Edited by: Rich Norris
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Each of today’s themed answers are well-known phrases ending in a word starting with the letters SH. However, the SH has been changed to a letter J:
- 17A…Art-loving athlete?..CULTURE JOCK (from “culture shock”)
- 31A…What you don’t know about audio equipment?..RADIO JACK (from “RadioShack”)
- 47A…Difficult situation at Bed Bath & Beyond?..PILLOW JAM (from “pillow sham”)
- 61A…Gem of a night out?..EVENING JADE (from “Evening Shade”)
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Pita is a lovely bread in Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita is usually round, and has a “pocket” in the center. The pocket is created by steam that puffs up the dough during cooking leaving a void when the bread cools.
6…Ill-fated Corleone hoodlum Luca..BRASI
Luca Brasi is one of Don Corleone’s most loyal “enforcers” in Mario Puzo’s novel “The Godfather”. Brasi comes to a violent end, garroted while his hand is pinned to a wooden bar with a knife. Famously, the Corleone family learn of his demise when they receive Brasi’s bulletproof vest wrapped around dead fish. The message is that he “sleeps with the fishes”. In the big screen adaptation of “The Godfather”, Luca Brasi is played by ex-wrestler and professional bodyguard Lenny Montana. The role launched a very successful television character-acting career for Montana.
In football, running backs (RBs) and wide receivers (WRs) often score touchdowns (TDs).
14…Response to a raise..I’M OUT
That would probably be in poker.
Radon is a radioactive gas, a byproduct produced when uranium decays naturally in the earth. Radon gas can collect and accumulate in buildings and rooms that are particularly well insulated with very little air exchange. The danger is very real, as radon is listed as the second most frequent cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke.
16…Fish whose blood is poisonous to humans..EEL
Anyone going to a sushi restaurant can order all types of raw fish (known collectively as “sashimi”). However, eel is always served cooked, and that’s because the blood of eels contains a protein that cramps muscles if eaten. If the heart muscle “cramps”, the result can be death. The protein is easily rendered harmless by applying heat, i.e. cooking.
“Agnus Dei” is Latin for “Lamb of God”, a term used in Christian faiths for Jesus Christ, symbolizing his role as a sacrificial offering to atone for the sins of man.
20…Home of the annual Norwegian Wood music festival..OSLO
The Norwegian Wood music festival has been held annually since 1992 in Oslo, the capital of Norway. The festival is named for the Beatles song “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”.
“Norwegian Wood” is a Beatles song from 1965. “Norwegian Wood” is somewhat groundbreaking in that George Harrison is playing a sitar, the first time the sitar was used by a rock band on a record. And, if you like to waltz around the dance floor, this is one of the few Beatles records that is in triple time.
The label on a bottle of Heineken beer includes a red star logo. The red star was a symbol used by European brewers in the Middle Ages. During the Cold War, the red star came to have a negative connotation, an association with communism. So for several years, Heineken used a white star with a red outline as a logo.
28…”__ Irish Rose”..ABIE’S
“Abie’s Irish Rose” was originally a Broadway comedy play by Anne Nichols that opened in 1922 and ran for over five years, which back then was the longest run for any show in New York. The show then went on tour, and stayed on tour for an amazing 40 years. The play tells of a young Jewish man called Abie Levy who marries an Irish Catholic girl called Rosemary Murphy. Abie lies to his family and pretends that his “Irish Rose” is Jewish.
31…What you don’t know about audio equipment?..RADIO JACK (from “RadioShack”)
The store we know today as RadioShack was founded as “Radio Shack” in 1921 and focused on serving the amateur radio market. The name was chosen as a “radio shack” was the wooden structure that housed the radio equipment on a ship, and a ham radio station was also known as a “radio shack”. Radio Shack was losing money in the sixties and was bought for a song by Charles Tandy who merged it with his leather goods stores under the name Tandy Radio Shack & Leather (can you believe it?). Tandy dropped all lines bar electronic items and changed the name “back” to the trendy “RadioShack” in 2000.
