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Editor of 'Thought & Humor'
E-mail Newspaper (Read by
up to two million weekly in
offices, dorms & homes worldwide since July 26,1997).
Public Address Word Quiz
The language of top government
officials at various press conferences
and public appearances provides us
with this list of test words. How many
of them can you correctly define? As
always, the answers are located in
"comments" just below. Tell how many
you got right - if you like - along with your
name & State/Country.
1. agenda (n.) - A: schedule. B: assignment. C: addition.
D: common practice.
2. annex (v.) - A: to destroy. B: add to. C: interpret.
D: cross out.
3. defray (v.) - A: to use together. B: pull back. C: pro-
vide money for. D: cheat.
4. dictate (v.) - A: to explain. B: defend. C: understand.
5. renegade (adj.) - A: traitorous. B: destitute.
C: cowardly. D: uncontrollable.
6. humanitarian (adj.) - A: patriotic. B: philanthropic.
C: common. D: misanthropic.
7. unwarranted (adj.) - A: nonaggressive. B: unexpected.
C: disenchanted. D: not justifiable.
8. modality (n.) - A: form or pattern. B: transition.
C: difficulty. D: experiment.
9. logistics (n.) - A: new concepts. B: game theory.
C: organization of supplies. D: normality.
10. base (adj.) - A: substantial. B: contemptible. C: reason-
able. D: average.
11. profiteer (v.) - A: to harass. B: make excess profits.
C: predict. D: compete.
12. implement (v.) - A: to pry open. B: put into effect.
C: penetrate. D: lead or direct.
13. transitory (adj.) - A: unimportant. B: imperfect.
C: temporary. D: fragile.
14. flag (v.) - A: to be enthusiastic. B: lose strength.
C: punish. D: challenge.
15. interdiction (n.) - A: decree forbidding something.
B: firmness. C: accusation of wrongdoing. D: plea for leni-
16. format (n.) - A: adherence to standards. B: repetition.
C: explanation. D: structure or arrangement.
17. extraneous (adj.) - A: inconspicuous. B: noticeable.
C: unusual. D: irrelevant.
18. sequester (v.) - A: to follow. B: round up. C: withdraw.
D: question closely.
19. mediator (n.) - person who A: intrudes. B: settles dis-
putes. C: is thoughtful. D: makes demands.
20. resolute (adj.) - A: determined. B: blunt. C: opinion-
ated. D: cruel.
1) In marbled halls as white as milk
Lined in a skin as soft as silk
In a liquid, crystal clear
A golden apple doth appear
There are no doors to this stronghold
Yet thieves break in to steal the gold
What am I?
2) Rearrange the letters of the following phrase to give
the name of a large place in the USA:
VIEWING A STIR
3) In this limerick, which concerns a young man at UNC
all the A's, P's, R's, I's and L's have been omitted,
nearly 50 in all. Can you replace them?
vte te, on de,
ceesy shoudeed sde.
ced sge: "Stnd t ese,
esent ms, f you ese.
vet Gss hs new knd of bde!"
Answers in "Comments"
1. How can you arrange for two people to stand on the same
piece of newspaper and yet be unable to touch each other
without stepping off the newspaper?
2. How many 3-cent stamps are there in a dozen?
3. A rope ladder hangs over the side of a ship. The rungs
are one foot apart and the ladder is 12 feet long. The tide
is rising at four inches an hour. How long will it take before
the first four rungs of the ladder are underwater?
4. Which would you rather have, a trunk full of nickels or a
trunk half full of dimes?
5. Steve has three piles of sand and Mike has four piles of
sand. If they put them all together, how many do they have?
6. In which sport are the shoes made entirely of metal?
7. If the Vice President of the United States should die,
who would be President?
8. How can you throw a golf ball with all your might and--
without hitting a wall or any other obstruction--have the ball
stop and come right back to you?
9. Find the English word that can be formed from all these
ANSWERS LOCATED IN "COMMENTS"!!!
Justice Served -
See how many definitions you know:
1. sheer (adj.) - A: trim. B: strong. C: absolute.
2. pivotal (adj.) - A: crucial. B: flexible. C: reciprocal.
3. meticulous (adj.) - A: very small. B: tasty. C: inter-
fering. D: careful.
4. sanctum (n.) - A: approval. B: public square. C: private
place. D: blessing.
5. pinnacle (n.) - A: dangerous position. B: achievable
goal. C: highest point. D: support.
6. skewer (v.) - A: to spread out. B: pierce. C: misrepre-
sent. D: twist.
7. whimsy (n.) - A: quaint humor. B: impulse. C: witticism.
8. precedent (n.) - A: diagram. B: step forward. C: example.
9. overarching (adj.) - A: extremely clever. B: all-
encompassing. C: theoretical. D: extraneous.
