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Weighing in on the April 23 crossword


Robyn Weintraub lives in Rye Brook, New York. Her first published crossword appeared March 28, 2011 in the New York Times. Many of her puzzles, including today's, are themeless.

"Cookie with the same colors as a crossword" was her clue for OREO, one of the most-often-seen words in crossword puzzles – but Oreo cookies are not black and white. They are brown and white. The puzzle also includes the brand names ATRA ("Cutting-edge name"), AVIA ("Brand with Vanessa Hudgens workout collection"), BOSE ("Audio brand") and MAD ("Publication credited to the 'Usual Gang of Idiots'").

To her credit, though, Weintraub included a few unusual answers: GYRE ("Revolution"), ATRIP {"Aweigh"), THEA ("Australian novelist Astley"), YAYME ("I rock!"), SECRETRECIPE ("Mystery that may have a stirring message?") and ROEPER ("Educator Annemarie who co-founded a school in greater Detroit"). George and Annemarie Roeper fled Nazi Germany in 1939 and founded the Roeper School in 1941. Here is its history:

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "gyre," from the Greek gyros, as "a circular or spiral motion or form, esp. a giant circular oceanic surface current." ATRIP is a nautical term dating from 1797 and means "raised just clear of the bottom – used of an anchor." The nautical word "weigh" dates from 1670 and means "to heave up (an anchor) preparatory to sailing."

Not everyone is familiar with the nautical definition of "weigh." One captain asked a sailor, "Why did you put the anchor on that scale?" The sailor replied, ""You told me to weigh anchor."

And with that I'm sailing out of here.


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