Sunday Supplement


Happy New Year to all! Every week, paid Browser subscribers get a special Sunday Supplement including a quiz, archive picks, books, charts and more – here's a taster of yesterday's edition.
  1. Where might you encounter Mephisto, Ximenes, Everyman and Azed?
  2. We are standing in a European capital city, beside a monument to one of the country's greatest painters, looking at the pillared portico of a museum. To our south is a botanical garden, to our north a statue of Neptune. Where are we?
  3. What is a kakapo?
  4. “Me and the devil was walkin’ side by side". Who is "me"?

Answers at bottom of email


From Our Archives: Trashed

Kiera Feldman | Pro Publica | 4th January 2018


Tales from the New York garbage-collection trade, the fifth-most-dangerous employment in America. If anything, working conditions have deteriorated since the Mafia was forced out in the 1990s, “From the collection out on garbage trucks, to the processing at transfer stations and recycling centers, to the dumping at landfills, the industry averages one worker-fatality per week” (9,950 words)


🦒: Adam Ozimek On Remote Work

Uri Bram | The Browser | 1st January 2022

The Browser talks to Adam Ozimek, econblogger and chief economist at Upwork, about teleporting, Zoom, remote working, clustering, concatenation, outsourcing, freelancing, and the silver linings of Covid (3,443 words)


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Quiz Answers:

  1. Where might you encounter Mephisto, Ximenes, Everyman and Azed?
    In the back pages of a newspaper or magazine. These are all pseudonyms used by setters of cryptic crosswords, following the precedent set by Edward Powys Mathers, who styled himself Torquemada when he published the world’s first cryptic crossword in 1925. The "acknowledged master" of the cryptic crossword was Araucaria, in civilian life the Reverend John Galbraith Graham, who served as an air force navigator before joining the church.
  2. We are standing in a European capital city, beside a monument to one of the country's greatest painters, looking at the pillared portico of a museum. To our south is a botanical garden, to our north a statue of Neptune. Where are we?
    We are in Madrid, looking at the great western facade of the Museo del Prado, which was designed in 1785 by Juan de Villanueva and opened to the public in 1819.  Until 1838 the museum's many nudes were kept in a reserved room from which members of the general public were strictly barred. "Well into the second half of the twentieth century, very few people in Catholic Spain ever saw depictions of the naked body".
  3. What is a kakapo?
    The kakapo is a species of parrot, the heaviest of all parrots, weighing 4kg fully-grown. The kakapo is incapable of flight, and nocturnal; kakapo means "night parrot" in Maori. They walk, and climb trees. Their natural lifespan is about 60 years. The kakapo was once common throughout New Zealand, but its ease of capture means that only 200 or so now survive. All have been settled on four islands off the coast of New Zealand which have been cleared of predators.    
  4. “Me and the devil was walkin’ side by side". Who is "me"?
    Robert Johnson, Delta blues singer. The line comes from Me And The Devil Blues, one of 29 songs recorded by Johnson in two sessions in 1936 and 1937 respectively, before his death the following year at the age of 27, perhaps poisoned by a lover's jealous husband. Johnson did nothing to discourage the legend that he had pledged his soul to the Devil, at a crossroads, in exchange for musical genius. In the course of that meeting the Devil sang some songs and tuned Johnson's guitar.

Caroline Crampton, Editor-In-Chief; Robert Cottrell, Founding Editor; Jodi Ettenberg, Associate Editor; Uri Bram, CEO & Publisher; Al Breach, Founding Director

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