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Author Topic: The June 1 Crosswords: "Speech! Speech!"  (Read 912 times)


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The June 1 Crosswords: "Speech! Speech!"
« on: June 01, 2015, 04:46:39 PM »
Five answers in today's Daily News crossword by Johanna Fenimore share a single clue: "Left speechless." I couldn't help thinking of the Marx Brothers' 1930 film Animal Crackers. When Captain Spaulding (Groucho) presented Mrs. Rittenhouse (Margaret Dumont) with an intricately carved chest that he brought back from Africa, she exclaimed, "This leaves me speechless." He quickly responded, "Well, see that you remain that way."

The "left speechless" words and phrases in today's crossword are  BLEWAWAY, DUMBSTRUCK, GOBSMACKED, KICKEDINTHEHEAD and KNOCKEDFORALOOP. The puzzle also included the foreign words CANTO, CIEL, NORTE and TIA plus the over-used words IRE and OREO and the bizarre letter combination of TKTS, which was clued as "B'way booth in Times Square."

The theme answers in today's Los Angeles Times crossword by Gail Grobowski and Bruce Venske (whose names sound like they should be football players) are LOOSECHANGE, FREEENTERPRISE, LIBERATEDWOMAN and UNBOUNDBOOK ("Yet-to-be-covered volume"). But what exactly is "loose change"? I know coins can be stacked inside those little paper tubes that are available at banks. Other than that, isn't all change "loose"? I've never seen anyone reach into a purse or pocket and pull out a bunch of coins that have been glued together! And this puzzle also has some foreign words but only two: ENERO and DENADA.

Both crosswords included OED. The Oxford English Dictionary was originally titled A New English Dictionary On Historical Principles; Founded Mainly On The Materials Collected By The Philological Society. The first volume was published in 1884. As new words entered the language, supplements were published periodically until 1989, when the entire OED and the supplements were combined in a second edition. Work on the third edition is underway but it will be published online only.....and it will be many years from now. There will be more than 302,000 entries so maybe crossword creators can find some three- and four-letter words to use instead of ABET, ADO, ALE, ALOE, ASEA, EMU, EPEE, ERA, IRE, IRK, LEI, ODE, OLEO, ONO, ORE, OREO, SEA, SPA, UKE and USE.     


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