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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thursday Brain Teaser

A Russian-Jewish immigrant, he wrote the most famous Christmas song in America. Having no formal musical training, he composed with a special piano that could transpose songs into any key. Later he donated it to the Smithsonian. President Eisenhower gave him a special congressional medal for his patriotic songs like “God Bless America.” At the age of 101, he died in 1989.

That´s right. Another week has come and gone and it is time to gather the remaining brain cells and try to read an entire paragraph, remembering it all and find an answer to it. Once that little cute light bulb appears over your head, hurry on to the comment section (you know how quickly you tend to forget!) and HINT!!! at the right answer.

Where was I?


Posted by Minka :: 2:16 am :: 59 Royal Subjects

Link to this Royal Decree!


At 02:43, Anonymous Al said...

This guy wrote the music for the film "The Cocoanuts" (1929), which featured brothers who served as my hint for your last Brain Teaser. Coincidence? I don't think so...

At 02:45, Blogger Minka said...

al, it is all about you in the end, isn´t it? And correct, well played and you are first...that is very important in my books. LOL

At 02:56, Blogger Doug said...

Al, looks like you found someone you could get the best of. I'm here to make everyone else look good.

I know exactly three songs that he wrote and one's in Minka's clue so this'll have to do:

When the first flag of the day is unfurlin’
And the bugler starts his lips a-curlin’
Ya gotta get up
And after a cup
Start a fightin' man’s knittin’ and purlin’

At 04:38, Blogger QuillDancer said...

Minka, I was wondering, is your white knight still on his charger, or was he just a dream manifested by liverworst sandwiches before bed?

I debated mentioning the Barry Manilow connection, but decided that if I came and gave without taking you'd send me away.

Doug, count your blessings that I can't give you a lecture on your lack of knowledge on this subject!

At 06:26, Anonymous cindra said...

over 3,000 songs composed in his lifetime, including "White Christmas" and "There's No Business Like Show Business"

At 11:54, Blogger Minka said...


Quilly, wow...very well done. Youa re going to give puppy a run for her money. There is a bunch of hinting if ever I saw something. Thanks for swinging by...and my white knight? I haven´t layed my eyes on him yet, but I can smell his noble steed just around the corner ;)

cindra, I had no idea of teh magnitude of songs that he composed, but he sure owns White Christmas!

At 12:07, Blogger IDiveAtNight said...

Cool! I was at a loss for a name but recognized the picture. After reading the hints I think I've got it, but don't have a reliable hint to return the favour.

Minka? Why aren't you blogging about this white knight business? We get stories about horses but no details about who's riding them!

At 12:22, Blogger Minka said...

Morgan, I seriously don´t know what Quilly is on about. There is no white knight. There was a rider in training, but he fell of his horse on the first date...and that is the story and I am sticking to it.
White Nights however, well there are plenty...It has started to snow in Iceland...yipeeeeee!

At 12:38, Blogger IDiveAtNight said...

LMAO! Beautifully put!

Thanks for the visit and comments. Alas, you just missed today's post. Wandering nonsense. :-)

At 12:45, Blogger FelineFrisky said...

I think I know who this is, from the picture and the current hints. But I too, have no new hint to leave that's suitable. :( sigh When do we get the answer, oh great Penguin?? and can I wait that long?? Diane

At 12:49, Blogger Doug said...


Quill, 34 short comments=1 lecture.

At 12:55, Blogger Minka said...

Morgan, I´ll head on over rigth away!

FF, the answer might become clear if more hints will be dropped, rather than inquiries about my love life. Otehrwise, I´ll probably announce the answer tomorrow, we should give Thursday a chance! ;)

Doug, bitter?

At 13:01, Blogger Doug said...

I'm never bitter, Minka. Just low-calorie.

At 13:41, Blogger IDiveAtNight said...

Okay, a hint. His name is really similar to Bill Cosby. This is assuming that the gentleman who sang White Christmas is the one we're creditting as being the author also. :-P

At 13:54, Blogger Minka said...

