Don’t Know Much About Geography!

From New York Times Crossword, July 27, 2015

50 Across  Arabian Sea Sultanate 

Score one point if you knew the correct answer, Oman.  Score two points if you knew how to find it on a map.  Stop reading this if you could name the capital and the name of the Sultan.  If you’re like me, geography lessons were a few decades ago, and many of the names have changed – some more than once.  The nightly news flashes stories from all over with nary an instruction on proper geography.  Let’s face it, poring over those atlases can make your eyes roll back in your head.

A few yeamap_of_omanrs ago, I stumbled across some easy to read guides on memorizing geography.  These were fun to read, fun to memorize, and greatly enhanced my knowledge of the various countries.  In his book, Easily Memorize the World Map – Asia, author Siddhartha Sinha offers creative mnemonics for tackling the above question.  He uses mostly straight lines to draw rough approximations of the countries and groups are added sequentially, along with the memorization tips necessary.

With the Arabian Peninsula, he draws the parallelogram representing it, and starting with Saudi Arabia roughly in the middle, his mnemonic for it and the countries below it is:  Say Yes & Obey Your Quick BrainSay [Saudi Arabia] Yes [Yemen] & Obey [Oman] Your [UAE] Quick [Qatar] Brain [Bahrain]  How hard was that?  For more of this as well as the rest of his guides, check out his website at:

Now, back to our full answer.  Oman is a sultanate which means that it is ruled by a sultan – got it?  Its ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, who is ruler for life, has been ruling since 1970 and is the longest-serving ruler in the Middle East.  He is an absolute monarch with all that it entails, and not surprisingly, the government has come under criticism especially with its attitude towards civil liberties.  It came as somewhat of surprise to me, that despite its location, Oman actually has only modest oil reserves, ranking it 25th world wide for its supply.

In spite of its intolerance of criticism, Oman actually earns considerable revenue from tourism, with its capital, Muscat, being ranked the second best city in the world to visit by Lonely Planet.

National Reading Across America Day

Did March 2 pass by without a glance from you?  It did for me as well.  Much to my chagrin, I have learned that March 2 is National Reading Across America Day.  Why March 2?  Well, it happens to be the birthday of one of the best-known children’s author, Theodore Geisel, or Dr. Seuss.

Recently, on July 14, 2015, the New York Times Crossword devoted an entire puzzle theme to Dr. Seuss.  While I have read and reread many of his books, I thought it was high time to learn a bit more about him.

Theodore Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904.  As a young man, he attended Dartmouth, becoming the editor-in-chief of the college humor magazine, the Jack-O-Lantern.  After being fired from the position for drinking on campus, he wrote articles with the pen name, Seuss.  After a brief time at Oxford, Seuss decided to drop his pursuit of English literature and stick to drawing.

During the Depression and World War II he supported himself by drawing for such corporations as Standard Oil, General Electric, NBC and many others.  In 1936, he wrote Mulberry Streethis first book, And To Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street.  By his accounts, he received well over thirty rejection letters for this manuscript.  Fed up with the process, he was returning home to burn the entire thing when he ran into a friend from college who was working for Vanguard Publishing.

In 1954, he read a report from Life magazine that said that literacy in the United States was declining because many of the children’s books were too boring.  William Ellsworth Spaulding, the head of the education division at Houghton Mifflin, compiled a list of 348 words that he felt every child should know.  Cat In the HatHe approached Seuss with the task of reducing it to 250.  He then challenged him to write a book using only those words and to make it a book that children could not resist.  The result of this challenge was The Cat in the Hat.

While he received numerous awards throughout his career, Seuss received neither the Caldecott nor the Newberry Medal.  When Dartmouth College awarded him an honorary doctorate, he began to write Dr. in front of his name – because his father had always wanted him to pursue medicine.

What PetJust last week, it was announced that a new Seuss book was being released.  His widow found the manuscript, complete with line drawings and brought it to his long-time editor who complied the book, including coloring the drawings.  The finished product, What Pet Should I Get? is being released this month.

And the name we all know him by – Seuss?  Most of us have been saying it wrong all these years.  He anglicized it because it was easier for people to say, plus it rhymed with Mother Goose.  So how do you say it?  Here’s a poem from a collaborator on the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern:

You’re as wrong as the deuce

And You shouldn’t rejoice

If you’re calling him Seuss,

He pronounces it Soice.




