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Family Name Quiz Game

Quiz Guy John Chaneski’s puzzle is taking off, literally. The first half of his clue suggests something about a member of his family, and removing the first letter from that answer reveals the family member’s name. For example, his...

GUTs, Toes, and a View from the Cosmos

When theoretical cosmologists speak of GUTs and TOEs, they’re not talking about anatomy. GUT is an acronym for Grand Unified Theory and TOE stands for Theory of Everything. These are just two fun facts in the fascinating book The End of...

“The End of Everything,” by Katie Mack

Martha recommends The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking) (Bookshop|Amazon) by Katie Mack, an assistant professor of physics at North Carolina State University. It’s a challenging read, but accessible enough to lay readers to provide...

Famulus

The little-used word famulus means assistant, and originally referred to the assistant of a sorcerer or scholar. This is part of a complete episode.

To Have Your Work Cut Out For You

To have one’s work cut out for you comes from an earlier phrase to have all one’s work cut out. Picture a tailor who’s working as fast as possible with the help of an assistant who’s cutting out the pieces to be sewn. If you...

Boy Friday

A young woman is puzzled when her boyfriend’s father says he was looking for someone who needs a good boy Friday. It’s most likely a reference to Daniel Defoe’s 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe. The title character spends 30 years on a...