Have some apple pie, watch some fireworks, and celebrate America's birthday with these seven goos inspired by the names of the original colonies, but beware that several of them deceptively refer to other states entirely.



Peter Cancro

publication date: Saturday, July 10, 2021

category: Business

clue: He's not the eponymous Mike, but he did take over a struggling sandwich restaurant as a teenager and turn it into a 2000-location franchise.

explanation: Cancro started working for Mike's Sandwiches at 14 and bought the failing business at 17, eventually franchising it around the country as Jersey Mike's. more…

difficulty: easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Steve West, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Richard Slominsky, Denise Sawicki, Erik Bates, and Mike Eberhart


CeeLo Green

publication date: Friday, July 9, 2021

category: Music

clue: The first single released from this Southern singer's femicidal third album was a tribute to his native state.

explanation: Green, an Atlanta native, released the single "Georgia" to promote his album The Lady Killer. more…

difficulty: hard

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Steve West, and Erik Bates


Esther Williams

publication date: Thursday, July 8, 2021

category: Sports

clue: A hotel swimming pool is named for this competitive swimmer and actress where she played for keeps, on a road-less island (which technically has roads but you cannot drive on them).

explanation: Williams filmed scenes for This Time for Keeps at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, which does not allow any motor vehicles. more…

difficulty: medium

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Steve West, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Richard Slominsky, Denise Sawicki, and Mike Eberhart


Henry David Thoreau

publication date: Wednesday, July 7, 2021

category: Literature

clue: He didn't live in Pennsylvania, but he did use pencils to write about his famous two-year residence on a pond, pencils that were likely provided by his father, a professional pencil-maker.

explanation: Thoreau wrote Walden about his time living on Walden Pond. more…

difficulty: easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Steve West, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Richard Slominsky, Denise Sawicki, and Mike Eberhart


Julia Stiles

publication date: Tuesday, July 6, 2021

category: Movies

clue: According to Scott Hardie's thoroughly negative review, this actress's 2005 movie went south as soon as Shirley MacLaine started playing her wacky grandmother.

explanation: Stiles and MacLaine co-starred in Carolina. more…

difficulty: medium

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Steve West, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Denise Sawicki, and Mike Eberhart

trivia: Funeratic dates movies according to their widest American release, and Carolina wasn't seen in the U.S. until 2005. However, it did play in some theaters in Europe in 2003, so IMDb considers it a 2003 film, and many other websites draw the release date from IMDb. LaVonne Lemler pointed out to Scott that players might be searching online for Shirley MacLaine movies from the wrong year, making the goo harder than intended. He agreed but decided to leave the goo alone since it was nearing its expiration date.


Courtney Wilson

publication date: Monday, July 5, 2021

category: Controversy

clue: If you want to marry on land, get permission, unlike this groom who staged a wedding at a stranger's Florida mansion without realizing that someone was home.

explanation: In April 2021, Wilson made headlines when he and his bride staged an entire wedding weekend at what they thought was an abandoned mansion in Miami after Wilson failed to get the owner's permission, only for their families to be removed when the owner called the police. more…

difficulty: easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Steve West, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Richard Slominsky, Denise Sawicki, and Mike Eberhart


Ben Curtis

publication date: Sunday, July 4, 2021

category: Advertising

clue: In the early 2000s, this enthusiastic commercial pitchman made many people aware of Dell.

explanation: For several years, Curtis appeared in numerous TV commercials for Dell computers, with his catchphrase, "Dude, you're getting a Dell!" more…

difficulty: easy

solved by: Russ Wilhelm, Steve West, LaVonne Lemler, Chris Lemler, Richard Slominsky, Denise Sawicki, and Mike Eberhart


Other Themes in Summer 2021

United by Emotion

The 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo may have been delayed for a year by the pandemic, but they're still a remarkable display of athleticism and achievement, perhaps made even more dramatic by these trying times. This week, guess seven people closely associated with the event. Go »