Higher learning, and Pony island?

Spanish city that’s home to the country’s oldest university

Founded in 1218, the city of Salamanca is home to the country’s oldest university.  Before you dash off any comments – let me hasten to add that it is home to the country’s oldest university still in existence.  The first one was in Palencia but has gone the way of the dodo.  So, the university of Salamanca is also the fourth-oldest university in Europe.  Can you name the other three?  See below for answer (no peeking!)

University of SalamancaLike most institutions of its kind and in its time, it was founded as a Cathedral school.  Its motto is Quod natura non dat, Salmantica non praestat (what nature does not give, Salamanca does not apply).  It was there that Christopher Columbus went to inquire of geographers about his quest before taking it to the royal court.

After discovering America, the reputation of the university was far -reaching with many members participating in the Council of Trent.  Its mathematics department was instrumental in developing the new calendar commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII.  Ever on the cutting edge, in 1580, they had the bold idea of admitting females (!), and one of its first students, Lucia de Medrano, was the first woman to teach at a university.

Other notable alumni include Miguel de Cervantes – famous in his own right once he sat down to write.

Answers:  University of Paris (1150), University of Bologna (1088) – the first university in western Europe, University of Oxford (actual founding unknown, but teaching began in 1096 – it is the oldest in the English-speaking world)

Northernmost part of Great Britain 

Again with this clue, I was stumped – I tried to think of a county or region; I did not think of an island, specifically, Shetland island.  It is sad to say, but when I think of Shetland island, all I can think of is those ponies. miniature pony I am proud to say that as a result of this clue and subsequent research, I have learned a great deal more about this part of Great Britain.

Geographically, the islands (it is an archipelago of Scotland – fact one learned) north of Orkney and south of the Faroe islands.  Or as their tourism site says, “Where Scotland meets Scandinavia and the North Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean.”  The island can date some of its relics back to Roman times, and there is certainly a large Norse influence throughout the region.

While only 16 of the 100 islands are inhabited, those that are show that despite being almost treeless, the stone architecture, some of it prehistoric, still remains.  Mesolithic and Neolithic remains have been found including a wheel house and a smithy.  While the islands were under Scandinavian rule for centuries, it was the marriage of James III to Margaret – daughter of Christian I, king of Norway, which brought about the transfer of Shetland from Norway to Scotland.  The island was part of the dowry, naturally.Shetland-Crofthouse-Museum-720x432

Not surprisingly, since Shetland was part of Scotland, the inhabitants were involved in both World Wars.  In fact, Leif Larsen, the Norwegian leader of the Shetland Bus which was responsible for transporting intelligence agents, refugees and resistance leaders, was the most decorated allied naval officer of the war.

While the island has traditionally relied on fishing and other forms of agriculture for its economy, the discovery of oil in Sullom Voe has revitalized the struggling island’s revenues.  Tourism is still a mainstay.  In fact, Lonely Planet lists it as number six on the list of unspoiled landscapes.


Dream a little dream, Money, money, money! and Crazy for tulips?

Daydreaming type

One of the signs of success of an artist is when a creation becomes a new definition in the dictionary.  Such is the case for James Thurber, whose short story, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty“.  His short story first appeared in 1939 and was later added to his book, My World and Welcome To It in 1942.  It has been made into a movie twice, once in 1947 and again in 2012.Walter Mitty

Walter Mitty is a mild daydreamer who concocts a vivid imaginary life for himself in all kinds of occupations – surgeon, assassin, pilot – among many others.  The term, Walter Mitty, has come to mean a hapless daydreamer whose dreams accomplish almost nothing.  While played by Danny Kaye and Ben Stiller with comedic intent, the actual message is somewhat more tragic with the life unfulfilled and a rather horrid ending.

Besides gaining a definition in your dictionary, Walter Mitty has also achieved notoriety in several songs and is even a slang term in the British military for someone who impersonates a British officer.

Money source since 2009

Hmm – I was trying to think of some currency, but the clue was rather long for any of the currencies I could think of, but with a few more letters, the answer became clear:  Kickstarter.  Launched in 2009, it is a company of 121 people working in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.  Since its inception, 9 million people have pledged more than $1.8 billion dollars for 89,000 projects.

