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Author Topic: The fairly clever December 21 crossword  (Read 1319 times)


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The fairly clever December 21 crossword
« on: December 21, 2016, 05:07:11 PM »
"A Good Beginning" is the title of today's crossword by Ron Toth and C.C. Burnikel, which appears on the first day of Winter. "Open to attack" is FAIRGAME and the first word of each theme answer can be preceded by FAIR:

Exchange insults: TRADEBARBS
Come-on for new customers: TRIALOFFER
Pretend to be out: PLAYPOSSUM
"Get a move on!" SNAPTOIT
"I'd like a hand": DEALMEIN

To play possum is "to feign sleep or death; to dissemble or pretend ignorance." The possum, properly known as an opossum, often pretends to be dead in order to avoid being attacked by a predator. The first known use of "play possum" dates from 1822.

"¿Cómo ____? is ESTAS, which is not used in English. "Sounding shocked" is AGASP, a word which, like AROAR, I have never seen or heard anywhere other than in crossword puzzles. "Chaotic mess" is SNAFU. The word was originally a slang term used by members of the United States Air Force. It means "Situation normal, all fouled up." Actually, the Air Force members used a different word besides "fouled." Hrrmmm.....let's move on.

"Magazine with Don Martin cartoons" is MAD. The man promoted as "Mad's Maddest Artist" joined the "usual gang of idiots," as the staff has always been known, in 1956. His work appeared regularly until 1988. He left the magazine in 1987 after publisher William Gaines refused to pay him royalties from the sales of paperback books of his cartoons. Martin then spent six years at Cracked, a competing satire magazine, which billed him as "Cracked's Crackedest Artist." Martin, fondly remembered for his creative sound effects -- Splortch! Floi-doip! Ka-wheeeeng! -- died in 2000 at age 68. There is a Don Martin website called "Don Martin Website":

And in 2001, a group of nine people performed a true public service for Don Martin fans by compiling an alphabetical list of all the bizarre sound effects which Martin used in his cartoons:

Happy first day of Winter -- and splatch goosh gashklitzka!



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