10. serendipity (n.) - A: nonchalance. B: opportunity.
C: praise. D: good luck.
11. equably (adv.) - A: fairly and justly. B: approximately.
C: understandably. D: calmly.
12. tenuously (adv.) - A: cautiously. B: temporarily.
C: insubstantially. D: indecisively.
13. incremental (adj.) - A: tending to blame. B: regularly
increasing. C: temporary. D: powerful.
14. ramification (n.) - A: problem. B: combination.
C: consequence. D: reinforcement.
15. promulgate (v.) - A: to start a rumor. B: force upon
others. C: punish. D: announce.
16. confluence (n.) - A: flowing together. B: entanglement.
C: clout. D: significance.
17. stereotyped (adj.) - A: seen in three dimensions.
B: picturesque. C: without originality. D: transcribed.
18. innovative (adj.) - A: daring. B: unusual. C: up-to-date.
19. preamble (n.) - A: summing up. B: introductory statement.
C: leisurely stroll. D: painstaking analysis.
20. pragmatic (adj.) - A: practical. B: temporary.
C: stubborn. D: rigid.
Here are the answers:
1. sheer - C: Absolute; downright; utter; as, "her sheer
physical fortitude." Also, exceedingly thin. Middle English
schere (free; clear).
2. pivotal - A: Crucial; vital; on which something turns or
depends; as, "Hers was the pivotal vote." Old French pivot
3. meticulous - D: Extremely careful about details; precise.
Latin meticulosus (fearful).
4. sanctum - C: Place that is especially private and reser-
ved; sacred space; as, "She is the first woman to crack the
innermost sanctum of male power." Latin sanctus (holy).
5. pinnacle - C: Highest point; summit, especially of
success. Also, mountain peak; small turret. Latin pinna
6. skewer - B: To pierce; transfix; as, She skewers an
attorney who is evasive or unprepared. Perhaps from Old
Norse skifa (to slice).
7. whimsy - A: Quaint or fanciful humor; playful expression;
as, "Not known for a light touch, she is capable of whimsy."
Perhaps from Old English whim-wham (fanciful object).
8. precedent - C: Example; legal decision that becomes a
model; as, "careful study of precedent." Latin praecedere
(to go before).
9. overarching - B: All-encompassing; having a broad scope;
dominating; as, "a Justice who looks to resolve each case
with no overarching philosophy."
10. serendipity - D: The good luck of making fortunate
discoveries by accident; as, Her sound decisions come not
from serendipity but from hard work. Coined by Horace
Walpole from a Persian fairy tale, "The Three Princes of
11. equably - D: Calmly; having an even temper or the
characteristic of regularity. Latin aequare (to make equal).
12. tenuously - C: Insubstantially; delicately; flimsily; as,
a court tenuously balanced between liberal and conservative.
Latin tenuis (thin).
13. incremental - B: Regularly increasing; becoming larger
periodically. Latin increscere (to grow on).
14. ramification - C: Consequence, outgrowth or result of a
particular action; as, Her decision in this case will have
important ramifications. Latin ramificare (to branch out).
15. promulgate - D: To announce officially or proclaim
publicly; as, to promulgate policies to safeguard a right.
16. confluence - A: A flowing together, especially of
streams. Metaphorically, a coming together of people, ideas,
events; as, a confluence of history, politics and luck.
Latin com (with) and fluere (to flow).
17. stereotyped - C: Without originality; trite; conven-
tional; as, the stereotyped view that only women can be
nurses. Greek stereos (solid) and typos (impression).
18. innovative - D: Presenting a new way or process; inven-
tive; as, "There has been little innovative thinking among
courts." Latin innovare (to renew).
19. preamble - B: Introductory or preliminary statement; as,
The preamble to the U.S. Constitution begins "We the people."
Latin prae (before) and ambulare (to walk).
20. pragmatic - A: Practical; approaching situations from a
realistic point of view. Greek pragma (deed).
Match the words in the left-hand column with
the correct definition in the right-hand column.
1. eudemonia......... A. Well-deserved, appropriate
2. condign.............. B. Jerky, twitching
3. soupcon............. C. A weak-willed, timid, or ineffectual person
4. bacchanalia....... D. Meditative
5. nebbish............. E. A very small amount
6. objurgate.......... F. A state of happiness and well-being
7. cogitabund........ G. Rude; uncultured
8. incult................. H. A riotous, boisterous, or drunken festivity
9. illation............... I. To express strong disapproval of
10. saccadic.......... J. An inference or conclusion drawn
1. eudemonia.... F. A state of happiness and well-being
2. condign......... A. Well-deserved, appropriate
3. soupcon........ E. A very small amount
4. bacchanalia.. H. A riotous, boisterous, or drunken festivity
5. nebbish......... C. A weak-willed, timid, or ineffectual person
6. objurgate...... I. To express strong disapproval of
7. cogitabund... D. Meditative
8. incult............ G. Rude; uncultured
9. illation.......... J. An inference or conclusion drawn
10. saccadic..... B. Jerky, twitching
Party Riddles 3.2.6
1. The maker doesn't want it; the buyer doesn't use it;
and the user doesn't see it. What is it?
