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Author Topic: The ripe old June 11 crossword  (Read 1561 times)


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The ripe old June 11 crossword
« on: June 11, 2017, 04:34:48 PM »
James Sajdak holds a master's degree in linguistics from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and began creating crossword puzzles in 2005. His crossword today is titled "Getting Old" and includes seven familiar phrases altered by the addition of AGE:

Aromatic oils? MASSAGEMEDIA
Shredder fodder? CLERICALGARBAGE
Black Friday scene? ENTRYRAMPAGE
Saw you can't discuss publicly? CLASSIFIEDADAGE
Harm caused by some lodge builders? BEAVERDAMAGE
Inventory alert at the highway sign supplier? STOPSHORTAGE
"Reduce, reuse, recycle"? MESSAGEOFGREENS

"Sans opposite" is AVEC, which is not used in English. "They come from tĂȘtes" is IDEES, which is not used in English. "Late, in Los Cabos" is TARDE, which is not used in English. "Guatemala girls: Abbr." is SRTAS, which is not used in English. "Bottle in a playpen?" is BABA. Do toddlers really call a bottle a "baba"? I have no idea. If so, it's one of those words such as "dada" and "wawa" and "horsey" that children would never learn if it were not for parents who insist on speaking "baby talk" to them.

"Adventurer Ericson" is LEIF. The explorer who is believed to be the first European to come to North America was born in Iceland circa 970 and died circa 1020. His name is actually Leifur EirĂ­ksson but is usually Anglicized to Leif Erikson or Leif Ericson. "Anglicized" is a polite way of saying, "We have a hard time pronouncing and spelling your name so we're going to change it."

"Massachusetts motto opener" is ESNE, which is not used in English. I don't know why so many states -- 22 -- have a motto in Latin instead of in English, a language its citizens actually speak and understand. Various other states have a motto in Greek, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinook or Hawai'ian. Massachusetts' motto is "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem" ("By the sword we seek peace but peace only under liberty"). Here are the mottos for each state:

"It may be set in stages" is a clever clue for OATER, a word which refers to Western movies and dates from 1946. In the 1950s the word was common in Variety and in movie reviews but now is pretty much obsolete -- except in crossword puzzles. Speaking of obsolete, today's puzzle clues INKSPOT with "Problem when using a well?" Prior to the late 1800s, calligraphy was often done with a quill pen which had to be continually dipped into a small container of ink known as an inkwell. There were also dip pens (q.v.) and fountain pens. The ballpoint pen, patented in 1888, eliminated the need for inkwells. However, if you wish to make your own quill pen and ink, you'll find instructions at

That ends this discussion, everyone -- or, if you prefer Latin, Ista fines, omnis.


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