Q: Who is or what is Mary Andrew? I think it's the name of a circus per former. -- Q.B., Bangor, Maine
A: I think you mean "merry-andrew," which is a term for a person who amuses others by ridiculous behavior, such as a clown. The term is believed to date to the late 1600s, but there is no identification with an individual to indicate how the term began.
Q: I saw the term "printer's devil" in some old census logs I have been scanning. I assume this is referring to a print er's assistant. Is this right? If so, how did it get such a fiendish name? -- Y.L.U., Scranton, Pa.
A: You are right. "Printer's devil" is another name for a printer's apprentice -- generally a young boy who worked in a printer's office and performed many duties. In the shop he would probably be responsible for washing the black ink off the ink rollers. This was a dirty job that resulted in clothes and body parts becoming covered in ink, giving him a scary appearance that was associated with the devil. Some well-known printer's devils are Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Warren Harding and Lyndon Johnson.
Q: We still watch reruns of "The Crocodile Hunter," starring Steve and Terri Irwin. What has become of Terri and their children, Bindi Sue and Robert Clarence? -- J.L., Hyndman, Pa.
A: On Sept. 4, 2006, Steve Irwin was fatally pierced in the chest by a stingray spine while snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef. His wife, Terri Irwin, continues to be involved in animal conservation. She has received several awards for her service to promote tourism and wildlife conservation in Australia. A native of Oregon, Terri became an Australian citizen in 2009 to honor her husband. She speaks all over the world and is actively involved in the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve and the Australian Zoo.
Bindi Irwin, 14, is involved in numerous ventures, including designing a clothing line; starring in an award-winning TV show, "Bindi: The Jungle Girl;" writing books; singing; and acting. She had a lead role in the film "Free Willy: Escape From Pirate's Cove."
Robert Irwin, 8, is busy with his love of wildlife. He is a member of the Australian Zoo's Croc Research trip, and he has acted alongside Bindi. He is co-writing his own book series, "Robert Irwin: Dinosaur Hunter," which will be available in 2013.
Q: Ernest Hemingway had a short list of things a man must do to demon strate his manhood. What were they? -- H.L.J., Knoxville, Tenn.
A: Hemingway listed four things it takes to be a man: plant a tree, fight a bull, write a book and have a son.
Q: My mama used to say, "Well, I suwannee." What does this saying mean, and where did it come from? -- S.S., Goldsboro, N.C.
A: The saying " I suwannee" is the old Southern slang for "I swear" or " I never!" In times gone by, it wasn't considered polite to swear so this term took its place.
Q: I am a longtime reader of Sports Illustrat ed. When was the first issue published, and what was the cover price? When did they start the swimsuit edition? -- J.B., Port Huron, Mich.
A: Sports Illustrated, a weekly magazine dedicated to sports, was first published on Aug. 16, 1954. The cover was a picture of a nighttime baseball game between the Milwaukee Braves and the New York Giants. The cover featured Eddie Mathews of the Braves batting, Wes Westrum of the Giants catching and umpire Augie Donatelli behind the plate. The single-issue price was 25 cents.
The first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition was launched on Jan. 20, 1964, with German model Babette March on the cover.
Q: What was the first Sherlock Holmes story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? -- E.N.N., Salinas, Calif.
A: The first Sherlock Holmes novel is "A Study in Scarlet" (1887). The Sherlock Holmes canon consists of four novels and 56 short stories.
Q: At the end of the movie "Cinderella Man," there is information about James Braddock and his family. It mentions that his two boys did not go into the boxing game, but both became involved in the construction busi ness. Is this correct? -- F.L., Gardena, Calif.
A: The 2005 film "Cinderella Man" is the story of James Braddock, a boxer who was considered washed up, and who made a comeback to capture the championship title from 1935 to 1937. He was an inspiration to many.
Braddock and his wife, Mae, raised three children: Jay, Howard and Rosemarie. Jay Braddock lived in New Jersey with his family, where he worked for the Bergen County Sheriff's Office and also worked with heavy equipment. He died in 2001. Howard Braddock works with heavy equipment. He lives in New Jersey with his family. Rosemarie (Braddock) DeWitt passed away in 1995. Her daughter -- Braddock's granddaughter -- Rosemarie DeWitt is an actress who appeared in "Cinderella Man" as well as "Mad Men," "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" and "Rachel Getting Married."
James Braddock died in 1974 at age 69. In the film he was played by Russell Crowe. Mae Braddock was played by Renee Zellweger.
Q: What was the signif icance of Magnum P.I.'s Detroit Tigers baseball cap? -- G.F., Traverse City, Mich.
A: The character Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV was born in Detroit, though he was raised in the region of Tidewater, Va. Magnum attended the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the Vietnam War. The show begins when the character is 34 and beginning his career as a private investigator. The TV series "Magnum, P.I." ran from 1980 to 1988 and starred Tom Selleck.
Q: In the '60s I enjoyed watching "Route 66" on TV. I loved it so much I even bought the series on DVD. I want to know what happened to Martin Milner and George Maharis? -- P.L., Owosso, Mich.
A: Martin Milner continued with his acting career into the late 1990s, guest starring in many popular television shows. He also co-hosted the radio show "Let's Talk Hook-up," a program about fly-fishing -- his passion. He retired from the show in 2004 due to health issues. He lives in Southern California with his wife, Judy. They married in 1957 and had four children. Milner is 80 years old.
George Maharis appeared in several movies and another TV series -- "The Most Deadly Game" -- after leaving "Route 66." As a youth he wanted to be a singer, and he released several albums and made personal appearances as an adult. He later became a painter. Maharis is 84 years old.
Q: I've long heard the campaign slogan, "don't swap horses in midstream." Whose slogan was it? -- K.I., Prattville, Ala.
A: This presidential campaign slogan has been used at least two times during a war. In 1864, Abraham Lincoln used it during the Civil War. In 1944, Franklin D. Roosevelt won his fourth term using this slogan during World War II.
Q: As I recall, the car toon character Betty Boop was based on a real person. Is this true? Who was the real-life charac ter? -- W.L., Sedona, Ariz.
A: Max Fleischer created Betty Boop in 1930. In 1932, Helen Kane, known as the "Boop-Oop-A-Doop Girl," filed a lawsuit claiming that Boop was a caricature of her that created unfair competition. She lost. Kane (1904-1966) was a popular singer whose signature song was "I Wanna Be Loved By You."
Another inspiration for Betty Boop may have been it-girl Clara Bow.
Send your questions to Mr. Know-It-All at AskMrKIA@gmail.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.