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Author Topic: Seeing red: The October 24 crossword  (Read 2103 times)


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Seeing red: The October 24 crossword
« on: October 24, 2017, 04:42:01 PM »
C.C. Burnikel came up with a very clever idea for today's crossword. "Showing embarrassment" is  TURNINGRED and three phrases include circled letters which are shades of red -- but turned:

Big commotion: HURLYBURLY (RUBY)
It has only two possible answers: YESORNOQUESTION (ROSE)
Start of a teaching moment from grandpa: WHENIWASYOURAGE (WINE)

A hurly-burly is "noisy disorder and confusion; commotion; uproar; tumult." The word dates from around 1520 and is an alteration of "hurling and burling." "Hurling" is a now- obsolete word referring to tumult or uproar. It comes from the Middle English hurlen, the root of the word "hurry." "Burling" likely comes from the Scottish birl, which means "a twist or turn."

"Imitated" is APED. Each week, several crosswords include APE, APED, APER or APING. I can't recall ever seeing or hearing the verb "ape" anywhere except in crossword puzzles. "Fury" is IRE and "Mine extraction" is ORE, two words which also appear in several crosswords each week. "Magazine unit: Abbr." is ISS, which is awkward.

"Ear cleaners" is QTIPS. Every package of Q-Tips says, "Warning: Do not insert swab into the ear canal" but "inserting into the ear canal" is the main reason people buy Q-Tips! The purpose of the warning is to provide legal protection against anyone who sticks the swab so far into his ear that he injures his eardrum and then decides to file a lawsuit.

In 1923, according to legend, Polish immigrant Leo Gerstenzang created the cotton swab after seeing how his wife applied cotton wads to the tips of toothpicks so she could clean tiny hard-to-reach areas in their home in New York City. Gerstenzang formed the Infant Novelty Company to market the swabs. He originally called them Baby Gays but in 1926 changed the name to Q-Tips Baby Gays. The "Q" stood for "quality." Eventually the "Baby Gays" part of the name was dropped. Unilever has a page showing all the many uses of Q-Tips:

I wonder if this exchange ever took place on a school playground: "What do you want me to do with this Q-Tip you gave me?" "Aw, stick it in your ear!"


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