Touted as a new way to fund projects, it actually allows the creators to retain 100% ownership of their work.  So how does Kickstarter make money?  If a project is successfully funded, Kickstarter gets 5% of the collected fees.  If a project does not make its funding goals, no fees are collected.kickstarter

The types of projects are wide and varied with Art, Comics, Crafts, Design, Fashion, Games, Journalism, Music and Technology to name just a few.  The projects are just that – definable projects.  Kickstarter does not collect funds for charities or other fund-raising activities.

A look today at Kickstarter showed someone with a better light bulb, a mobile observatory and a pizza tour by a self-described pizza aficionado.  Jewelbots – a bracelet designed to teach girls how to code has already collected $89,935 dollars of its goal and Lumos, a new bicycle helmet has exceeded its initial goal and has collected $256,700.  Want to see more?  Check it out at

“The Black Tulip” novelist

You may have read or at least heard of his other novels such as The Three Musketeers, The Man in the Iron Mask, and The Count of Monte Cristo, but even with some exposure to French literature, I had not heard of the The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas – pere.

Black TulipThe story is based on a compilation of two stories in Dutch history:  the 1672 murder of two statesman and the tulipmania that gripped the country during the Dutch Golden Age.  These days, it is considered to be one of the first economic bubbles much like the dot-com bubble or real estate bubbles of today’s age.  In its peak, in 1637, a prized bulb sold for more than ten times what the average craftsman made at that time.

Competition was fierce to say the least during the mania, and Dumas weaves its story into the murder by implying that jealous over the growth of a black tulip led to the imprisonment and eventual execution of one of the growers.  Of course, there is also a love interest, jealousy and conspiracy – it is Dumas after all, n’est-ce pas?

French victory, Spanish songs!

Served with a sauce of mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, oil and wine

Chicken Marengo (despite the otherwise-sounding name) is a French dish consisting of a chicken sautéed in oil with garlic, tomato and garnished with fried eggs and crayfish.  While the dish is somewhat similar to chicken a la Provençal – there is the addition of fried eggs and crayfish.Marengo

The story is that the dish was created to commemorate the Battle of Marengo – a victory of Napoleon in June 1800.  As history states, the dish was created by chef Dunand after the battle of Marengo near Turin, Italy.  As supplies were scarce, he was forced to make a dish with the local supplies available.  Like many legends, it is said that Napoleon savored the new creation so much that he asked for it to be made after every battle.  Later on, supposedly, Dunand, with better supplies wanted to add mushrooms and wine, but Napoleon refused, being rather superstitious.

These days, other culinary historians are quick to add that tomatoes were probably not available at the time, and earliest renditions of the recipe do not include them.  Then again, who are we to argue with Napoleon, n’est-ce pas?

Spanish composer Isaac

Don’t you just love the Spanish with their names?  Who’s to say what their actual last name is?  So here goes for today’s answer:  Isaac Manuel Francisco Albeniz y Pascual — whew!  Can you imagine today’s waiting room with that name?  It would take longer than the actual office visit!

Enough with the long last name – just who was this Albeniz fellow?  Well, to start with he was a Spanish pianist and composer who in his later years was best known for his works based on folk music.  Many of his pieces have been used with classical guitar, although he never composed for the guitar.



Born in Girona, he was a child prodigy from early days, performing at the age of four.  At age seven, he actually passed the entrance exam for the Paris Conservatory but was refused admission because he was too young.  By the age of nine, he was touring Europe with his father (a customs official – how convenient!)  By age 15, he was known worldwide.

At age 16, he went to study at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels after King Alfonso’s personal secretary issued an invitation.  He continued to study with many, including Liszt and Felip Pedrell, reaching his peak in 1889 to 1892 when he again toured throughout Europe.  He lived out his final years in France which had awarded him its highest honor, the Grand-Croix de la Legion d’honneur.



Nabokov novel (not the one you’re thinking!), Charm city!

Nabokov novel

Mention the author Nabokov, and most people’s response will be, “Didn’t he write Lolita?”  While he did indeed write Lolita, the story of Humbert Humbert and his perverse fantasies, which attained almost cult status, the novel that actually brought him to attention in the United States was the novel, Pnin.  If you solve crosswords on a regular basis, you have probably come across this clue more than once – four words for a Nabokov novel?  Has to be Pnin.

