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Author Topic: The May 19 crossword, no kidding  (Read 1402 times)


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The May 19 crossword, no kidding
« on: May 19, 2016, 02:59:07 PM »
Greg Johnson's crosswords have been appearing in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times since December 2013. His theme for today's crossword is INNERCHILD ("Psychology subject"). Within each theme answer is a synonym for "child":

Overindulged oneself: WENTOTOWN
Don't Go Breaking My Heart duettist: KIKIDEE
"Looks pretty good, huh?": WHATDOYOUTHINK
Communications feature since the 1870s: QWERTYKEYBOARD

And, speaking of synonyms, the crossword also includes the abbreviation of "synonym." SYN was clued with "Case, for instance." The words "for instance" are not used in the usual way here -- "case" is a synonym of "instance." The clue would have been more logical without the comma.....but then it wouldn't have been so cleverly misleading.

The QWERTY keyboard is so named because those are the first six letters on a keyboard or typewriter. Christopher Latham Sholes, a Milwaukee newspaper editor and printer, patented the first modern "Type Writer" in 1867. It had two rows of characters:

- 3 5 7 9 N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
2 4 6 8 . A B C D E F G H I J K L M

All the letters were capitals and the I could do double-duty as the number 1. Over the next six years, Sholes tried several other arrangements of characters before the Type Writer's manufacturing rights were sold to firearms manufacturer Eliphalet Remington & Sons. In 1873, Remington finalized the modern QWERTY keyboard and five years later introduced a typewriter which included small letters as well as capitals. The Merriam-Webster dictionary offers this explanation of the keyboard:

"Popular myth holds that the QWERTY maximizes efficiency by placing the most often used letters in the most accessible places, but the truth is that the QWERTY was actually designed to slow typists down. Sholes’ first typewriters were cumbersome and jammed easily if the keys were pressed too fast, so he picked letter positions that let the typist go faster than a pen but not fast enough to jam the machine."

"Photo file format" is JPEG, which is the most widely-used method of compressing, storing and sending digital images. JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, a committee of technology experts who developed the format in 1992.

"Dance provocatively" is TWERK. What Americans now call "twerking" is actually the mapouka, a traditional dance that originated in Côte d'Ivoire, a West African country also known as Ivory Coast. "Twerk" is believed to be a hybrid of "twist" and "jerk." And now we probably all have an unpleasant image of Miley Cyrus in our mind. :)


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