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Author Topic: Hear, hear -- It's the December 11 crossword  (Read 1405 times)


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Hear, hear -- It's the December 11 crossword
« on: December 11, 2016, 06:31:50 PM »
"Lend me your ears." "I can't -- I'm still using them." But "Lend Me Your Ears" is the title of today's crossword by Jeffrey Wechsler. Each theme answer is a familiar phrase with an EAR added:

Rather uninspired cocktail? DREARYMARTINI
Pair of lustrous Kleenex? TWOPEARLYTISSUES
How sundaes are often served? BEARINGCHERRIES
Often censored musical groups? SWEARINGBANDS
Candy served on a corporate blimp? GOODYEARGUMDROPS
First asp most likely to bite when the group is disturbed? NEARESTOFVIPERS
What happens at the southern terminus of Interstate 65? MOBILEAPPEARS

Kleenex tissue was first marketed in 1924. The patent application described the product as "absorbent pads or sheets for removing cold cream." The Kimberly-Clark Corporation owns the Kleenex trademark -- and they are none too happy that millions of people refer to almost any tissue as a "Kleenex." The word has become genericized, in the same way that "Coke" is often used as a synonym for "cola" and "Xerox" is often used as a synonym for "photcopy."

A despicable person is often called a "snake." In the 16th century, it became common to call a despicable person a "viper." Vipers, unlike most snakes, are poisonous. The term "nest of vipers" goes back to at least 1526, when William Tyndale's translation of the Bible included this wording of Matthew 3:7: "He said unto them: O generation of vipers, who hath taught you to flee from the vengeance to come?"

"Goody gumdrops," an expression which is often used sarcastically, dates from the early 1900s. It combines the 18th-century exclamation "Goody goody" with the name of a pectin-based candy introduced in the 1850s. But why? -- likely because of the alliteration. "Goody ice cream" or "Goody peach cobbler" just doesn't sound right.

"French 101 infinitive" is ETRE, which is not used in English. "Familia member" is MADRE, which is not used in English. "Italian man" is UOMO, which is not used in English. "Oahu outsider" is HAOLE, which is not used in English. (In the Hawai'ian language, the name of the island is O'ahu and the name of the state is Hawai'i. Each vowel in Hawaii'an pronounced separately, e.g., "Hä-wä-ē-ē.") "Bite-size veggies" is CRUDITES. "Crudité" is the French word for "crudity" or "crudeness" but it is also used to mean "rawness," referring to raw vegetables. Crudités are appetizers often served with a dipping sauce. They include celery sticks, carrot sticks, broccoli, cauliflower and other sliced vegetables. "Veggie" is one of many shortened word forms which should be banned from the English language, along with "pres" and "celeb" and "fridge" and "confab" and.......

"Quotable late athlete" is BERRA. Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra played 18 seasons with the New York Yankees and appeared in 18 All-Star Games and 14 World Series. USA TODAY compiled a list of 50 of the most memorable "Yogi-isms." One of my favorites: "You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you're going, because you might not get there."


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