Unlike Humbert Humbert of Lolita, who is described as handsome and urbane, Pnin is a bald, frumpy college professor.  He is a Russian immigrant who teaches at Waindell College, which is believed to represent either Cornell or Wellesley College – both institutions at which Nabokov taught.

The story begins with Pnin on a train when he realizes he is headed in the wrong direction.  In the confusion and melee during his travel, he has a slight heart attack, loses consciousness and in his memory travels back to his earliest days in Russia, recalling his mother, the Revolution, and other painful memories.Pnin

Subsequent episodes in the book reveal his awkwardness with his students and colleagues who consider his old-fashioned Russian and behavior out of place.  He is brilliant, but his bumbling English does not always get this across to others.  He does befriend his ex-wife’s son, Victor, treating him with respect that he does not often experience.

Other episodes reveal more of Pnin’s background, including his tragic loss of his love, Mira Belochkin, who was Jewish and incarcerated at Buchenwald concentration camp.  During this story, it is revealed who is the actual narrator of the novel – a sometime friend of Pnin.

Some believe this book to be somewhat autobiographical as Nabokov was a college professor and his wife was also Jewish.  Others contrast the character of Pnin with Humbert as being opposite in almost every respect.  While Lolita achieved even greater success than Pnin, it was still this novel that brought Nabokov to attention.  Flannery O’Connor, the well-known Southern writer, was a huge favorite of Pnin, even writing a blurb for the Vintage edition.


Nickname for Baltimore

This one had me stumped.  After all, how many cities in the United States have nicknames – dozens!  The Big Apple, The Windy City, Cradle of Liberty, The Emerald City, and so on, but Baltimore?  Of course, like many nicknames, the actual source of Baltimore’s nickname, Charm City, has been a topic of debate.

Back in 1995, a writer for the New York Times, who wrote an article about travels to Baltimore stated that H. L. Mencken called Baltimore ‘Charm City’.  Well, in fact, H. L. Mencken did live in Baltimore, but the nickname ‘Charm City’ was created in 1975 and Mencken died in 1956.  Oops!

BaltimoreIts origins were in the desperate need to reform Baltimore’s image – back in 1975, destruction not construction was the norm, and Baltimore’s reputation had little good associated with it.  Mark Kram, a writer for Sports Illustrated, said that “Baltimore is an anonymous city, even to those who live there, a city that draws a laugh even from Philadelphia, a sneer from Washington . . . A Loser’s Town.”  Ouch!

An advertising firm was hired to promote the beleaguered city, and it was this group that created the slogan, “Charm City”.  Ads were run, disk jockeys were encouraged to create music.  Even with all the hoopla, the plan overall was a flop.  This was long before Baltimore had the Harborplace, the Maryland Science Center and the Aquarium.  Back in 1975, there simply was not enough momentum to get the nickname into the public arena and stay there.  In any case, it definitely was not Mencken who coined the phrase.

Prince Edward, and Pleasant Island?

Smallest Can. Province

Perhaps you were a fan of Anne of Green Gables fame – and perhaps not, but in any case, the answer to the above clue is P.E.I. or Prince Edward Island.  It is indeed the smallest of the Canadian provinces, and is one of the three maritime provinces, and the only one with no land boundary — “I’ll take Canadian Provinces for $2000, Alex!”  While it is the smallest province, it is also one of the oldest, and its immigrant population reflects this with its Anglo-Saxon and French history being found in its current inhabitants.PEI

It is named for Prince Edward (who would have thought it?), the fourth son of King George III and the father of Queen Victoria.  Its capital is Charlottetown, and the countryside is largely pastoral which inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery in her novel, Anne of Green Gables.

Now, perhaps you’re a fan of Jeopardy as I am, and since Alex Trebek is a famous Canadian, the topic of Canada is a frequent one.  I know all fifty U. S. states and their capitals, but all of those Canadian provinces?  I have to admit, that I falter in the middle, and fudge my way to the east.  So, here is a mnemonic to help us all:

Billy And Sally Made Our Queen Nervous Playing NearNeedles

Did that help?  Probably not, since I don’t have the provinces beneath them, so here goes that string:

British Columbia / Alberta / Saskatchewan / Manitoba / Ontario / Quebec / New Brunswick / Prince Edward Island / Nova Scotia / Newfoundland

Pull that one out at your next cocktail party!

