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Author Topic: The April 9 Sunday puzzle  (Read 440 times)

Thomps2525

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The April 9 Sunday puzzle
« on: April 09, 2017, 05:20:00 PM »
Today's Sunday puzzle -- or perhaps I should say "unday uzzle" -- is by Gail Grabowski and is titled "Spout Nonsense." That first word is to be read as "SP out." The eight theme answers are familiar phrases with the first two letters, SP, removed:

Plumber, at times? ELLCHECKER
Herb-carrying semi? RIGOFPARSLEY
Unlikely to get sick? ILLRESISTANT
Flat-bodied fish depiction? RAYPAINTING
Boxer in the wrong profession? RINGCHICKEN
News of a crude carrier sighting? OILERALERT
One with a questionable sense of fashion? IFFYDRESSER
"Jush one more, bartender," e.g.? LITDECISION

"Spiffy" dates from 1853 and comes from the 17th-century British dialect word "spiff," which meant "a dandy; a well-dressed man." The origin of "spiff" is unknown. The 18th-century British slang word "spiflicated," which means "drunk," might be related to "spiff" -- and it might not. In modern-day British slang, "spiflicate" means "to destroy or annihilate" and "spiffy" is often "spivvy."

A spring chicken is a chicken from two to ten months old which has tender meat and can be boiled or fried. (Yes, I know that sounds inhumane. If you eat chicken, try not to think about how the meat got from the farm to your plate.) The use of "spring chicken" to refer to a young person dates from 1879. The term is usually used in the negative sense, e.g., "That woman is no spring chicken."

"Many an emailer" is AOLER. Many crosswords include ALER or NLER, referring to a baseball player in the American League or National League, but this is the first time I've seen AOLER in a puzzle -- and I've never seen or heard any of those three words anywhere except in crosswords. AOL was formerly America Online. Officially, the letters AOL no longer stand for anything, just as the letters KFC (formerly Kentucky Fried Chicken) officially no longer stand for anything. The word "email," which means "electronic mail," dates from 1982 and was originally spelled "e-mail" but now is more commonly spelled without the hyphen.

"Pet problem" is PEEVE. A "pet peeve" is a minor annoyance which bothers a particular person more than it bothers other people. Among my own pet peeves are people who loudly talk on a cell phone in public, people who say "for you and I" instead of the grammatically correct "for you and me," and people who insist on writing LOL after comments that are not even the slightest bit amusing. The Get Amused humor website has a seven-page list of pet peeves:

http://www.getannoyed.com

There are many nice things about having a pet peeve. You don't have to feed it or have it spayed or neutered or take it to the veterinarian or the groomer -- and you can have as many as you want. They make no noise and the neighbors will never complain.

 


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