Morgan, youa re thinking of Bing Crosby aren´t you? he did sing it, but the composer is a different dude. If it helps, I had to do a lot of research on this guy, before the brain teaser went up ;)

At 13:55, Blogger Minka said...

Doug, slight oversight on my part, upsiedaisy!

At 13:58, Anonymous neva said...

and not one mention around here about the fact that his last name = the capital of Germany? interesting.

At 14:03, Anonymous neva said...

oh, and hey... where would Kate Smith be without one of his most famous songs of ALL TIMES?? (think about *that* one for a minute, i'll wait) xox

At 14:10, Anonymous neva said...

finally... his most famous musical was loosely based on America's first female superstar (and a sharpshootin' one, at that), and featured a song that included the lyrics "anything you can do, *i* can do better". (which i'm thinkin' you'd like!)

love this brain-teaser, dearest Monika!! (can you tell?) xoxo

At 14:19, Blogger Mo'a said...

Hello is all I can say....so many clever people....yes!! even Al LOL

At 15:01, Blogger IDiveAtNight said...

Ouch, my brain's been teased! But I think Neva just told me who it is.

At 15:15, Blogger Jodes said...

the 3 day is one day away!!!

At 15:58, Blogger QuillDancer said...

Did you know that his wife died of typhoid fever, which she contracted while on their honeymoon?

I'd like to stay and drop some more hints but I must go listen to the best band in the land, besides, event he best of friends must part.

At 16:35, Anonymous neva said...

idiveatnight: d'oh! i'm such a maroon. i was hoping if i swooped in with a couple more hints no one would notice the stupid obvious one i left first. i really meant to tweak it, but i hit publish instead of preview before i got the chance (i *hate* when that happens). my bad.

At 16:40, Blogger Minka said...

neva, we were waiting for you to state teh obvious :) and I am still thinking...I really am quite slow! Strike three? You are just trying to outdo Quilly :) *nods head in approval*

Móa, even he has his minute of glamour, it passes quickly though, especially when he starts throwing stuff!

Morgan, that is why it pays to come back again and again and again....;)

Jodes, goody!

Quilly, out of curiosity...what is the best band in the land? I might just check your blog and see if soemthing will pop up!

At 16:40, Blogger Minka said...

neva, you have all the rights to screw things up. You do it in such a lovely way.

At 17:19, Blogger O Ceallaigh said...

Yes, indeed, the capital of reunited Germany - which once inspired President John F. Kennedy to tell the world that he is a jelly donut.

It's also the name of a city in the great state of New Hampshire - pronounced with the accent on the first syllable.

Americans are so good at screwing things up. Though after Tuesday, there is hope ...

At 17:19, Anonymous Old Mule said...

Okay...this isn't much of a hint, but Woody Guthrie wrote "This Land is Our Land", because he never really liked "God Bless America." I guess most people like their own songs better.

At 17:21, Blogger O Ceallaigh said...

Oh, and the first name is now an oil company, prominent in northeastern US and eastern Canada.

At 17:44, Blogger Doug said...

Quill, she just said she'd died of typhoid fever on their honeymoon.

At 19:36, Blogger QuillDancer said...

Doug, but she meant it.

Minka, did you know that some folks don't believe he actually composed all those songs himself since he was such a poor musician?

At 20:23, Anonymous Al said...

~Ptooey~ Gotcha again, Minky!

[As Thousands Cheer (1933)]

(Getting a spitball over the pole and onto your head is no easy chore, Missy.)

At 20:30, Blogger QuillDancer said...

Minka, I just checked at my place and Alexander isn't there -- but feel free to stop by just the same.

At 20:39, Anonymous al said...

Miss Quilly! Miss Quilly! (~waving hand frantically~) Miss Quilly!

