I Got The Word

Small things amuse small minds; therefore, back when I was doing two crossword puzzles a day, I was intrigued by the number of times that a word would show up in both puzzles on the same day.  Different clues, of course, “He’ll give you a lift.” and, “Elevator guy,” would both yield “Otis.”

When I began also doing an online puzzle, it actually tripled the chances that any two would share a word.  I’ve never had a golden day where all three agreed; when the third clue might have been, “He’ll cause you ups and downs.”  I did have one interesting 3 X 2, silver-medal day, where A and B shared a word, B and C shared a word, and C and A shared a word.

So it was fascinating the other day, in my reading, to encounter, within an hour, in two different books, two different place-names both beginning with “Rh,” Rhyolite, Nevada, and Rhododendron, Oregon.  Rhyolite came from a 2007, Clive Cussler book, and refers to a now-ghost mining town.  “Rhyolite” is a volcanic form of granite, from which they mined gold.

The other was from the 2000, fourth book of Lee Child’s, Jack Reacher series.  Either they’re getting better, or they’re growing on me, and I’m learning to ignore the errors.  “Rhododendron”, of course, is a showy pink/purple flower, and the town of the same name in Oregon is in a region known for flower cultivation.  It’s not far from Puyallup, Washington, where growers used to supply daffodils for Johnny Carson’s Tonight show.

A grade three teacher read her charges a story which contained the word frugal.  I like to use the word frugal to describe myself.  It has a softer, more elegant ring than cheap-ass, tight, or stingy.  When asked, she explained that it meant saving (which it doesn’t) and, to get some alone-teacher time, she suggested that the class all write a little story including the word.

Little Johnny wrote an heroic tale of a brave knight, who frugalled the fair maiden, imprisoned in the castle tower.  He may have a future in porn.

I once asked Dictionary.com’s crossword solver about Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki raft’s construction, and got the following back:

Try these answers for ‘Kon-Tiki material’

ConfidenceMatching Answer











I don’t know how many dead Incas it would take to float across the Pacific.  A raft made out of serge, or denim would be utilitarian.  One made of nylon might be waterproof.  One constructed of satin would be gorgeous, just gorgeous – if you were floating your way to a gay wedding.  Suede would be for the sensible shoes, if it were a lesbian wedding.

I’m not too sure I’d like an ocean-going raft constructed of slate, coral or adobe.  A guy in my hometown constructed a 30 foot sailboat out of concrete, but I’d be afraid of getting an unguided tour of Jim Wheeler’s submarine with the screen doors.

I just got the word about the next knife show in Detroit.  Some conversation I overheard last spring made me check the website.  Apparently there is some conflict with another knife show, and a large show needing the entire hall in March.

After recently publishing the tale of our first trip down, in a blizzard, I find that the spring(?) show has been moved back to Feb. 1 – 2.  Get a little work done on the car, and we should be all set.  Since we need to travel to Detroit on the Friday evening, the son wouldn’t have the car to get to work.  He could bus in and back, but decided to request the night off.

The wife is suffering some internal problems which make her not want to be too far from a washroom, and doesn’t get to see the specialist till June, so she has decided to stay home, and the son and I are going together.  I have already booked a room at a Red Roof motel north of the tunnel, instead of the one south of the bridge, that we’ve been using for years.  Two days after I confirmed the reservation, I got the email word from Red Roof, that, if I’d waited till Jan. 15 to book, they’re having a 30% off sale.  Some times it just doesn’t pay to be prepared.   😦

It’s near a different Trade Center/flea market we’ve never been to, and is closer to the show venue.  I’m already researching where the nearest Meijer store, WalMart, and Outback restaurant is.  I’ve got addresses written down, and this time, Miss Smarty-Pants GPS just might earn her keep.

There’ll be another episode of The Continuing Adventures of Archon (With his trusty sidekick, Shimoniac) when we get back.

13 thoughts on “I Got The Word

  1. Kayjai says:

    I really suck at crosswords, but I try them nonetheless.


  2. Jim Wheeler says:

    Crosswords fascinate me as well. A NY Times expert has gone to considerable effort to computer-analyze the commonality of words used in them. The ones I would have guessed would include:


    Those are near the top of his list as well, but his top three, in order, are:


    The beauty of the thing though is not diminished by commonality of course because continual variety is found in the challenge of varying the clues for each word. My favorite puzzle is that of the USA Today newspaper.


    • Archon's Den says:

      Thanx for the link. I’d have expected the top four also. I’ve used every one of them in my posts. ASEA is fairly common, “bear in the sky” brings URSA occasionally, but I only remember finding SMEE once or twice, in the puzzles I do. SNEE, on the other hand, cuts in regularly. 😕


  3. BrainRants says:

    I’ll alert the border crossing point guys to your plans.


  4. papict says:

    I have actually been to Rhyolite. It’s a fascinating place and I highly recommend it. As most of the houses could be deconstructed and transported to the next “rush” town, the only structures remaining are the public buildings, such as the bank. There is also a fascinating building with walls constructed out of glass bottles. I highly recommend a visit if you find yourself in that locale.

    I also describe myself as being frugal and see it as being a a very different definition from stingy.


    • Archon's Den says:

      Thank you for the info on Rhyolite. Barring a Lotto win, I don’t expect to ever reach there. The SteamPunk version of mobile homes is interesting. Totally logical, but I’d never thought of it. I remember seeing a home built of bottles on a PBS special about ghost towns. I don’t remember the name Rhyolite being given, but it’s unlikely there’d be another. 🙂


  5. benzeknees says:

    Have fun at your upcoming knife show! Hope you like your different motel.


    • Archon's Den says:

      One Red Roof Inn should be pretty much like any other. What we hope will be a bit different, will be the new Trade Center/flea market. 🙂 I’ll try to remember to bring back some knife photos for bloodthirsty John E.


  6. whiteladyinthehood says:

    This post made me smile. You humor is just different…it grows on you after awhile, but not in a moldy way. 😉
    You and son on another unsupervised road trip…bound to be interesting! I’m sure you won’t meet a stranger!


    • Archon's Den says:

      Two grown, but not mature, men, alone in a strange city, what could go wrong? I’m sure we will encounter someone(s) who will be a stranger when we meet, but a friend when we leave, or at least blog-fodder. 😉


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