"Bull Session." No, that is not a reference to any of this year's Republican Presidential debates, although I suppose it could
be. Actually, that's the title of today's crossword by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis. Familiar phrases are changed by the addition of BLE, loosely pronounced "bull":
Mogul mishap? SKIBUMBLE
Beach brawl? MALIBURUMBLE
Lowly glowworm? HUMBLEBUG
Turkey's affectionate peck? GOBBLESMACK
Lens cover for a low earth orbiter? HUBBLECAP
Slip while washing dishes? SPONGEBOBBLE
"Those are stone fragments, all right"? AYTHERESTHERUBBLE
Henry VI's "O God, forgive my sins and pardon thee"? NOBLEEXIT
Warning about an escaped horse? STABLEALERT
"Gobsmacked" is a British slang word which dates from the 1980s and means "astounded; astonished; extremely surprised." "Gob" is British slang for "mouth." The second part of "gobsmacked" refers to the gesture of someone who is suddenly surprised clapping a hand over his mouth.
"Ay, there's the rub" is a line from Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
, written circa 1600. It is part of the soliloquy which begins "To be or not to be." Hamlet is contemplating death and suicide and says, To die, to sleep. To sleep, perchance to dream. Aye, there's the rub." "Aye" is also spelled "Ay" or "I" in various early printings of the play.
The "O God, forgive my sins" line comes from another Shakespeare play, King Henry VI
, written in 1591. Those are the last words spoken by Henry VI before he dies after being stabbed by his uncle, Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, Lord Protector of England.
Also in today's puzzle:
The overused words IRE, OBOE and OREO.
AMOI, AVION, ETRE, MERES, NUOVA, RIAS and SEI, none of which are used in English.
INKWELL ("Where there's a quill?"). Does anybody in the 21st century still use
quill pens and inkwells? I highly doubt it.
Well, that sums up today's "Bull Session" crossword. Is it time for the next Republican Presidential debate?