~standing next to his desk, glaring at Minka~

Can you blame him for cutting corners, Miss Quilly? After all, (~beaming like every inch the plagiarizing brownoser he is~) "Berlin was fiercely competitive, suspicious of any young admirer like George Gershwin who tried to get too close. This wariness was born of a boyhood on the Lower East Side of New York—where nobody gave you anything, people just took—in a city where the moneyed Protestants looked down on the Irish, and the Irish kicked around the Jews."

~sits back down with a smug SEG on his face ~

(There! Aren't I smarter than Minka, Miss Quilly? And a quick googler, too.)

At 22:30, Anonymous Old Mule said...

HINT al! lol

At 22:34, Anonymous neva said...

without the "ritzy" song he wrote in 1929 (which landed on Billboard's Top 100 in 1982 when Taco Ockerse did an interesting disco-esque cover), a pivotal -- and hilarous scene from the film Young Frankenstein would not have been possible (well, Brooks would have used a different song, but would it have been as funny? i think not.) xox

At 23:14, Anonymous al said...

Mr. Mule, uhhh, that's more of a guideline than a rule, no? :-)

At 23:24, Blogger Sar said...

Dammit, Neva stole my Ritzy hint. She's putting it on! (okay that was worse than bad)

Anyway, fyi - Party, my place, tomorrow!

At 23:26, Blogger Tim Rice said...

Ah, this one I should have know right off; but I didn't!

At 23:32, Blogger Doug said...

Al, you clearly don't realize you're dealing with royalty. If Minka has you beheaded can I have your lesbian wife?

Neva, however much credit Minka gives I'm doubling it for knowing Taco's last name. In the world of trivia, that has to be the holy grail.

At 00:05, Anonymous al said...

Doug: "Take my lesbian wife. Please." (BTW, if she ever finds out about this, I've got a whole lot more to fear from my wife than from Queen Minka.)

And, Mr. Mule, I just right-clicked the picture of, uhh, whatsisname, and saw this:


I guess I feel a little less guilty now.

At 08:58, Blogger QuillDancer said...

Al -- I cannot gift you with the label "smarter than Minka." The first reason you cannot have the label is you weren't smart enough to follow all of the rules. The second reason you can't have the label is because this is Minka's kingdom and I have no authority here. The third reason you can't have the label is because I've no wish to be beheaded along side you.

At 12:46, Anonymous al said...

I understand, Miss Quilly, and, as usual, you're right. You're always right.

Now, if you haven't already voted for yourself and your wonderful caption, how about voting for my caption over at Sar's?

"God Bless America"

At 13:23, Blogger Indeterminacy said...

This is not really a hint anyone can do anything with. In an intro German class in high school there was this one guy who never paid attention. Anytime the teacher called on him with a question, he would answer with this guy's last name.

At 14:48, Blogger Minka said...

Oc, the capital of re-united Germnay as well as teh capital of former East-Germany! (At least half of it!)

old mule, just give me a pen and a bit of note-paper and I shall sratch some marks on it that I will claim ingenious :)

Oc, I really wouldn´t know. But it is hard to argue with an amoeba, so you are right of course!

Doug, sometimes, silence truly is golden! ;)

quilly, yeah I saw that somewhere. Some people are just jealous I guess :)

al, tying your shoe-laces without Quilly noticing is no minor task either! You just have ot go for it and watch it a pole can swing in two directions ;)

quilly, sure will do! Alexander?...boy, soemtimes I do wish I had a few brain cells to my head :)

al, I am not surprised you and Doug sit next to each other in class. First row, I bet! he´s a dog, but you are an arse :) (I really need to grow up any day now!)

old mule, he can´t play hangman properly either! I vote for him to repeat this year!

neva, "ritzy" indeed and I agree. It would have been different!

al, I have been known to glare at people for blurting things out, ask Miz B!

