Edited by: Will Shortz
Bill’s errors: 0
Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies
1. Island known for its coffee : SUMATRA
Sumatra is a very large island in western Indonesia. It is the sixth largest island in the world and home to 22% of the country’s population.
8. “So effective you can skip a day” sloganeer, once : MITCHUM
Mitchum is a brand of antiperspirant-deodorant that was purchased by Revlon in the late. Mitchum was introduced by the Paris Toilet Company some years before the sale. The Paris Toilet Company wasn’t French; it was headquartered in Paris, Tennessee.
17. 1942 Abbott and Costello musical comedy : RIO RITA
“Rio Rita” is a 1942 comedy movie that was adapted from a 1927 Broadway musical of the same name by Flo Ziegfeld. Comedy duo Abbott and Costello star as stowaways who get mixed up with Nazi spies.
19. Frequent designation for Elizabeth Taylor : EX-WIFE
Actress Elizabeth Taylor married eight times, to seven husbands. Those marriages were to:
- Conrad “Nicky” Hilton, the young hotel heir
- Michael Wilding, the English actor
- Mike Todd, the film and stage producer
- Eddie Fisher, the singer
- Richard Burton (twice), the Welsh actor
- John Warner, who went on to become a US Senator for Virginia
- Larry Fortensky, a construction worker whom Taylor met at the Betty Ford Clinic
20. Theologian called “The Father of English History” : BEDE
The Venerable Bede was a monk in the north of England in the first century AD. Saint Bede is mainly known as an author and scholar, publisher of “The Ecclesiastical History of the English People”. In his writings, Bede struggled with the two common ways of referring to dates at that time. Bede turned to the anno domini dating method that had been devised by Dionysius Exiguus in 525. Bede’s writings of circa 730 were extremely influential and helped popularize the the “anno domini” method.
21. Carrier in the Star Alliance : SAS
SAS was formerly known as Scandinavian Airlines System and is the flag carrier of three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. SAS is based at Stockholm Arlanda Airport located just north of the Swedish capital.
The Star Alliance was the airline industry’s first code-sharing alliance, and was created in 1997. The founding representative from the US was United Airlines. The other four members of that first alliance were SAS, Thai Airways, Air Canada, and Lufthansa.
22. Jazz/samba fusion popularized in the 1960s : BOSSA NOVA
Bossa Nova is a style of music from Brazil that evolved from samba. The most famous piece of bossa nova is the song “The Girl from Ipanema”.
31. Spouse of Alexander Hamilton : ELIZA
Elizabeth “Eliza” Schuyler Hamilton was the wife of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Eliza was with her husband when he passed away the day after his famous duel with Vice President Aaron Burr.
32. Home of “the bell,” briefly : NYSE
The roots of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) go back to 1792 when a group of 24 stock brokers set up the New York Stock & Exchange Board. They did so in an agreement signed under a buttonwood tree outside 68 Wall Street. That document became known as the Buttonwood Agreement. Today, the NYSE is located in National Historic Landmark building with the address 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City.
33. Bucket of bolts : HEAP
“Bucket of bolts”, crate and “heap” are slang terms for a junky car.
35. Shaping device : ADZ
An adze (also “adz”) is similar to an axe, but is different in that the blade of an adze is set at right angles to the tool’s shaft. An axe’s blade is set in line with the shaft.
36. Level connectors in Donkey Kong : LADDERS
The first video game featuring the ape called Donkey Kong was created in 1981. That first Donkey Kong game also introduced the world to the character known as Mario, four years before the game Super Mario Bros became such a big hit.
40. Damage control org. : FEMA
Federal emergency management has been structured for over 200 years, but what we know today as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was created in 1979 in an Executive Order issued by President Jimmy Carter.
45. They’re just above a handlebar : NOSTRILS
On this side of the Atlantic, handlebar moustaches tend to be associated with the Wild West. On the other side of the Atlantic, the association is often with the members of the Royal Air Force during WWII.
50. Platform for Siri : IOS
iOS is what Apple now call their mobile operating system, It was previously known as iPhone OS.
Siri is a software application that works with Apple’s iOS operating system. “Siri” is an acronym standing for Speech Interpretation and Recognition Interface. You’ve probably seen the ads on television, with folks talking to their iPhones asking for information and responding with a voice. I hear that Google is a little scared by Siri, as Siri is non-visual. There’s no need to touch a screen or a keyboard to work with Siri, no opportunity to click on one of Google’s ads! By the way, voice-over artist Susan Bennett revealed herself as the female American voice of Siri not that long ago. The British version of Siri is called Daniel, and the Australian version is called Karen. Also, “Siri” is a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”, and was the name the developer had chosen for his first child.
53. ___ scale : MOHS
The Mohs scale of mineral hardness was developed in 1812 by Friedrich Mohs. Basically Mohs took minerals and scratched them with other minerals. In this way he was able to determine which minerals were hardest (most scratch resistant) and which softest.