2. A child is born in Boston, Massachusetts to parents
who were both born in Boston, Massachusetts. The child
is not a United States citizen. How is this possible?
3. Before Mount Everest was discovered, what was the
highest mountain on Earth?
4. Clara Clatter was born on December 27th, yet her
birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible?
5. Captain Frank and some of the boys were exchanging
old war stories. Art Bragg offered one about how his grand -
father led a battalion against a German division during World
War I. Through brilliant maneuvers he defeated them and
captured valuable territory. After the battle he was presented
with a sword bearing the inscription "To Captain Bragg for
Bravery, Daring and Leadership. World War I. From the
Men of Battalion 8." Captain Frank looked at Art and said,
"You really don't expect anyone to believe that yarn, do you?"
What's wrong with the story?
6. What is one thing that all wise men, regardless of their
religion or politics, agree is between heaven and earth?
7. In what year did Christmas and New Year's fall in the
8. A woman from New York married ten different men
from that city, yet she did not break any laws. None of
these men died, and she never divorced. How was this
9. Why are 1990 American dollar bills worth more than
1989 American dollar bills?
10. How many times can you subtract the number 5 from 25?
11. How could you rearrange the letters in the words
"new door" to make one word? Note: There is only
one correct answer.
12. Even if they are starving, natives living in the
Arctic will never eat a penguin's egg. Why not?
13. Which is correct to say, "The yolk of the egg
are white" or "The yolk of the egg is white"?
14. In Okmulgee, Oklahoma, you cannot take
a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?
15. There were an electrician and a plumber
waiting in line for admission to the International
Home Show. One of them was the father of the
other's son. How could this be possible?
16. After the new Canon Law that took effect on
November 27, 1983, would a Roman Catholic man
be allowed to marry his widow's sister?
17. How many outs are there in an inning?
18. How many animals of each sex did Moses
take on the Ark?
19. A clerk in the butcher shop is 5' 10" tall.
What does he weigh?
20. A farmer has 17 sheep and all but 9 die.
How many are left?
1) Whoever makes it, tells it not.
Whoever takes it, knows it not.
And whoever knows it, wants it not.
Can you tell me what I speak of?
2) There are three houses in a straight row.
One is red, one is blue, and one is white. The
red house is left of the middle. The blue house
is right of the middle. Where's the white house?
3) The shape of my form will waver and bend,
From the things I'm destroying
and the things I will rend.
My color will vary from bright red and blue,
The power I'm using will dictate my hue.
4) I am sometimes strong and sometimes weak,
But I am nobody's fool.
For there is no language that I can't speak,
Though I never went to school.
What am I?
5) Name this famous nursery Rhyme:
Complications arose during an investigation of dietary
influence; one researcher was unable to assimilate adipose
tissue, and another was unable to consume tissue consisting
chiefly of muscle fiber. By a reciprocal arrangement
between the two researchers, total consumption of the
viands under consideration was achieved, thus leaving
the original container of the viands devoid of contents.
Write all your answers down before
going further!!! No cheating!!!
ANSWERS TO RIDDLES:
1. A coffin.
2. The child was born before 1776.
3. Mount Everest (it just hadn't been
4. Clara lives in the southern hemisphere.
5. World War I wasn't called "World War I"
until World War II.
6. The word "and".
7. They fall in the same year every year.
New Year's Day just arrives very early
in the year and Christmas arrives very
late in the same year.
8. The lady was a Justice of the Peace.
9. One thousand nine hundred and ninety
dollar bills are worth one dollar more than
one thousand nine hundred and eighty-nine
10. Only once, and then you are subtracting
it from 20.
11. "one word"
12. Penguins live in the Antarctic.
13. Neither. The yolk of the egg is yellow.
14. You have to take a picture of a man
with a camera, not with a wooden leg.
15. They were husband and wife.
16. No. A dead man can marry no one.
17. Six . Three in each half of the inning.
18. Moses took no animals. It was Noah
on the Ark.
Extra Credit Answers:
1) Counterfeit Money
2) Washington, D.C.
3) Fire or Flames
5) Jack Sprat Could eat no fat,
His wife could eat no lean;
And so, betwixt them both,
They licked the platter clean.