34…Chinese checkers, e.g…MISNOMER
The board game known as Chinese Checkers has nothing to with checkers, nor anything to do with China. It was invented in Germany in 1892, under the name “Stern-Halma”. The Chinese Checkers moniker was the creation of the Pressman Company which purchased the rights to the game in the US in 1928.
37…Fruit juice brand..POM
POM Wonderful is a privately-held company that has been making fruit juice drinks since 2002. The main product line is pomegranate juice, hence the company name.
40…Goddess sister of Selene..EOS
In Greek mythology, Eos is the goddess of the dawn who lived at the edge of the ocean. Eos would wake each morning to welcome her brother Helios the sun. The Roman equivalent of Eos is Aurora.
Selene was the Greek goddess of the moon, the equivalent of the Roman deity Luna. Selene gave her name to the word “selenology”, the study of the geology of the moon, and also gave her name to the chemical element “selenium”. According to mythology, Selene fell in love with the handsome hunter/shepherd Endymion, a mere mortal.
41…World Heritage Site org…UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is better known by the acronym “UNESCO”. UNESCO’s mission is help build peace in the world using programs focused on education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. The organization’s work is aimed in particular at Africa, and gender equalization. UNESCO also administers a World Heritage Site program that designates and helps conserve sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to humanity across the world.
44…Ban delivery..UN SPEECH
Ban Ki-Moon is the current Secretary-General of the United Nations. He is from South Korea and spent most of his working life as a diplomat for his country, before taking the post of Foreign Minister in the South Korean government. He will continue as UN Secretary-General until the end of 2016, having been unanimously re-elected by the General Assembly to a second term.
47…Difficult situation at Bed Bath & Beyond?..PILLOW JAM (from “pillow sham”)
A “sham” is something that is imitation, fake. In the world of bed linens a sham is also imitation and fake, in the sense that it is a decorative cover designed to cover up a regular pillow used for sleeping.
Bed Bath & Beyond is a retailer of domestic merchandise that was founded in 1971 as Bed ‘n Bath. During one of the few visits I’ve ever made to a Bed Bath & Beyond store, I said to my wife, “I honestly cannot understand why this store even exists”. Not my cup of tea …
49…Foreigner in “Taxi”..LATKA
Latka Gravas is one of the most popular characters in the TV sitcom “Taxi” that aired in the late seventies and early eighties. Latka was played by the controversial comic actor Andy Kaufman. The producers of “Taxi” had the character written around a persona that Kaufman was using in his standup routines called “Foreign Man”.
50…Greensboro Grasshoppers’ baseball level..CLASS A
The Greensboro Grasshoppers minor league baseball team is a farm team affiliated with the Miami Marlins.
56…”The Ghost of Frankenstein” role..YGOR
“The Ghost of Frankenstein” is a 1942 horror movie starring Lon Chaney, Jr. as the Monster and Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein’s assistant Ygor. It is in this “Frankenstein” film that the Monster first stumbles along with his arms outstretched in front of him. There’s no real reason for this behavior in subsequent portrayals, but in “The Ghost of Frankenstein” he does so because he is blind.
60…”Away From __”: Julie Christie movie..HER
“Away from Her” is a 2006 film adaptation of the Alice Munro short story “The Bear Came Over the Mountain”. The movie’s storyline is centered on a couple who have to deal with the wife suffering from Alzheimer’s and moving into a nursing home. Julie Christie plays the stricken wife, and Gordon Pinsent the husband. I haven’t seen this one, but it was received well by critics and audiences alike.
61…Gem of a night out?..EVENING JADE (from “Evening Shade”)
Jade is actually the name given to two different mineral rocks, both of which are used to make gemstones. The first is nephrite, a mineral with a varying degree of iron content, the more iron the greener the color. The second is jadeite, a sodium and aluminum-rich pyroxene. As well as being used for gemstones, both jade minerals can be carved into decorative pieces.