58. Epithet for Jesus : THE LAMB
An epithet is a word or phrase, one often used in a name to describe a quality of the person or thing bearing that name. For example, King Richard I was also known as Richard the Lionheart.
63. Joined forces? : YIN-YANG
The yin and the yang can be illustrated using many different metaphors. In one, as the sun shines on a mountain, the side in the shade is the yin and the side in the light is the yang. The yin is also regarded as the feminine side, and the yang the masculine. The yin can also be associated with the moon, while the yang is associated with the sun.
1. Miffed : SORE
To miff is to put out, to tee off, and is verb that has been around since the early 1600s. Interestingly, in 1824 Sir Walter Scott described the word “miffed” as “a women’s phrase”. That would get him a slap, I’d say …
2. System used by servers : UNIX
Unix is a computer operating system that was developed at Bell Labs in 1969. The initial name for the project was Uniplexed Information and Computing Service (Unics), and this evolved over time into “Unix”.
7. Health org. : AMA
American Medical Association (AMA)
13. Layer below the sclera : UVEA
The uvea is the middle of the three layers that make up the eyeball. The outer layer is called the fibrous tunic, and the inner layer is the retina.
The sclera is the white part of the human eye. The sclera is white in most mammals, but in horses it is black. Really, go check!
25. Prominent part of Nestea’s logo : LEAF
Nestea is a brand of iced tea made by Nestlé. The name is a portmanteau of “Nestlé” and “tea”.
27. Whatchamacallit : GIZMO
The word “gizmo” (also “gismo”), meaning something the name of which is unknown or forgotten, was originally slang used by both the US Navy and the Marine Corps. The exact origin seems unknown.
30. Put in a hold : LADED
The verb “to lade” meaning “to load” comes from an Old English word “hladan”. “Lade” also used to mean “draw water” and indeed gave us our word “ladle”. So “lade” and “ladle” are close cousins.
34. Fragrant prom present : POSY
“Poesy” was the name given to a line of verse engraved on the inner surface of a ring. The related word “posy”, for a bouquet of flowers, arose with the notion that giving a posy might be a message of love, just as a poesy inside a ring could have the same meaning.
37. Amelia Earhart and others : AIRWOMEN
Amelia Earhart is as famous today as she was during her lifetime. When she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic she was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by Congress, and the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor by the French government. She made two attempts to circumnavigate the globe by air (not solo). Her first attempt in March 1937 had to be abandoned when her aircraft was damaged during takeoff. The second attempt in June/July of the same year ended when Earhart and her navigator disappeared flying from Lae, New Guinea to Howland Island in the Central Pacific.
38. Internet meme of the star of “The Matrix” looking sullen : SAD KEANU
Keanu Reeves is a Canadian actor whose most celebrated roles were a metalhead in “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (1989), a cop in “Speed” (1994) and the protagonist Neo in “The Matrix” series of films. Although Reeves is a Canadian national, he was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Reeves has some Hawaiian descent, and the name “Keanu” is Hawaiian for “the coolness” or “cool breeze”..
41. Gallaudet Univ. system : ASL
It’s really quite unfortunate that American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) are very different, and someone who has learned to sign in one cannot understand someone signing in the other.
Gallaudet University is a private school in Washington, D.C. that is focused on the education of the deaf and hard of hearing. Gallaudet was founded in 1864 and is officially a bilingual institution, with classes held in both English and ASL.
44. Cousins of honeydews : CASABAS
A casaba is type of honeydew melon. The casaba takes its name from the Turkish city of Kasaba, from where the fruit was imported into America in the late 1800s.
49. Safari sighting, informally : RHINO
There are five types of rhinoceros that survive today, with the smaller Javan Rhino being the most rare. The rhinoceros is probably the rarest large mammal on the planet, thanks to poaching. Hunters mainly prize the horn of the rhino as it is used in powdered form in traditional Chinese medicine.
55. One might require an oversize jacket : TOME
“Tome” first came into English from the Latin “tomus” which means “section of a book”. The original usage in English was for a single volume in a multi-volume work. By the late 16th century “tome” had come to mean “a large book”.
56. Birthplace of the philosopher Parmenides : ELEA
Parmenides was a philosopher in Ancient Greece. Parmenides was born in the Greek city of Elea located on the Italian coast, and so the school of philosophy that he founded is called the Eleatic School.
57. ___-Frank Act : DODD
The Dodd-Frank Act became law in 2010 and was a response to the Great Recession during the late 2000s. Sponsored by Senator Chris Dodd and by Representative Barney Frank, the act tightened financial regulations in an attempt to prevent a recurrence of the 2007-2010 financial crisis.
59. Often-misused irregular verb : LAY
There is often confusion between the verbs “to lie” and “to lay”. The latter is a transitive verb, and so needs an object. So we can’t “lay down”, we must “lie down”. But, we can lay out a plan.