Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Wordage Elementary Edition

A knowledge of chemistry is not required to find the odd one out:

a) Ytterbium
b) Gold
c) Ruthenium
d) Copper
e) Lutetium

Hint: An atlas will serve you better than a chemistry textbook. 
Highlight for answer:  b) Gold.  All the others are named after towns or regions--Ytterby, Sweden (also a source of Yttrium, Terbium, Erbium, Thulium (after Thule, the northernmost land in myth), Holmium (after Stockholm), Scandium (after Scandinavia); Ruthenium after the demographic area (never quite a nation) uncomfortably squeezed between Poland, Russia, Slovakia, and the Ukraine; Copper after Cyprus (it may be the other way 'round); and Lutetium after Lutetia, the Latin name for Paris.  Other goodies include Strontium, named after a town in Scotland; Rhenium, after the Rhine; Hafnium, after the Latin for Copenhagen; Dubnium, after Dubna in Russia; and gimmes like Americium, Germanium, Europium, Polonium, Francium, Berkelium, Californium, Darmstadtium, and Livermorium.  
I just noticed that last week's wordage was more or less a repeat of a much earlier one.  My bad.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday Wordage Odd Man Out Edition

Busy as heck today. 

Which one is the odd one out?
a) shampoo
b) khaki
c) juggernaut
d) panjandrum
e) pundit

Highlight for the answer:  It's d, Panjandrum.  The others entered the English language through the Raj--"shampoo" is from a Hindi word meaning "to press," which became part of a massage and bath; "khaki" is an Urdu word for "dust colored"; "Juggernaut" is from a word for a float in Hindu religious parades, under the wheels of which devotees were (allegedly) ready to throw themselves, and "pundit" is derived from "pandit," an honorific for teachers or masters of a craft.  "Panjandrum" was apparently made up from whole cloth by a guy named Samuel Foote in the middle of the 18th century.  
 Back to work. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wednesday Wordage appropriate nickname edition.

Today is Wednesday, nicknamed "hump day." 

It is also the day we are doing all of our goat and sheep matings. Pure coincidence. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wednesday Wordage odd man out edition

This week's puzzle is inspired by a road sign, and presented a la "Says You."

In each group, which is the odd man out?
1) ount, aint, oint, aunt, arat
2) enior, unior, onior, octor, ister
3) ood, ard, eriod, oad, ord
4) iss, oss, sland, ersus, insteinium

Highlight for a clue:The inspiring road sign was exit on Hwy 5 north of Salem for "St Paul   Mt Angel"
Highlight for the answers:
1) aunt.  The others are abbreviated by the letter "t"--Mt., St., Pt., Kt.
2) onior.  The others are abbreviated by the letter "r"--Sr., Jr., Dr., Mr.
3) ood.  The others are abbreviated by the letter "d"--Yd., Pd., Rd., Ld.
4) oss.  The others are abbreviated by the letter "s"--Ms., Is., Vs., Es.
Any other goodies?