning “bench”. The idea is that the swindler would “mount a bench” from where he can address the crowd and hawk his fraudulent wares.
37. Denzel Washington’s directorial debut : ANTWONE FISHER
“Antwone Fisher” is a 2002 movie for which Denzel Washington made his directorial debut and in which he starred. The film is biographical, and is based on the real Antwone Fisher’s 2001 biographical book “Finding Fish”. Fisher had been born while his mother was in prison, after which he ended up in an abusive foster care situation. He pulled his life together and made a career for himself in the US Navy. After leaving the Navy, Fisher worked as a security guard are Sony Pictures where he met producer Todd Black, who made the film based on Fisher’s life story.
Denzel Washington is an actor from Mount Vernon, just outside New York City. Washington’s big break came with a TV role, playing Dr. Philip Chandler on “St. Elsewhere” from 1982 to 1988.
39. Gigging group : BAND
Musicians use “gig” to describe a job, a performance. The term originated in the early 1900s in the world of jazz.
42. Company with “It’s what you do” ads : GEICO
GEICO was founded in 1936 with a very specific mission, to provide auto insurance for employees of the federal government and their families, hence the name Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO). GEICO is a private company, despite the word “government” in its name. The founders’ idea was to focus on government employees as they believed such a group represented a lower risk profile than the rest of the population. Nowadays any qualifying person can take out a policy with GEICO.
43. Briefs brand : BVD
The men’s underwear known as BVDs are made by the Bradley, Voorhees & Day. The company was started in 1876 to make bustles for women, and is named for its founders.
44. Woolf’s “__ Dalloway” : MRS
“Mrs. Dalloway” is a novel by Virginia Woolf that was first published in 1925. The story tells of a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a day in which she is preparing for a party that she is hosting. The novel has been compared to “Ulysses” by James Joyce, a story about a day in the life of Leopold Bloom.
47. 44-Across, in Andalusia : SRA
(44. Woolf’s “__ Dalloway” : MRS)
The equivalent of “Mrs.” in French is “Mme.” (Madame), in Spanish is “Sra.” (Señora) and in Portuguese is also “Sra.” (Senhora).
Andalusia (“Andalucía” in Spanish) is one of the seventeen autonomous communities in the Kingdom of Spain, and is the most southerly. The capital of Andalusia is the old city of Seville. The name Andalusia comes from its Arabic name, Al-Andalus, reflecting the region’s history as the center of Muslim power in Iberia during medieval times.
48. __ beef : CORNED
Corned beef is beef that has been cured with salt. “Corn” is an alternative term for a grain of salt, giving the dish its name. Corned beef is also known as “salt beef”, and “bully beef” if stored in cans (from the French “bouilli” meaning “boiled”).
50. Separated seed from : THRESHED
Years ago I was taking a tour of a beautiful Elizabethan manor house in England, and was told a little “threshing” story by the guide as we stood in one of the rooms. She reminded us that threshing was the removal of seeds from chaff, and told us that back in the day the “chaff” was sometimes called the “thresh”. Thresh would be used on the floors, particularly in the kitchen areas where it would soak up spills and provide some thermal insulation, much as sawdust was used in my favorite pubs many moons ago. She pointed to two slots at the bottom of the door jambs where she said a low board was placed upright on the floor, to hold the thresh in the room. The board was called a “thresh-hold”, giving us our contemporary word “threshold”. I am not sure if all of that is really true, but it makes a nice story.
52. Epic salvo of social media missives : TWEETSTORM
A salvo is a simultaneous discharge of guns. Ironically, “salvo” comes from the Latin “salve” meaning “be in good health”. Salvo was originally the name given to the firing of guns in the air as a sign of respect or greeting for an important visitor. Good health!
58. More bizarre : ODDER
“Bizarre” is a French word, with the same meaning in French as English. However, back in the 16th century, “bizarre” used to mean “handsome, brave” in French. So that’s what my wife means when she refers to me as “bizarre” …
60. Iraq War concerns, for short : WMDS
The first recorded use of the term “Weapon of Mass Destruction” (WMD) was in 1937. The words were used by Cosmo Gordon Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, in reference to the bombardment of Guernica in Spain during the Spanish Civil War by the German Luftwaffe. He said, “Who can think without horror of what another widespread war would mean, waged as it would be with all the new weapons of mass destruction?”
1. Old doctrinal Lutheran movement : PIETISM
Pietism was a movement in the Lutheran tradition that emphasised piety and the living of a vigorous Christian Life. The movement was founded by Philipp Jakob Spener who outlined his proposals for restoring the life of the Church in a pamphlet title “Pia desideria”.
2. Mineral involved in much litigation : ASBESTOS
Asbestos was very, very popular in so many applications for many years. The world’s largest asbestos mine was in Quebec, Canada in the town of … Asbestos.
3. Nonprofit that won a 2007 UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy : REACH OUT AND READ
Reach Out and Read (ROR) is an organization founded in 1989 at Boston City Hospital. ROR is an advocate for child literacy that provides books appropriate for very young children and provides these books at pediatric checkups. The ROR program focuses on encouraging parents to read to their children.
7. Where I-15 and I-80 meet : UTAH
Interstate 15 runs north-south from the US-Canada border at Sweet Grass, Montana to San Diego, California.
