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Left in the Lurch

A restaurant manager in Kokomo, Indiana, had an employee who failed to show up for work. This left him wondering about the phrase left in the lurch. It probably derives from an old game similar to backgammon called lourche, the object of which is to...

Da Vinci Riddle

In Leonardo da Vinci, biographer Walter Isaacson notes that da Vinci was fond of riddles, including this one: Winged creatures will support people with their feathers. This is part of a complete episode.

A Blue Million

Ian in Clyde, North Carolina, is puzzled when a colleague uses the term blue million, meaning “a large amount.” Along with words like zillion and gazillion, this expression functions as an indefinite hyperbolic numeral. Sometimes the...