“Evening Shade” is a sitcom that originally aired in the early nineties. The show revolves around an ex-footballer played by Burt Reynolds. The Reynolds character retires from the Pittsburgh Steelers and moves to the rural city of Evening Shade, Arkansas to coach the high school football team.
“Aga” (also “agha”) is a title that was used by both civil and military officials in the Ottoman Empire.
“Torso” (plural “torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the “trunk of a statue”, and is a term that we imported into English.
Rolo was a hugely popular chocolate candy in Ireland when I was growing up. Rolo was introduced in the thirties in the UK, and is produced under license in the US by Hershey. I was a little disappointed when I had my first taste of the American version as the center is very hard and chewy. The recipe used on the other side of the Atlantic calls for a soft gooey center.
67…It ends 11/6/2016 in the U.S…DST
On the other side of the Atlantic, Daylight Saving Time (DST) is known as “summer time”. The idea behind summer/daylight-savings is to move clocks forward an hour in spring (i.e. “spring forward”) and backwards in the fall (i.e. “fall back”) so that afternoons have more daylight.
69…”No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough” speaker..EBERT
Roger Ebert co-hosted a succession of film review television programs for over 23 years, most famously with Gene Siskel until Siskel passed away in 1999. Siskel and Ebert famously gave their thumbs up or thumbs down to the movies they reviewed.
1…__ de gallo..PICO
Pico de gallo is a Mexican condiment made from tomato, onion and chili peppers. “Pico de gallo” is Spanish for “beak of rooster”. Apparently this name was given as eating of the condiment with the thumb and forefinger resembled the pecking of a rooster.
Don Imus’s syndicated radio show “Imus in the Morning” used to broadcast from New York City. Imus has been described as a “shock jock”, a disc jockey who deliberately uses provocative language and humor that many would find offensive . I’m not a big fan of shock jocks …
Howard Stern is one of the original “shock jocks” who seems now to have found his niche on uncensored satellite radio (SiriusXM). Apparently Stern is quite the chess player, and was invited to play in the 2010 US Chess Championships, albeit as a wildcard choice.
An autopen is a device used to provide an automatic signature, usually for a batch of documents. With today’s technology, we can provided photographic copies of signatures quite readily. An autopen has the advantage of automatic writing of the signature, while creating the illusion that the document was signed in person using a pen.
5…Poker great Ungar..STU
Many followers of the game believe that Stu Ungar was the best ever player of Texas hold ’em. Ungar won about $30 million playing cards during his life, yet he died penniless. He was found dead in a Las Vegas motel room in 1998 having passed away from heart failure at 45 years of age, brought on by years of drug abuse.
Punjab is the most populous province in Pakistan and is home to over half of the country’s citizens. “Punjab” (also “Panjab”) translates as “Five Waters”, a reference to five rivers that form tributaries to the Indus River: Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej.
9…A behavioral sci…SOC
12…Time for a cold one..BEER O’CLOCK
It’s time to have a drink, because both “beer o’clock” and “wine o’clock” starting to turn up as entries in reputable dictionaries.
18…Web feed document letters..RSS
Websites and blogs, like this one, publish content in a format known as Rich Site Summary (RSS). The “feed” can be read using an RSS reader. That’s how a few folks read the content of this blog …
23…Woman whom Goya also painted clothed..MAJA
María Cayetana de Silva was the 13th duchess of Alba. She was a favorite subject of the Spanish painter Francisco Goya. The duchess is the subject in the famous portraits known as “La maja desnuda” (The Nude Maja) and “La maja vestida” (The Clothed Maja). “Maja” translates from Spanish as “beautiful lady”.
25…Military support gp…USO
The United Service Organization (USO) was founded in 1941 at the request of FDR “to handle the on-leave recreation of the men in the armed forces”. A USO tour is undertaken by a troupe of entertainers, many of whom are big-name celebrities. A USO tour usually includes troop locations in combat zones.
