Crossword 1Contributed by David Kent on 09 February 2009 at 16:07
Today The Observer published the first of, hopefully, many SPWC crosswords. These puzzles are meant to be entertaining and elusive, but that doesn't mean they can't be edifying. What follows are the correct answers along with an explanation of each clue where appropriate; each entry is concluded by an example sentence of the word in action.
1. Answer: Salaam. Salaam is an Arabic word meaning peace and is used as a salutation in Islamic countries.
Ex: He greeted me with "Salaam," and then we sat down to work.
7. Answer: Cringe. Cringe means to shrink in fear or to cower.
Ex: I cringed as the dentist began to drill.
8. Answer: Ringer. A dead ringer is a slang term for an exact duplicate. The term originally referred to a horse substituted for another, similar-looking horse in order to rig a race.
Ex: Sarah is a dead ringer for her sister.
9. Answer: Egging. Egging means to throw eggs, usually chicken eggs. Egging is also used to mean encourage or incite, always with the preposition on.
Ex: Egging the neighbor's house is a typical juvenile prank.
Ex: Quit egging him on. He already said he didn't want to do it.
10. Answer: Whence. Whence means from where. It is a matter of debate as to whether one should write from whence or if the from may be omitted. I have found that both forms appear to be used with approximately the same frequency, but I would lean towards including from unless striving for an artistic tone. For an excellent discussion of this topic, see this article. The similarity to the sound of the clue for 7 across is coincidental.
Ex: He left from whence he came.
11. Answer: Strays. Strays are animals found wandering at large without any owners. Stray cats are commonly adopted as pets. This could also be true for rabbits, but the clue is also intended to remind one of stray hairs.
Ex: The pound has many strays available for adoption.
1. Answer: Screws. Screws are metal fasteners with a spiral form. Tortuous means full of twists, turns, or bends, which is certainly true of screws. Thumb screws, on the other hand, are torturous.
Ex: We used screws to fasten the boards together
2. Answer: Aright. Aright means correctly.
Ex: Did I hear you aright?
3. Answer: Linger. Linger means to remain longer than expected.
Ex: Her beautiful smile will linger in my mind for days to come.
4. Answer: Angina. Angina refers to any sort of painful choking, but is more commonly associated with Angina pectoris - heart pain due to a lack of blood and oxygen.
Ex: Angina affects Americans of all backgrounds.
5. Answer: Agency. An agency is an organization that provides some service for another. The CIA is the Central Intelligence Agency, whereas the FBI is the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Ex: The agency exists to serve its clients.
6. Answer: Merges. Merges means combines.
Ex: Watch how the one cell merges with the other.
Well, I hope you had fun with the puzzle. Please let me know what you think - too easy, too hard, too small, etc. Remember to check The Observer next week to find another crossword similar to this week's.