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Author Topic: The January 10 crosswords: Mark your calendar  (Read 1595 times)


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The January 10 crosswords: Mark your calendar
« on: January 10, 2016, 03:58:09 PM »
It took me a while to figure out how to solve today's New York Times crossword by David Woolf. None of the first words and phrases I filled in seemed to have any connection to the puzzle's title, "Record Of The Year." I assumed the theme answers would be music-related. Then I realized that the words and phrases which I had not filled in---because nothing seemed to fit or make sense---were the ones which fit the theme. A "record of the year" is a calendar and the three-letter abbreviations of each of the twelve months (except for May, of course, which needs no abbreviation) were part of the grid.....and each abbreviation filled a single square. For example, the intersecting words CAPRIS and APRICOT shared a square containing the letters APR; and the intersecting words CAUGHT and SLAUGHTER shared a square containing the letters AUG. Whew!

The theme of today's Los Angeles Times crossword by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis was much easier to figure out: There isn't one. Well.....I suppose there is, if you want to get technical. The title is "Mixed Doubles" and the long answers are phrases which combine two words that we never hear together:

Dinner and a movie? DATESTANDARD
Rotten luck in Rotterdam? DUTCHWHAMMY
Ceremony for the Jetsons? SPACEWEDDING
Lenscrafter employee? VISIONAGENT
Citations from an underwriter? INDEMNITYQUOTES
Answering in the form of a question? JEOPARDYDUTY

Bizarre! But let's move on. "Georgia native" is ATLANTAN but not every Georgia native is from Atlanta. The clue should have said "People from Georgia's capital." "Suitor" is BEAU.....but does anyone in 2016 even use the words "suitor" or "beau"? I kinda doubt it. "Gregg users" is STENOS. Does anyone in 2016 still work as a stenographer? I kinda doubt it. There are many types of stenography, more commonly known as shorthand, but all of them use curved lines, symbols and abbreviations to enable someone, such as a secretary or school student, to quickly write dictated letters and lectures. John Robert Gregg, an Irish-born educator and publisher, devised a simplified form of stenography in 1888. Instead of symbols representing words, Gregg's system uses symbols to represent the actual sounds of the words. For example, the last three letters of "laugh" are represented as an F. A detailed explanation of Gregg shorthand is on good ol' Wikipedia:


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