Sar, I came , I saw and now I am lying on the floor. Too much chocolate! happy 11/11 to you too :)

Tim, don´t worry. You are not the only one :)

Doug, well said. I am royalty. I really do live in my own little world, don´t I? Taco´s last name? I don´t know it, but then again, the Holy Grail has never been found ;)

al, oh my god... I didnæt even think of that. Cheater...you wouldn´t pass your tests that easily. Oversight is not in Miss Quilly´s tendencies! I however, take that word to a whole new level :)

quilly, in my kingdom you can return as headless ghosts. They are quite the party favourites :)

Al, shameless promotion, maybe there is a bone of evil in you after all. That deserves a click!

indy, oh him! Zoze Germanz! :)

and as you hopefully know by now...besides the fact that AL *points finger* blurted it out, the answer is:

Irving Berlin

not that Doug´s limerick makes more sense now :)

At 16:36, Blogger G said...

Al don't worry, I'll introduce her to my gay husband. I'm sure they'll understand it was all in the name of fun.

Well, I came late to the party and fittingly what pops into my head at this very second is the song "No More Words" by an 80's group of his last name.

At 16:50, Blogger IDiveAtNight said...

Just since we keep saying it...

Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin

There. That was fun! How often can you post the answer and not blow the teaser?


At 18:36, Blogger Doug said...

Minka, I bet Neva can explain my limerick.

At 19:35, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Minka, I appreciated your comment and stopped by to take a peek into your world....I'm very glad I did.

At 00:52, Blogger Doug said...

Penguin, thank you.

At 01:14, Anonymous cindra said...


I couldn't help it. Today when I was sifting through junk, I mean, treasures at the thrift store I found a couple penquin things and bought them. For you. If you would like them, click on any mail link on the game pages at my place and I'll send them off to you...hope you don't think this is weird. Well, go ahead. It is weird. I don't even know you. But I like you anyway.

At 01:14, Blogger QuillDancer said...

I had a very good time here. Why don't I start coming by more often?

At 05:25, Blogger QuillDancer said...

Al, too late. I almost never vote for me, but since my caption stands no chance of winning this time around I voted for me so I'd at least have one.

Doug, I'm not Neva, but -- Revilee?

At 07:03, Blogger Miz BoheMia said...

Oh dios mio! I am soooooo late to the partay! Ay!

Talk about being absentminded... things have been nutty here but had to pop in to say hola and missed you oh faboo Pengunious Ice Queen!


At 07:38, Blogger Doug said...

Close, Quill. "I hate to get up in the morning" is about Reveille

At 18:57, Blogger Minka said...

G, you ar enot late, look there are 9 people behind you ;)

Morgan, you don´t wnat me to answer that,now do you?

Doug, we´ll discuss is behind your back ;)

rouge hanger, it is always lovely to see new profile pictures around here :)

Dawg, don´t mention it ;)

cindra, I donæt know what to say...except: Gimme! I´ll contact your rigth away!

Qilluy, why don´t you? I am sure you would brighten the place up quite a bit :) And your caption was brilliant! Stell dein Licht nicht unter dem Scheffel :)

Miz B: there hardly ever is teh perfect party without you...and we are always glad to wait until you come jumping out of the cake :)

Doug...almost your birthday...my time it is in 5 hours and 10 minutes :)

At 23:30, Anonymous neva said...

okay... so i can't be sure about "almost birthday boy's" limmerick, but here's my best guess:

1. God Bless America (which was sung by Kate Smith -- a clue i used) and almost became the national anthem.

2. I Hate to Get Up in the Mornin' (which Berlin performed in This is the Army, but i think was also sung by Crosby/Kaye in Holiday Inn.)

3. Call Me Madam? the story of Perle Mesta (oooh... the original "hostess with the mostess"!) which starred Ethyl Merman? i know, it's a stretch...

don't thank me, curiosity killed the cat, but it just turns me into a Wikipediot. i wish i was this smart. or... do i? : P

At 12:47, Blogger Minka said...

neva...breathe :) You did very well and you are Thursday´s Trivia Queen around here.

At 21:55, Blogger QuillDancer said...

Minka, yo no hablo espanol ....


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