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Thursday, August 02, 2018

The Wiz's Quiz! Pun Intended!

Pun Intended
1. While vacationing in Paris, I thought I might enjoy this soft, creamy cheese, originally from Normandy; however, I found I ___________ it. What name of a cheese made from cow's milk and given to French soldiers of World War I would create a pun when put into the above blank?


2. Obviously, I was still hungry, so I set about finding something else I could eat. I had a hankering for fish and visited a local seafood restaurant. The waiter informed me I'd come to the right plaice and offered me the catch of the day. After I took a moment to mullet over, I decided to try it just for the ____________. Which word below, considered the largest of the flatfish and popular with Catholics, would create a pun when inserted into the blank above?


3. I eventually left the restaurant, strolled down the avenue, and came to a pet shop that caught my attention. Upon entering it, I was curious about a creature that looked somewhat like a lizard. I inquired about it of the store's clerk and was informed that this animal was not for sale, was not a reptile at all, and interestingly could regenerate various parts of its body as well as secrete potent toxins from its skin. The clerk told me its name was Tiny, and when I asked why, he said, "Because it's my ______." What animal name below fills this blank to create the appropriate pun?


4. I then asked the clerk about a large cat that seemed to have free range of the store but was currently sleeping on the seat of a recliner. He informed me, "This feline was a gift to me from a visitor from China, and I call him _________________." Fill in the blank with the name of an individual who was a wealthy farmer's son who eventually became a revolutionary and the founding father of the People's Republic of China.

Chiang Kai-shek
Longqing Emperor
Chairman Mao
Sun Yat-sen

5. I left the store and came to a bar, where I saw a sign that all people of the medical profession could drink for free. Luckily, I am a doctor, so I entered, informed the bartender of my occupation, and told her I'd like a daiquiri. Interestingly, she crushed up some large nuts and mixed them with the sugar, lime juice, rum, and crushed ice. I asked what she called this concoction, and she replied, "It's __________ daiquiri, doc." The blank should be filled with the name of a tree whose wood was once used frequently for baseball bats and is currently used for its flavoring of smoked or barbecued meats.

an acorn
a chestnut
a walnut
a hickory

6. Feeling refreshed, I decided to entertain myself at the local zoo. While there, I passed a man eagerly standing and watching a large exhibit filled with various antelope. Though he held a camera as if he were ready to shoot, he was taking no pictures. Around five o'clock, I was leaving the zoo and saw the same man watching the antelope and taking no pictures. Curious, I asked him what he was doing. He cheerfully replied, "I'm waiting for the evening ______." Fill in the blank with the name of an antelope of southern Africa that is also referred to by another name derived from the Afrikaans language.


7. That evening I decided to take a tour of some of the city's older streets by riding in a horse-drawn carriage. The driver informed me that his horse was a genius as it had mastered math, physics, and history. However, he complained that the horse could not comprehend philosophy. I told him I thought that proved that you can't put __________ before the horse. Fill the blank with the name of a French philosopher known as the creator of analytic geometry and for never getting out of bed before eleven in the morning.


8. The next morning, I lay in bed late and read the daily newspaper. I read an article about someone who nearly got away with stealing several paintings from the Louvre. The thief had masterfully broken into the museum and defeated all of its security measures but then was arrested only two blocks away after he foolishly allowed his Econoline to run out of fuel. In a statement, the thief remarked, "I had no __________ to buy ________ to make the ________." Fill in the blanks consecutively with the painter of "Haystacks", the painter of "After the Bath", and the painter of "Irises".

Pollock, Cassat, Gauguin
Monet, Degas, Van Gogh
Dali, Durer, Caravaggio
Renoir, Picasso, Da Vinci

9. Further into the newspaper, I read an article about a woman of an Anabaptist denomination who had been arrested for bigamy. Apparently, she liked two ____________. Which term below would complete the pun? It is a name used to denote an individual who belongs to a Christian sect known for its pacifism and founded by Simons of Friesland, a northwest section of The Netherlands.


10. After a late lunch, I returned to the bar where I'd had the daiquiri. However, this time I was in the mood for a different drink and requested the interestingly named Charles Dickens martini. The bar tender responded, "________________________?" To complete the pun, what is the title of Dickens' second novel, one that exposes society's cruel and exploitative treatment of children and one that was criticized as anti-Semitic because of Dickens' portrayal of a Jewish character?

Oliver Twist
Great Expectations
Martin Chuzzlewit
David Copperfield

1. Camembert
I found I "camembert" it or I "cannot bear" it. The original Camembert cheese was created by Marie Harel in Normandy, France, in 1791. She used raw milk, but society's current health standards usually require that cheese be produced from pasteurized milk; thus, the Camembert that most people eat today is not true Camembert. After Camembert ripens through the use of the penicillium candidum fungus, it has a white rind that is meant to be eaten with the creamy interior cheese.

2. halibut
I tried the fish for the "halibut" or for the "hell of it." The word "halibut" comes from the combination of the words "haly" (holy) and "butt" (flatfish), a term applied to the fish after it began to be quite popular with Catholics as a meal on various holy days. Another point of interest is that the halibut in its earliest stages of life has an eye on either side of its head; however, as the fish matures into an adult, one eye gradually moves to the other side of the head so that the fish looks like a typical flatfish with two eyes on one side. Meanwhile, if you can think of some better fish puns than those I used in the question, let minnow it.

