Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Monkey Wrench: A Non-Post

Check out Mark Liberman's recent post at Language Log about the nebulous etymology of monkey wrench (as opposed to a monkey taser or a ferret wrench), including a great Get Fuzzy cartoon.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Poetic Crossword Puzzle

A while back (a long while back) I bought, on a whim, some crossword puzzle creation software. I thought it might be fun to try to put crossword puzzles together (and, of course, in the back of my mind was the possibility of actually selling some of my creations and making a little extra money). I haven't touched the software often in the last three years. But for some reason, today I got the urge.

So I had this one mostly finished, and I finished it. If you like to do crossword puzzles, it'd be great if you helped me out and let me know how I'm doing, including how well (or badly) the crossword is constructed, how interesting the clues are, and, on a scale of 1 to 5, what you think the difficulty level of this crosswrd is (1 being TV Guide, 5 being the Sunday New York Times.

Here are the clues. I'm hoping that it isn't too difficult to print these and the grid out and do them by hand.

By the way, the title of this post is a hint to the theme of the puzzle.

1. Mythological tree-dweller
4. Vegas hotspot
10. Porcine pronouncement
14. ___ Grande
15. Gathering places, for Socrates
16. Compound you leave in the toilet
17. Newspaper fillers
18. He sang the body electric (2)
20. Cured meat chemicals
22. Photographer's ocular nemesis
23. Coal holes
24. Delaney of China Beach
26. Sisqo song subjects
28. Poetic Barfly
32. Stick or arm
33. Snake charmer
34. Weed
35. Pendulum's place (per Poe)
36. Like some triangles
38. Poem
39. They liked him in '52
40. Hurts
41. Good garden dirt
42. "is 5" poet
44. Gratitude
46. "___ bigger and better things"(2)
47. Pat or Daniel
48. Lessen
51. His pentameter was often iambic
54. JFK inauguration poet (2)
57. Anger
58. Beckon
59. Seer
60. Formal address
61. Raw metals
62. Juan's madre
63. Business degree
1. Ahmadinejad's hizzy
2. Musical computer protocol abbr.
3. Autopsy (2)
4. Alternates with seeing
5. Impure chunks of quartz
6. Award-winning Sachar novel
7. They can be fine or martial
8. Uncooked
9. Fireplace leftovers
10. Movie Western necessity
11. ___ la Douce [changed 4/29/09]
12. In proximity
13. Mortal Kombat cyclops
19. (Just skip this clue)
21. Fruit skin
24. Bo and Luke
25. Similar to
26. Emblematic
27. Japanese poem
28. Salves
29. Isn't this new cleat?
30. Photography patriarch
31. Only 10 or less allowed in some places
33. 1996 Coen bros. dark comedy
36. Black eye
37. Common contraction
41. Clark's Smallville paramour
43. Highway accommodations
44. Dishevel
45. At a higher temperature
47. German philosopher Ernst
48. With the bow, to Heifetz
49. Wild pig
50. Can
51. Fool
52. Baby's bed
53. Mrs. Zeus
55. Thumb or Cruise
56. To and ___
This looks fine in the preview, which probably means it'll look crappy on the actual blog. We shall see. I'll post the answer sometime later in another post and link to it down here somewhere.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Today's Word: sevidical is back up and running, and I just can't keep away. Today, I adopted the word sevidical, which means to speak mean and harsh words. This is certainly a much more useful word than my previous adoption, xenization. Fans of American Idol (of which I am no longer numbered) may get particularly high mileage out of sevidical by using it to describe Simon Cowell's criticisms of the contestants (as opposed to Randy's terminal hipness, Paula's apparent dysphasia, and there's a new girl, right?).

Am I being sevidical myself in my criticism of the judges? Damn right I am! I think it's time to can them all and start fresh with three or new judges.

I hear Joaquin Phoenix is available.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Today's Word: slubberdegullion

slubberdegullion: This is a word I've been trying to work into a conversation for some time now. Unfortunately, it describes me better than it describes anyone else I have regular conversations with. A slubberdegullion is a slob. You'll just have to trust me when I say that my apartment is currently (and for the foreseeable future) a slubberdegullionist sanctuary.

Some definitions I've seen are a little harsher than mine, defining slubberdegullion more along the lines of a no-good, slobbering, unkempt wreck of a man with horrible personal hygiene. I don't think this is an accurate description of myself (my ex-wife might disagree). I shower every day. With soap! I do laundry whenever I can scare up enough quarters. I occasionally use the vacuum sweeper, when I can clear enough floor space to get at the carpet. I brush my teeth.

Anyway, enough about me. Enjoy the new word!