29…Brain-controlled transportation devices..BIONIC LEGS
Bionic limbs are in fact a reality, although a relatively small number of amputees have been fitted with them. Bionic limbs depend on the fact that the brain continues to send out messages to nerves that have been truncated through amputation. The nerve stub is redirected to a set of chest muscles, so when the person thinks “open the hand” say, that cause a chest muscle to contract. Electrodes placed on the surface of the chest muscle detects its movement, and that signal is sent to the prosthetic limb, causing it to move. Science can be so wonderful …
32…Adversity, in the RAF motto..ARDUA
“Per ardua ad astra” is Latin for “through struggle to the stars”. These words have been the motto of the Royal Air Force (RAF) since 1912.
The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the oldest independent air force in the world (i.e. the first air force to become independent of army or navy forces). The RAF was formed during WWI on 1 April 1918, a composite of two earlier forces, the Royal Flying Corps (part of the Army) and the Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF’s “finest hour” has to be the Battle of Britain when the vastly outnumbered British fighters fought off the might of the Luftwaffe causing Hitler to delay his plan to cross the English Channel. This outcome prompted Winston Churchill to utter the memorable words:
33…”We R Who We R” singer..KESHA
Kesha (formerly “Ke$ha”) is the stage name used by singer Kesha Rose Sebert.
“To cosset” is to pamper. The verb comes from the noun “cosset” which was once used for a lamb that was brought up as a pet.
“To mollycoddle” is to be overprotective. Back in the mid-1700s, a “mollycoddle” was an insulting term used to describe a man who was weak and effeminate.
45…West Bank initials..PLO
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964. The PLO’s early stated goal was the liberation of Palestine, with Palestine defined as the geographic entity that existed under the terms of the British Mandate granted by the League of Nations back in 1923. The PLO was granted observer status (i.e. no voting rights) at the United Nations in 1974.
The bulk of the Palestinian territories are located in the West Bank. The term “West Bank” is a reference to lands west of the River Jordan.
48…”Les Misérables” inspector..JAVERT
Inspector Javert is the main antagonist in “Les Misérables”, the great novel by Victor Hugo. There’s a famous scene in the musical version of “Les Miserables”, when Javert commits suicide by jumping into the River Seine. In term of “special effects” in musical theater, it’s quite clever …
52…EVINE Live competitor..HSN
The Home Shopping Network (HSN) was the first national shopping network, and was launched locally as the Home Shopping Club in Florida in 1982.
EVINE Live is a home shopping channel that opened for business in 1991. The channel originally went by the name ValueVision but was rebranded to ShopNBC in 2000 and then EVINE Live in 2015.
The landlocked African country called Chad takes its name from the second largest wetland on the continent, which is known as Lake Chad.
The name “Libya” comes from the Ancient Greek “Libúē”, the historical name for Northwest Africa.
“Ansa” is the Latin word for handle. In archaeological terms, an ansa is an engraved and ornamented handle of a vase. The term is also used to describe anatomical structures that are shaped like a handle, forming a loop or an arc.
“Archaeology” is a word that looks like it’s British English, and one might be forgiven for using the spelling “archeology” in American English. Even though the latter spelling has been around for a couple of hundred years, the former is the standard spelling on both sides of the Atlantic.
58…Pure propane’s lack..ODOR
Propane is a gas with the formula C3H8. It is an abundant byproduct of the refining of petroleum and is used as a fuel. The gas liquefies readily under pressure, and is usually transported in pressurized containers. However, the containers of “propane” that we purchase in stores is actually a mixture of propane and butane, usually in the ratio of about 50:50.
62…Intl. broadcaster since 1942..VOA
The US began shortwave propaganda broadcasts in early 1942, just after America entered WWII. The first broadcast to Germany was introduced by the “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and opened with the words:
Today, and every day from now on, we will be with you from America to talk about the war. The news may be good or bad for us — We will always tell you the truth.
That first broadcast was called “Stimmen aus Amerika” (“Voices from America”), and gave the fledgling broadcasting operation its name. VOA is still going strong today, and was a station I used to listen to as a teenager back in Ireland in the early seventies …
63…Hurdle for srs…GRE
Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is usually a requirement for entry into graduate school here in the US.