I’ve never had a six-pack, I’m a little embarrassed to say. Well, I had one today — six correct answers in six different blanks! — but apparently it doesn’t count until you actually submit them. Unfortunately, I changed one of those answers just before I hit the submit button. That’s gonna sting for a while. At least I earned my second victory, defeating the previously undefeated Mike Sylvia.
1. The common financial metric EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and what?
For a while I had everything but the word itself: I knew what the word meant, and I knew it was something I occasionally accounted for in my own spreadsheets. But my brain had frozen out the actual word, so I had to sit around a while, waiting for the thaw. This eventually happened, and I was able to punch in the right answer: amortization.
2. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is located in the California city of La Cañada Flintridge, is managed by what university?
Is “La Cañada Flintridge” supposed to be some sort of hint? Please. Not helpful at all. I guess I’ll have to try to name a few California universities–
Oh! What about Caltech? The California Institute of Technology? That’s gotta be it, I thought, and I was right.
3. A national commission formed by a South American government estimates that, during a period from 1976 to 1983 in what has come to be known as the Dirty War (Guerra Sucia), 13,000 individuals in the country were killed or disappeared. Name the country.
Sheesh, take your pick. What country down thataway hasn’t had a Dirty War? The first thing I wrote in the blank was Argentina. Then I wrote Colombia. Then I wrote Argentina again. Then, just before I turned in my answers, I wrote Paraguay. The correct answer: Argentina. Arrrrgggghhhh.
4. Lt. Col. Bill Burkett, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, Mary Mapes, and Lucy Ramirez are all names associated with a 2004 controversy regarding what television series?
Mary Mapes rang a series of bells, but it took me a little while to recognize the tune. Finally the penny dropped: 60 Minutes and Rathergate.
5. A fictional venue known as the Kit Kat Klub provides the setting for much of what Broadway musical?
Gimme. Cabaret. Though I admit Chicago flittered briefly through my brain before I came to my senses.
6. Of the 38 plays written by William Shakespeare, five have titles which include the name of a city/town. One is Venice (The Merchant of Venice); name any two of the other four cities.
Two theater questions! Excellent. All right then: Two Gentleman of Verona and…
…and apparently I’ve grown a little rusty at Shakespeare.
Come on! I yelled at myself. This is a slam-dunk! I rattled off a whole lotta Shakespeare plays, but none of them had cities in the titles. I couldn’t believe it. There were three others? What was wrong with me?
Finally, in the shower, I had the brainstorm that the titles would surely be in the form of “___ of ___,” with the city in the second blank. That loosened the screws, and Timon of Athens finally arrived. Thank goodness we didn’t need three of the remaining four. Maybe I would have come up with The Merry Wives of Windsor, or maybe not. My guess is Pericles, Prince of Tyre won’t be in anybody’s answer list.