"Company's Coming." That's the title of today's crossword by Gail Grabowski. (It's also the title of a 1955 country song by Porter Wagoner.) "Company" and "companion" both derive from the Middle English cumpaing
, which is related to the Dutch kampanje
, which refers to the poop deck of a ship. Yes, "poop deck" is not a very attractive name but it comes from poupe
, the French word for "stern," i.e., the rear of a ship.
Each theme answer is a phrase altered by the addition of CO, the abbreviation for "company":
Ideal takeover? DREAMCOUP
Abs trainers? TUMMYCOACHES
Eco-friendly lighthouse? GREENBEACON
Nickel that's worth big bucks? MAJORCOIN
Parka with different sleeve lengths? COATISSUE
Burlesque stand-up act? COMEDIANSTRIP
Rearrangement of suitcase contents? SECONDPACKING
Sign of breakfast burning? SMOKINGBACON
Where fowl spies meet? COVERTCOOPS
"Jersey greeting" is a clever clue for MOO. "Flower child?" is a clever clue for SEED. "Welcome center" is CEE, another example of a spelled-out letter. Such spellings are unnecessary because each letter of the alphabet is its own spelling. The center of "welcome" is C, not CEE -- unless you spell the word "welceeome." "Metal precioso" is ORO, which is not used in English. "Affluent, in Andalusia" is RICO, which is not used in English. "Pic Sans Nom, par exemple" is ALPE. As I've said, I never see ALP (referring to a single peak in the 750-mile-long Alps mountain range) used anywhere except in crossword puzzles -- and today we have the French
word for ALP. Ugh!
"Cold War prez" is IKE. The Cold War was a state of military and political tension between the East and the West, particularly the USSR and the United States. It lasted from the end of World War II until 1991, when the Soviet Union was officially dissolved. The History Channel website has several essays and videos of the Cold War's events and world leaders:http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war
Dwight David Eisenhower, President of the United States from 1953 to 1961, descended from the Eisenhauer family which came to the United States from Germany in 1741. The name is German for "iron miner." Dwight had six brothers. When they were children, they each were called "Ike" by their mother. "Ike" was supposedly the German abbreviation of "Eisenhower." Dwight was the only one who kept the nickname throughout his life.
Now.....how did "Bill" become a nickname for "William," "Ted" become a nickname for "Edward," "Jack" become a nickname for "John" and "Peggy" become a nickname for "Margaret"? I have some research to do! Thank you for keeping me company today.