South Pacific Island nation that’s only 8.1 square miles

Now if you do crosswords frequently, this clue will ring a bell – the island is Nauru.  While The Republic of Nauru is its official name, it was formerly known as Pleasant Island – what a great tourist name!

NauruIts chief economic boost comes from phosphate and its mining, so the vegetation one might expect on such an island in the south Pacific is somewhat lacking.  It is basically a phosphate rock, so it was ripe for strip mining, and during the 1960’s and 70’s it boasted one of the highest per-capita incomes by a sovereign state, but of course, the resources were mostly depleted after that, so the economy has changed dramatically since then.

At one point, Nauru, to gain additional income, became a tax haven and even a money-laundering center.  Now they work with the government in Australia as a detention center.  While it has a police force, Nauru has no army and operates under the control of Australia in terms of its national defense.

Keystone, South Dakota – Home of Mount Rushmore

Unlike previous posts where two or three crossword clues are defined – today’s Sunday puzzle is the theme of Mount Rushmore – a topic worthy of solo treatment.  Most of us can envision what Mount Rushmore looks like.  Some of us have been to it – in fact over three million people visit it each year, which is quite a feat considering how far one travels to see it even in the state of South Dakota.Mountrushmore

Today I learned that Mount Rushmore was named for New York lawyer Charles E. Rushmore, who visited the area in 1884 to look at mining prospects.  When he asked a local the name of the mountain and was told that it had no name but would be known as Rushmore from then on.

Doane Robinson, a South Dakota historian, wanted to attract more visitors to his state.  He envisioned sculptures of “The Needles” – several granite pillars in the likenesses of heroes of the old West.  He approached Gutzon Borglum, an American sculptor who was already busy working on a Robert E. Lee sculpture at Stone Mountain.  As it turned out, Borglum and the group that commissioned him, had a fallout out, so he was available for Robinson’s project.

Borglum’s initial idea was to have George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as he thought they had broader appeal.  Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt were added later because of their contributions to democracy and conservation.  In 1925, he picked out Mount Rushmore as the site and work began in 1927, although not without protests from Native Americans and environmentalists.  Nonetheless, President Calvin Coolidge dedicated the site in 1927 – work began in earnest in October of that year.

While the initial plans included busts of all four Presidents, there wasn’t enough funding for this, so heads it was!  Over 400 people worked on the sitGutzon_Borglum's_model_of_Mt._Rushmore_memoriale, using fairly new techniques of dynamite and pneumatic hammers.  Even though the work was very dangerous, no lives were lost in the creation of this massive memorial.

In 1930, the head of Washington was dedicated.  Jefferson’s head was to be to the right of Washington, but the stone was found t1024px-Mount_Rushmore2o be too weak, so his sculpture was moved to the left.  Lincoln’s head was dedicated in 1937, and Theodore Roosevelt’s head in 1939.  Gutzon Borglum died in March 1941, so his son, Lincoln finished the final details for the grand ceremony held in October of that same year.

Today, the faces of Mount Rushmore are one of the most recognized images in the United States.  Despite what some believe, in the movie, North by Northwest, Hitchcock was not allowed to film on Mount Rushmore, so he had a large-scale model of the sculpture built in Hollywood to film the famous scenes from that movie.

Big stones, Truth and light, Let’s eat!

Like Stonehenge

While there are many examples worldwide, Stonehenge is probably one of the best known examples of megalith architecture.  The word, megalith, is from the Greek and means quite simply, “big stone”.  The megaliths were often designed as a form of grave stone or a portal tomb.  In contrast to these uses, Stonehenge is believed to have astronomical alignments, although there have been cremated remains found at the site.  Its formation, the stone circle, is only one of the kinds of megaliths that exist.

Megal360px-Stonehenge-Greeniths are found throughout the world including the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia.  Dolmens which are portal tombs, usually with two standing stones and a covering are prevalent in the Middle East with a large concentration found in the Jordan Rift valley.

In Europe, the portal tomb, the passage grave and the gallery graves are the most common types seen.  Britain and Ireland have more of the  stone circles which are thought to have associations with astronomy.  Stonehenge is known for its alignment with the solstice.

One adopting the motto “Lux et veritas

This answer refers to Yale University with its response, Eli.  HowLuxetveritasever, there is more than one university which has adopted the motto, Lux et veritas.  We shall begin with the oldest – that being Yale which started as a school for Christian ministers.  Its seal includes Hebrew characters, Urim and Thummim which were used to elicit truth and light in Old Testament times.