3. newt
While salamander would fit the description, particularly since newts are a particular kind of salamander, the word "newt" is the only word that completes the pun: the animal was named Tiny because it's "my newt" or "minute." The newt has cells that scientists believe are very similar to cells that would normally create tumors in human beings yet allow the newt to regenerate lost limbs and eyes as well as damaged spinal and cardiac tissue. Also, the newt's skin secretes toxins that serve as a defense mechanism against those predators that might consider making a meal of the creature. In fact, the rough-skinned newt's toxin is so potent that it would kill a human being if he or she ingested it. Interestingly, most garter snakes have developed a tolerance of the newt's toxicity and thus are one of the newt's only predators. By the way, the newt is, indeed, not a reptile but rather an amphibian that spends part of its life as an aquatic animal and has gills during its early stages of development. The word "newt" comes from the Old English term for the animal--"euft" or "ewt"; "newt" came about as more and more people blended the "n" from the article "an" that often occured in speech before the word "ewt."

4. Chairman Mao
While the cat is sleeping in a recliner, referring to him as a Chairman seems appropriate, but, more significant is the pun on "Mao" or "Meow," the sound a cat is said to make. Mao Zedong (Tse-tung) was born the day after Christmas in 1893 and died in September of 1976. He was married four times and had ten children. Mao's father was a harsh disciplinarian and frequently beat his children. When Mao was thirteen years old, his father forced him to marry a seventeen-year-old girl so that the two families could unite their wealth for greater power and prestige; however, Mao, showing his revolutionary spirit even at a young age, refused to recognize the girl as his wife and ran away. Locally disgraced, the wife eventually died three years later. Of note, Mao's military strategy was influenced not only by Napoleon but also George Washington.

5. a hickory
"A hickory daiquiri, doc" would create a pun of the line from the nursery rhyme "Hickory dickory dock." The hickory tree's wood is so strong and hard that it is frequently used for handles in tools, various carts, spokes in wheels, drumsticks, skis, and golf clubs. It was formerly used for baseball bats but has since been replaced by ash. Andrew Jackson was given the nickname "Old Hickory" because of his often perceived harsh and unbending personality. Interestingly, the hickory nut is not truly a botanical nut but rather a drupe, much like the fruit of a peach tree. The nuts of some species of hickory trees are tasty; however, many are rather bitter and serve better as an ingredient to various foods marketed for animals.

6. gnus
The man with the camera appears to be waiting for the evening "gnus" or "news." The gnu is also known as the wildebeest, and there are two main varieties: the blue wildebeest (or the brindled gnu) and the black wildebeest (or the white-tailed gnu). Gnus are quite noisy creatures, apparently. They are known to make a variety of sounds, including moans and explosive snorts. They also make a groaning sound to indicate to other members of the herd that danger is nearby, at which the herd reacts by stampeding.

7. Descartes
Putting "Descartes" before the horse is a pun on the expression "putting 'the cart' before the horse." Rene Descartes lived from 1596 to 1660 and is sometimes referred to as the father of modern philosophy. Not only were his mathematical theories essential to the eventual discovery of calculus, but his radical thinking caused him to become one of the primary influences during the scientific revolution. He refused to accept any previous teachings or the data gathered by his own physical senses as unquestionable and infallible. Of course, he is very widely known for the statement he believed must be used as the foundation or beginning of all other knowledge: "Cogito ergo sum" or "I think; therefore, I am." His works were at one point banned by the Catholic Church.

8. Monet, Degas, Van Gogh
"I had no Monet to buy Degas to make the Van Gogh" or "I had no money to buy the gas to make the van go." Oscar Claude Monet, the French Impressionist painter, lived from 1840 to 1926. He is most famous for his "Water Lilies" paintings, and the term "Impressionism" is usually attributed to the title of his painting "Impression, Sunrise". Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas was also a French Impressionist who lived from 1834 to 1917. Some of his most well-known works include "The Bellelli Family", "Woman with Chrysanthemums", and "Chanteuse de Café"; however, he is most associated with images of dancers as over half his paintings were on this subject. Vincent Willem van Gogh was a post-impressionist painter of Dutch origin but often associated with France. He lived from 1853 to 1890. He suffered frequently from mental illness and died from a gunshot wound, believed to have been self-inflicted though no gun was ever discovered. His most famous works include "Starry Night" and "Sunflowers" as well as many self portraits. The Impressionist painters are often credited with having saved painting as a form of artistic expression because the newly invented camera produced more accurate renderings of the visual world than any artist's hand might.

9. Mennonite
The woman liked two "Mennonite" or two "men a night." Mennonites are named for their founder Menno Simons, who was a converted Anabaptist, someone who believed in being baptized again as an adult because he or she rejected baptism of infants and very young children because they were too young to make a voluntary decision to follow Christ. The Mennonite faith grew in popularity in The Netherlands during the sixteenth century, spread to Switzerland and Germany, and then to the United States and Russia. Of course, their churches can be found all over the world. Central to the Mennonite faith is a dedication to pacifism, simplicity, community service, and outreach of aid to those in need around the world. The Amish are a sect that eventually separated from the Mennonites because they believed that the followers of Christ should avoid interaction as much as possible with the majority of people in society so that they can remain focused on living a more spiritual life.

10. Oliver Twist
"Oliver Twist" or "Olive or twist?" refers to two popular options for garnishing a martini: with an olive or with a twist of lemon. "Oliver Twist, or, The Parish Boy's Progress" was published as a serial in monthly installments from February 1837 until April 1839 and was published as a novel in 1838 under Dickens' pseudonym Boz. The central character, Oliver Twist, is an orphan who moves from a workhouse to employment with an undertaker to eventually roaming the streets of London with a group of orphaned children surviving as pickpockets. Their trainer is a man named Fagin, the Jewish character criticized for contributing to the continuance of negative stereotyping. The novel's inspiration more than likely came from two sources: a popular story about an orphan named Robert Blincoe who told of his misery as a child cotton mill worker and Dickens' own experiences as a child laborer working ten-hour days at Warren's Blacking Warehouse.

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