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Author Topic: Be on the lookout for the February 2 crossword  (Read 1548 times)


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Be on the lookout for the February 2 crossword
« on: February 02, 2016, 04:06:32 PM »
C.C. Burnikel came up with a cute idea for today's Los Angeles Times crossword. Circled letters at the beginning and end of each theme answer spell COP:

Conceal, as misdeeds: COVERUP
Place to buy a Nikon: CAMERASHOP
Obeyed the corner traffic sign: CAMETOAFULLSTOP
For Better Or For Worse, e.g.: COMICSTRIP

"Warning about sealed-off escape routes from the police, four of whom are aptly positioned in this puzzle's circles" is YOURESURROUNDED. The puzzle would have been better if the COPs appeared at the corners of the grid and the word CROOK or THIEF or ROBBER appeared in the center.  Burnikel may have even thought of such an idea and then rejected it as being too difficult to work out. If I ever see her, I will ask.

And why do we have the expression "full stop"? If a stop is not full, then it isn't a stop; it's a slowing. At theme parks, many attractions warn riders to "remain seated until the vehicle comes to a full and complete stop." If "full stop" is a redundancy, then "full and complete stop" is really a redundancy.

There are many three- and four-letter words which appear quite frequently in crosswords. Among them are ALE, ASEA, ERA, ERE, IRA, IRE, LEI, ODE, ORE, SPA and UKE. There are also a few words which have two different spellings, allowing crossword creators more options for "fill words." Today's puzzle includes AEON ("Very long time"). I have never seen that spelling anywhere except in crosswords, so I was surprised to turn to the Merriam-Webster dictionary and discover that "aeon" is the preferred spelling. By whom?, I wonder. "Eon" is considered to be a variant spelling. The word comes from the Greek ai┼Źn, which means "age."

Among the other words with two spellings, either of which can be---and is---used in crosswords are AERIE/AERY, AMEBA/AMOEBA, CENTER/CENTRE, ERN/ERNE, JAIL/GAOL, REATA/RIATA, SMOKY/SMOKEY, STORY/STOREY (referring to a level of a building), THEATER/THEATRE, UEY/UIE (a U-turn) and WOOLY/WOOLLY.


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