Edited by: Rich Norris
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Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
10. It may be on a dog : SLAW
The term “coleslaw” is an Anglicized version of the Dutch name “koolsla”, which in itself is a shortened form of “Koolsalade” meaning “cabbage salad”.
A hot dog is a sausage served in a split roll. The term “hot dog” dates back to the 19th-century and is thought to reflect a commonly-held opinion that the sausages contained dog meat.
14. Sacred Aboriginal landmark : AYERS ROCK
Ayers Rock was discovered by Europeans in 1873, who gave it its name in honor of Sir Henry Ayers who was the Chief Secretary of South Australia at the time. The Aborigines call the landmark Uluru, which is the more accepted name these days.
19. Jefferson Davis’ org. : CSA
The Confederate States of America (CSA) set up government in 1861 just before Abraham Lincoln took office. Jefferson Davis was selected as President of the CSA at its formation, and retained the post for the life of the government.
20. “Barefoot Contessa” host Garten : INA
Ina Garten is an author as well as the host of the cooking show on the Food Network called “Barefoot Contessa”. Garten has no formal training as a chef, and indeed used to work as a nuclear policy analyst at the White House!
23. Best Director between Soderbergh and Polanski : HOWARD
Ron Howard sure has come a long way since playing Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show”. He has directed some fabulous movies including favorites of mine like “Apollo 13”, “The Da Vinci Code” and “A Beautiful Mind”, the latter earning Howard a Best Director Oscar.
Steven Soderbergh first came to international attention as a director at only 26 years old, for his 1989 indie film “Sex, Lies, and Videotape”. Since then, he has directed many box-office hits, such as “Erin Brockovich”, “Traffic” (for which he won a Best Director Oscar) and all of the “Ocean’s 11” films.
Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, and an Oscar winner for directing the 2002 movie “The Pianist”. Polanski has had an eventful life. His pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Manson family in 1969. In 1977, Polanski was arrested in Los Angeles for sexual assault of 13-year-old girl, and pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor. He fled the country to avoid sentencing, and has mainly lived in France since then.
29. “Nebraska” star : DERN
Bruce Dern is a Hollywood actor with quite a pedigree. Dern is the grandchild of former Utah governor and Secretary of War, George Henry Dern. Bruce’s godparents were Adlai Stevenson and Eleanor Roosevelt!
“Nebraska” is a really interesting 2013 movie starring Bruce Dern as an elderly man who heads to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect a million-dollar sweepstakes prize that is clearly a scam. This one is filmed in black & white, which adds to the mood nicely. I note that a local movie theater here did a one-day showing of a color version.
43. Petrol purchase : LITRE
On the other side of the Atlantic, we use the French spelling for measurements that originated in French, so “metre” for “meter” and “litre” for “liter”.
Petrol is the same thing as gasoline. “Petrol” comes via French from the Latin “petroleum”, itself derived from “petra” meaning “rock” and “oleum” meaning “oil”.
44. White wine grape : RIESLING
The Riesling grape variety originated in the Rhine region of Germany, and is used to make wines that are often described as fruity and aromatic. The wine generally has a high level of acidity which makes it ideal for aging, with some examples being proclaimed as excellent at over a hundred-years-old.
49. Land shaped by erosion : MESA
“What’s the difference between a butte and a mesa?” Both are hills with flat tops, but a mesa has a top that is wider than it is tall. A butte is a much narrower formation, taller than it is wide.
3. Its only counties are Kent, New Castle and Sussex : DELAWARE
Delaware is the second smallest state in the country in terms of area, but has the fewest counties (3), namely New Castle, Kent and Sussex. Rhode Island, the smallest state, ties with Hawaii as the state with the second-lowest number of counties at five.
7. Ninth in a series : IOTA
Iota is the ninth letter in the Greek alphabet. We use the word “iota” to portray something very small as it is the smallest of all Greek letters.
8. Cry over spilled Milch? : ACH!
The German exclamation “ach!” is usually translated into English as “oh!”
In German, one often puts “Milch” (milk) in one’s “Kaffee” (coffee).
12. Holiday hymn opener : ADESTE
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”.
17. Folded Italian fare : CALZONE
A calzone is like a pizza but with the dough base folded in half, forming a semicircle.
22. Pre-revolution bigwig : TSAR
The former Soviet Union (USSR) was created in 1922, not long after the Russian Revolution of 1917 that overthrew the Tsar. Geographically, the new Soviet Union was roughly equivalent to the old Russian Empire, and comprised fifteen Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs).
26. Ancient pyramid builders : AZTECS
The Aztec people of Central America dominated the region in the 14th – 16th centuries. Two traits of the Aztec people are oft cited today. They built some magnificent pyramids, and they also engaged in human sacrifice. The two traits were linked in a way … for the consecration of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan, 84,400 prisoners were sacrificed over a period of four days.
28. Wind-borne grains : POLLEN
The fine powder known as pollen is basically a flower’s sperm, as it carries a seed plant’s male reproductive cells.
37. Light ring : HALO
The Greek word “halos” is the name given to the ring of light around the sun or moon, which gives us our word “halo”, used for a radiant light depicted above the head of a saintly person.
39. Superior, of all five : DEEPEST
Lake Superior is the deepest of the Great Lakes, and Lake Erie is the shallowest.
42. Indian Ocean arm : RED SEA
The Red Sea (sometimes called the Arabian Gulf) is a stretch of water lying between Africa and Asia. The Gulf of Suez (and the Suez Canal) lies to north, and the Gulf of Aden to the south. According to the Book of Exodus in the Bible, God parted the Red Sea to allow Moses lead the Israelites from Egypt.
45. Stanford-__ test : BINET
The first usable intelligence test was invented by a French psychologist named Alfred Binet. Binet collaborated with Théodore Simon and together they produced the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale that is still in use today for IQ tests.
52. Pig thief of rhyme : TOM
Tom, Tom, the piper’s son,
Stole a pig, and away did run;
The “pig” mentioned in the rhyme isn’t actually a live animal but is actually a small pastry with an apple filling.