Indiana University – the meaning behind its motto was proposed by one of its university presidents who said that the diplomas of its graduates would carry “Light and Truth”.

Marietta College – The school in Ohio has its seal as part of the brick sidewalk.  Legend has it that if you step on the seal, it will add an additional year to the time it takes the person to graduate.

Chowan Univeristy – in Murfreesboro, North Carolina adopted the motto rather late in 1913 – some believe the motto was adopted after it changed from Chowan Baptist Female Institute to Chowan College.

Eatery known for its famous celebrity caricatures

Located in Manhattan, Sardis, is a restaurant that is famous for the numerous caricatures on its walls.  After moving the restaurant in 1927, the owner, Vincent Sardi, looked for a way to lure more customers to his new site.  He sought Alex Gard to draw caricatures of Broadway celebrities.  In exchange for a meal per day, he drew one portrait per day.  This deal outlasted Vincent Sardi himself as his son tried to change the terms, but Gard refused and continued to draw the caricature/meal deal.Sardisbook

While Gard died in 1948, others have taken over the helm as the artist.  When Jimmy Cagney died, his caricature was stolen.  Since that time, the originals are kept in a vault and copies adorn the walls.

In addition to the famous caricatures, Sardis is also the birthplace of the Tony award.  Antoinette Perry’s partner was mourning her death at Sardis and there conceived the idea of an award in her honor.  For years afterward, the Tony nominations were announced at Sardis.  Vincent Sardi, Sr, received a special Tony in 1947 (the first year they were awarded).

Disillusionment, endless quest, and “Slammin’ Sammy”!

“Eyeless in Gaza” novelist, 1936

Written after the success of Brave New World, Aldous Huxley wrote what is considered to be his most personal work.  The title, Eyeless in Gaza, stems from a work by John Milton about the life of Samson who was blinded and then forced to work for the Philistines by grinding grain in a mill

… Promise was that I

Should Israel from Philistian yoke deliver;

Ask for this great deliverer now, and find him

Eyeless in Gaza at the Mill with slaves …

The book by Huxley chronicles the life of Anthony Beavis in a haphaEyeless in Gazazard fashion with no chronology.  Beavis is a socialite who is disillusioned by the after effects of World War I and seeks fulfillment through love affairs and adventures.  After these prove fruitless, he joins forces with a Marxist revolutionary, but when their violent efforts nearly kill them both, he embarks on yet another quest for meaning.

Poe poem that begins “Gaily bedlight,/ A gallant knight”

Much like Huxley’s novel above, some consider this poem of Edgar Allan Poe to be somewhat autobiographical.  It was one of his last poems, and the quest foEdgar_Allan_Poe_daguerreotype_cropr Eldorado which has gone on for centuries was seen to be symbolic of Poe’s own quest for happiness in his own life which had eluded him.


Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old—
This knight so bold—
And o’er his heart a shadow—
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow—
‘Shadow,’ said he,
‘Where can it be—
This land of Eldorado?’

‘Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,’
The shade replied,—
‘If you seek for Eldorado!’

Three-time P. G. A. Championship winner

You don’t have to know much about golf to have heard about Sam Snead, the answer to this clue.  He was an American professional golfer with a record win of 82 PGA tour events.  While he never won the U. S. Open, he was runner-up four times.

Known for his nearly perfect swing, which has been copied by countless individuals, he was also known for his down-home manner and dress, wearing a straw hat when playing and even playing barefoot.

Born iSam_Snead_1967n Ashwood, Virginia, he got his early beginning in golf by caddying at the Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia.  By 1944, he became the head pro at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.  He maintained close ties to both places throughout his life.

During his main playing years, he was known as an exceptionally long driver with accuracy to match.  His controversial croquet-style of putting was eventually banned in 1968.  In 1983 at age 71, he shot a round of 60 – an amazing 12 under par – at the Homestead in Virginia.  He held the record for most PGA wins after age 40 until it was broken only recently by Vijay Singh.

He died in 2002 a few days short of his ninetieth birthday.  His wife of fifty years had preceded him in death.  He was survived by his two sons.  Of note, his nephew, J. C. Snead, was also a P. G. A. Tour golfer.