You are hereby required to post your
score below in the "comments" below
for final evaluation!!! Those who don't
will discover long detours on their next
1. In the 1940s, where were automobile headlight
dimmer switches located?
a. On the floor shift knob
b. On the floor board, to the left of the clutch
c. Next to the horn
2. The bottle top of a Royal Crown Cola bottle
had holes in it. For what was it used?
a. Capture lightning bugs
b. To sprinkle clothes before ironing
c. Large salt shaker
3. Why was having milk delivered a problem
in northern winters?
a. Cows got cold and wouldn't produce milk
b. Ice on highways forced delivery by dog sled
c. Milkmen left deliveries outside of front doors
and milk would freeze, expanding and
pushing up the cardboard bottle top.
4. What was the popular chewing gum named
for a game of chance?
5. What method did women use to look as if they
were wearing stockings when none were available
due to rationing during W.W.II?
b. Leg painting
c. Wearing slacks
6. What postwar car turned automotive design on its ear
when you couldn't tell whether it was coming or going?
b. Nash Metro
7. Which was a popular candy when you were a kid?
a. Strips of dried peanut butter
b. Chocolate licorice bars
c. Wax coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside
8. How was Butch wax used?
a. To stiffen a flat-top haircut so it stood up
b. To make floors shiny and prevent scuffing
c. On the wheels of roller skates to prevent rust
9. Before inline skates, how did you keep your roller
skates attached to your shoes?
a. With clamps, tightened by a skate key
b. Woven straps that crossed the foot
c. Long pieces of twine
10. As a kid, what was considered the best way to
reach a decision?
a. Consider all the facts
b. Ask Mom
11. What was the most dreaded disease in the 1940's?
12. "I'll be down to get you in a ________, Honey"
13. What was the name of Caroline Kennedy's pet pony?
a. Old Blue
14. What was a Duck-and-Cover Drill?
a. Part of the game of hide and seek
b. What you did when your Mom called you in
to do chores
c. Hiding under your desk, and covering your
head with your arms in an A-bomb drill.
15. What was the name of the Indian Princess on
the Howdy Doody show?
a. Princess Summerfallwinterspring
b. Princess Sacajewea
c. Princess Moonshadow
16. What did all the really savvy students do when
mimeographed tests were handed out in school?
a. Immediately sniffed the purple ink, as this was
believed to get you high
b. Made paper airplanes to see who could sail
theirs out the window
c. Wrote another pupil's name on the top, to
avoid your failure
17. Why did your Mom shop in stores that gave
Green Stamps with purchases?
a. To keep you out of mischief by licking the
backs, which tasted like bubble gum
b. They could be put in special books and
redeemed for various household items
c. They were given to the kids to be used
as stick-on tattoos
18. Praise the Lord, and pass the _________?
19. What was the name of the singing group
that made the song "Cabdriver" a hit?
a. The Ink Spots
b. The Supremes
c. The Esquires
20. Who left his heart in San Francisco?
a. Tony Bennett
b. Xavier Cugat
c. George Gershwin
ANSWERS TO RIDDLES:
1. b) On the floor, to the left of the clutch. Hand controls,
popular in Europe, took till the late '60s to catch on.
2. b) To sprinkle clothes before ironing. Who had a steam iron?
3. c) Cold weather caused the milk to freeze and expand,
popping the bottle top.
4. a) Blackjack Gum.
5. b) Special makeup was applied, followed by drawing a
seam down the back of the leg with eyebrow pencil.
6. a) 1946 Studebaker.
7. c) Wax coke bottles containing super-sweet colored water.
8. a) Wax for your flat top (butch) haircut.
9. a) With clamps, tightened by a skate key, which
you wore on a shoestring around your neck.
10. c) Eeny-meeny-miney-mo.
11. c) Polio. In beginning of August, swimming pools
were closed, movies and other public gathering places
were closed to try to prevent spread of the disease.
12.. b) Taxi. Better be ready by half-past eight!
13. c) Macaroni.
14. c) Hiding under your desk, and covering your head
with your arms in an A- bomb drill.
15. a) Princess Summerfallwinterspring. She was another puppet.
16. a) Immediately sniffed the purple ink to get a high.
17. b) Put in a special stamp book, they could be traded
for household items at the Green Stamp store.
18. c) Ammunition, and we'll all be free.
19. a) The all male, all black group: The Inkspots.
20. a) Tony Bennett, and he sounds just as good today.
17- 20 correct: You are not only older than dirt,
but obviously gifted with mind bloat. Now if you
could only find your glasses. Definitely a GEEZER!
12 -16 correct: Not quite dirt yet, but your mind
is definitely muddy.
0 -11 correct: You are a sad excuse for a geezer
or you are younger than springtime!
You are hereby required to post your score
in "comments" for final evaluation!!! Those
who don't will discover long detours on their
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