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Author Topic: Mixing it up with the September 2 crossword  (Read 1362 times)


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Mixing it up with the September 2 crossword
« on: September 02, 2016, 03:25:50 PM »
Today's crossword by Fark Meldman -- excuse me, I mean Mark Feldman -- includes these phrases:

Clever insect? CUNNINGROACH
Politically active fowl? TRUMPDUCK
Embarrassed avian? BLUSHINGCROW
Street-wise amphibian? ROUGHTOAD

You say those answers are nonsensical? How about RUNNINGCOACH, DUMPTRUCK, CRUSHINGBLOW and TOUGHROAD? "Oxford don associated with" those four crossword answers is SPOONER. William Archibald Spooner (1844-1930) was a British clergyman and educator who often had to speak in public. Being nervous when speaking, he often mixed up the beginning sounds of some of his words. Longtime New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra was famous for making bizarre statements which came to be known as "Yogi-isms." Many statements were erroneously attributed to Yogi simply because they sounded like something he would say. Similarly, Spooner never uttered all the the "Spoonerisms" which are attributed to him, but they sound like something he would have said. The word "Spoonerism" came into common usage circa 1900. Some examples: "Tons of soil" for "sons of toil," "crooks and nannies" for "nooks and crannies" and "a well-boiled icicle" for "a well-oiled bicycle."

Comedian and Hee Haw co-star Archie Campbell used dozens of Spoonerisms in his re-telling of two fairy tales. His versions of Rindercella and Beeping Sleauty were a staple of his nightclub act and his television appearances and also appeared on comedy albums.One of the most famous Spoonerisms came from radio/tv announcer Harry Von Zell, who once referred to President Herbert Hoover as "Hoobert Heever." The Telegraph has a list of some of Spooner's most infamous misspoken phrases:

"Half a tuba sound" is PAH, as in "Oom-pah" -- awkward. "Raring to go" is ITCHY. Really? The expression is "itching to go." "In a supple manner" is LITHELY. Yes, it's a word but not a very common one. "Swinging about" is SLUING, which is really not a very common word. "Slue" -- also spelled "slew" -- dates from around 1760 and means "to turn or swing around, as a mast on its own axis." Its origin is unknown. "Mayo is in it" is ANO. That word appears in a lot of crosswords. It is not used in English and it is misspelled. In this clue, "Mayo" is the Spanish word for the month of May. However, the Spanish word for "year" is AÑO, not ANO. In Spanish, N and Ñ are different letters.

"The kiwi is the smallest one" is RATITE. The Encyclopædia Brittanica defines "ratite" -- the word comes from the Latin ratis, which means "raft" -- as "any bird whose sternum (breastbone) is smooth, or raftlike, because it lacks a keel to which flight muscles could be anchored." Such birds have small or rudimentary wings and cannot fly. The largest ratite is the African ostrich. Other ratites are the rhea, the emu and the cassowary.

And that ends today's discussion. Have a dice nay!


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