Interstate 80 is the second-longest highway in the US (after I-90). It runs east-west from San Francisco, California to Teaneck, New Jersey. I-80 largely follows the route of the first road across America, the historic Lincoln Highway.
The Lincoln Highway was dedicated in 1913, and stretched from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco. The highway stretched 3,389 miles through 13 states. In the days when the automobile was coming into its own, the Lincoln Highway brought prosperity to the hundreds of cities through which it passed, earning it the nickname “the Main Street Across America”.
8. Where charges are entered at the bar : TAB
When we “run a tab” at a bar say, we are “running a tabulation”, a listing of what we owe. Such a use of “tab” is American slang that originated in the 1880s.
10. Tours to be? : ETRE
Tours is the largest city in the Centre region of France. It is said that the people of Tours speak the “purest” form of French in the whole country, and when spoken by a local it is also said to be free of any accent.
11. First black U.S. Congresswoman : SHIRLEY CHISHOLM
When Shirley Chisholm was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1968, she became the first African-American member of the US Congress. Four years later, Chisholm was the first African-American to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.
13. Specialized idioms : ARGOTS
“Argot” is a French term, the name given in the 17th century to “the jargon of the Paris underworld”. Nowadays argot is the set of idioms used by any particular group, the “lingo” of that group.
25. __-nez glasses : PINCE
Pince-nez are eyeglasses clipped to the bridge of the nose. “Pince-nez” is French, translating as “pinch the nose”.
28. Vishy __, World Chess Champion before Carlsen : ANAND
Vishy Anand is a former World Chess Champion, and India’s first grandmaster.
Magnus Carlsen is a chess grandmaster from Norway who first became World Chess Champion in 2013. Carlsen achieved world no. 1 ranking for the first time in 2010 when he was just 19 years of age, making him the youngest player ever to be so honored.
29. Crunch and others? : CAP’NS
The first Cap’n Crunch commercials aired in 1963, at the time the product line was launched. The Cap’n’s full name is Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch, would you believe? Crunch’s voice was provided for many years by Daws Butler, the same voice actor who gave us Yogi Bear and Huckleberry Hound. Cap’n Crunch is commander of the S.S. Guppy.
30. Bichon __ : FRISE
The breed of dog known as a Bichon Frisé is characteristically small and fluffy.
32. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” director : EDWARDS
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is a 1958 novella written by Truman Capote. Truman’s colorful protagonist in the story is Holiday “Holly” Golightly, who was played so very, very ably by Audrey Hepburn in the marvelous 1961 movie adaptation. It must be said that the film is a rather loose interpretation of Capote’s novella.
“Blake Edwards” was the professional name used by film director, screenwriter and producer William Blake Crump. Edwards directed some great movies, including “Operation Petticoat” (1959) and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961). However, Edwards is most associate with “The Pink Panther” series of films, many of which involved him as director, screenwriter and producer.
34. Expatriate : EMIGRE
An “émigré” is an emigrant. The term is French in origin, and particularly applies to someone who is a political refugee from his or her native land.
38. Bus meets, e.g. : ROADEOS
A “roadeo” is a competition held between drivers of buses or trucks. Obviously, the term is a play on the words “road” and “rodeo”.
39. “The Great British Bake Off” airer, initially : BBC TWO
BBC Two is the second television channel launched by the UK’s British Broadcasting System. BBC Two first hit the airwaves in 1964, and in 1967 became the first channel in Europe to broadcast regularly in color.
“The Great British Bake Off” is a television baking competition introduced by the BBC in the UK in 2010. The show was a phenomenal and perhaps surprising success almost immediately. “Bake Off” is rebroadcast in the US by PBS as “The Great British Baking Show”. There was great controversy in the UK in 2016 when the BBC couldn’t find the fund to pay the producers for the show, and so it had moved to a new channel, with a new set of hosts. The BBC hosts decided not to move with the show, saying they weren’t interested in the “dough” (their pun!).
44. One fed on the street : METER
An early patent for a parking meter, dated 1928, was for a device that required the driver of the parked car to connect the battery of his or her car to the meter in order for it to operate!
45. Sharp pang : THROE
Our contemporary word “throe”, meaning a spasm of pain, has been around since the early 1600s. It is a different spelling of the word “throwe” that had been around since around 1200 AD and which meant pain, particularly a pang of childbirth or the agony of death. Pain, from cradle to grave …
49. Campbell of the “Scream” franchise : NEVE
Neve Campbell is a Canadian actress whose big break in movies came with the “Scream” horror film series, in which she had a leading role. I don’t do horror films, so I haven’t seen any of the “Scream” movies. Nor have I seen the TV series “Party of Five” which launched the acting careers of both Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt in the nineties.
I don’t do horror films, so I haven’t seen any of the “Scream” movies …
50. Belch in “Twelfth Night” : TOBY
Sir Toby Belch is a much loved character in William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”.
William Shakespeare wrote his comedy “Twelfth Night” as a Christmas entertainment (Twelfth Night being the end of the Christmas season). The play’s protagonist is a young woman named Viola. The plot calls for Viola to dress as eunuch named Cesario who goes into the service of Duke Orsino. Orsino has Cesario go to Duchess Olivia to express his love for her. But Olivia falls for Cesario, Cesario (Viola) falls for Orsino, and hilarity ensues …