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Author Topic: April 10: The SSSSunday crosswords  (Read 1703 times)


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April 10: The SSSSunday crosswords
« on: April 10, 2016, 03:57:18 PM »
"Squad" is the title of today's Los Angeles Times crossword by Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel. "Twisty turns" is ESSES, which is also the "quad" in the eight longest answers, each of which contains four S's. In other words, an "S quad." Among the answers are FIRSTCLASSSTAMP, CASEDISMISSED, JUSTASISUSPECTED, CHRISTMASSEASON and CUSTERSLASTSTAND.

Many crosswords contain three-letter spellings of letters of the alphabet. CEE, DEE and ESS are the most common. CEE, DEE and ESS are also unnecessary -- there is no reason to add extra letters to C, D or S. In crosswords, "Average report card grade" is CEE, but has any student ever received a CEE on a test? Nope, the teacher uses the letter C. And a winding curve is an S curve, never an "Ess curve." The English language has 26 letters and each letter is its own spelling. There is no need to add two additional letters to any letter. Nobody ever does that -- with the exception of crossword creators.

"Puerto Rico, por ejemplo" is ISLA, which is not used in English. "Feliz año nuevo time" is ENERO, which is not used in English. "Pain usually pluralized" is THROE. A throe is a severe pang or spasm of pain, such as occurs during childbirth. As a plural, throes refers to a condition of extreme difficulty or trouble, such as a nation being in the throes of economic collapse. The word comes from the Middle English throwe, which was originally thrawe and derived from thrāwu, meaning "affliction," and thōwian, meaning "pain."

By the way, the cost of the aforementioned FIRSTCLASSSTAMP is two cents cheaper today. A temporary price hike was enacted in January 2014 and was set to expire after it generated $4.6 billion for the Postal Service. As of today, the cost of mailing a first-class letter is 47¢, down from 49¢. Each additional ounce is 21¢, down from 23¢. The rates for postcards and international mail have also dropped. However, the Postal Service is now facing a potential loss of $2 billion annually and is seeking to reinstate the price hike.

"Something In The Water" is the title of today's New York Times crossword by Randolph Ross. Among the answers are five types of vessels immediately above bodies of water: RAFT is on COLORADORIVER, FERRY is on NEWYORKHARBOR, OILTANKER is on  ARABIANSEA, GONDOLA is on GRANDCANAL and TRAWLER is on CHESAPEAKEBAY. A sixth vessel, UBOAT, is also in the grid -- beneath ATLANTICOCEAN. A cute and clever theme.

"Head of the army" is LATRINE. Will Stockdale (No Time For Sergeants) would have liked that one. "Sant' Gria brand" is YAGO. In accordance with a 2014 European Union ruling, Spain and Portugal are the only countries which can use the word "sangria" for their red-wine-and-chopped-fruit beverages. The word means "bleeding" and refers to the deep red color of the beverage. Yago is based in St. Louis and therefore can not use the name "sangria." They instead use the similar -- but odd -- name "sant' gria."


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