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Author Topic: The Xcellent November 2 X-words  (Read 1294 times)


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The Xcellent November 2 X-words
« on: November 02, 2015, 03:44:50 PM »
C.C. Burnikel's crossword in today's Los Angeles Times includes

Radioactive emission: BETARAY
Guys' hair coloring product: JUSTFORMEN
Root source for a database: MASTERFILE
Big place to play online: YAHOOGAMES

"Hard-to-define element, or a hint to what can precede each last word" is THEXFACTOR. We're all familiar with the X-ray, the X-Men and ESPN's annual X Games, but the 1993-2002 tv series is The X-Files, plural. Having never watched the show, I can not say if the singular term "X File" was ever used but I suppose logically that if there are X-Files, each component would be an X-File.

"___ is me!" is WOE. The Mc-Graw Hill Dictionary of American Idioms & Phrases defines "Woe is me" as "I am unfortunate; I am unhappy. (Usually humorous)." Expressed in contemporary English, the phrase is "I am woe," which makes no sense. Shouldn't we say "Woeful am I" or "I am woeful"? Or---to make my requisite daily bad pun---shouldn't a horse say "Whoa is me"?

The puzzle also includes FORTY for "Winks count." The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms says the term "forty winks" refers to a short nap and was first used in 1828. It apparently derived from the 14th-century use of "wink" as a synonym for "sleep," although when people sleep, they do not wink---their eyes remain closed. And why 40? Why doesn't anyone ever take 20 winks or 60 winks? This would be an ideal topic for a college debate team to take up.

The Daily News crossword by Dan Bischof and Jeff Chen includes five spaces containing a circle: the leftmost, center and rightmost squares of the top row and the leftmost and center squares of the bottom row. When the puzzle is completed, those circles contain, in order, the vowels A, E, I, O and U. The last word of the puzzle is ANDY ("Toy Story boy"), which, copmbined with the circled letters, is a hint to the three long  answers. RHAPSODYINBLUE, SOCIALBUTTERFLY and UPWARDLYMOBILE include A, E, I, O, U.......and Y. 

A cute clue: "One who regularly cleans his plate" for UMP. And, on that note, congratulations to the Kansas City Royals, who yesterday defeated the Mets to win the 2015 World Series. Manager Ned Yost knew some of the players were going to dump the contents of the Gatorade cooler on him. Rather than let them sneak up on him, he walked right up to them and allowed them to drench him.


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