n Welsh-born actor Christian Bale is the first non-American to portray Batman on film. Eighteen years before he first portrayed the Caped Crusader in “Batman Begins,” he was the British schoolboy who is separated from his parents in Steven Spielberg’s “Empire of the Sun.” Unexpected connection: Bale’s former stepmother is feminist icon Gloria Steinem.

If you’re not familiar with the Texas-based rock band Max Q, you should be, because it is notable for being composed entirely of people who have:

A) Won the Nobel Prize

B) Been to outer space

C) Served in the U.S. Congress

D) Played on the PGA tour

Answer Monday.

Thursday’s answer: Columns, needles and plates are three common varieties of snowflakes, named for their basic shapes. Other snowflake varieties include prisms and dendrites.

n As mentioned in Sol Steinmetz’s new book “Semantic Antics,” “crafty” and the synonymous “cunning” were adjectives of praise long before they took on their more pejorative meanings. Hundreds of years ago, both words meant “skillful.” Today, “charmingly cute” is in current dictionaries under “cunning,” the sense in which Teddy Roosevelt often used it in his letters when discussing his children.


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