Today's Los Angeles Times
crossword by Pam Amick Klawitter is titled "Communication Update" and cleverly adds a word to each of seven familiar phrases to form the names of modern methods of, well, communication:
Emeril's gateway? FOODWEBBROWSER
Tiny pair of media hosts? TWOPEASINAPODCAST
Security for sailors? SAINTELMOSFIREWALL
Online photo exchange for redheads? GINGERSNAPCHAT
Having returned to the world of public performances? BACKINAFLASHMOB
End of a 'Great Reuben!' tweet? CORNEDBEEFHASHTAG
'Got a film to share?' ANYTHINGFORYOUTUBE
Emeril Lagasse studied culinary arts at Diman Vocational High School in his home town of Fall River, Massachusetts, and at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1990, after working as a chef for 11 years, he opened his own restaurant, Emeril's, in New Orleans. He has hosted several television series and has written 18 cookbooks. He now owns 12 restaurants. We all know what a "web browser" is but the term "food web" is much less common. It refers to all the food chains in a particular ecosystem, or, to put it more simply, "who eats who and what eats what." (And no, that is not part of an Abbott & Costello routine.
Saint Elmo's Fire is a weather phenomenon that sometimes occurs during a thunderstorm when a strong electric field ionizes the air around a ship's mast, a church steeple or an airplane's wings and creates a corona discharge which appears as a glowing ball of light. The phenomenon is named after the patron saint of sailors, Saint Erasmus of Formia, who is known in Italian as Saint Elmo or Saint Erasmo. A detailed explanation of the "fire" is at http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/atmospheric/st-elmo-fire.htm
A hashtag is a symbol (#) which Twitter users can attach to a specific name or word when they make a post, or Tweet. When Twitter users search for a specific topic, all the posts containing that name or word prefaced by a hashtag will be displayed. The hashtag is also known as a "number sign" (as in "#9") and a "pound sign" (on a telephone keypad). The symbol is actually called an octothorpe. The name is believed to have been coined circa 1969 by a Bell Telephone Laboratories employee. "Octo" likely refers to the eight points of the symbol but linguists are unable to explain the last part of the word. "Thorp" is the Old English word for "village" and there was an athlete named Jim Thorpe (1887-1953) but neither seems to have any connection to the word which refers to the # symbol. It's a mystery!
"Shooting marbles" is TAWS. The word "taw" dates from the 9th century and originally meant "to convert (an animal skin) into leather by treatment with mineral salts such as alum." The word derived from the Old English tawian
, meaning "to do; to make" and later came to mean "flog" or "beat." In the early 1700s, marbles began to be known as taws.....but why? That is another mystery! And finally, "Sorcerer" is MAGUS. That word sounds awfully familiar to me, for some reason.