If you have never remarked, at least to yourself, about the number of English words that are almost the same size and shape, have almost the same letters and meaning, and yet are different…. You’ve never done a crossword puzzle. 😳
Where to find Guinness – Any decent bar – but in the crossword, you have to work sideways. What is the second latter? Is it Eire or Erin?
Claim – is it aver, or avow?
Price rise – bump or jump?
Cell inhabitants – nuns or cons?
Prohibit – bar or ban?
Talk a lot – yak or gab?
Geological period – era or eon?
Sleep – nod or nap?
The top – acme or apex?
Peak – top or tip?
Not real – fake or faux?
Hand warmers – mitts or muffs?
Gourmet delicacy – snail or quail?
Hurled – flung or slung?
Comics dog – Otto or Odie?
Over – atop or upon?
The 411 – info or data?
Stop up – plug or clog?
Exploited – milked or bilked?
Wicked – evil or vile?
Senate yes – aye or yea?
Kick out – eject or evict?
Made mad – angered or enraged?
Outdo – beat or best?
Pants part – seat or seam?
Agree with – sync or side?
Father-involved – parental or paternal?….or, if mother’s involved – prenatal
Old-time actress, in five letters – starts with GA. Ooh! Ooh! I got this! Green Acres TV show – Eva Gabor. Oops. Sorry! Even old-timier than that – Greta Garbo! Same five letters – different order. Rats!
Dog food brand (in four) – Iams or Alpo
Because of the product that they provide, crossword composers are usually exacting and precise in the usage of words in both their clues, and solutions. Sadly, illiteracy and incorrect usage creep in, even among the best.
The solution to doesn’t want to, is the six-letter word averse, not the seven-letter adverse, which means, unfavorable, contrary, opposing.
The correct response, (in four letters, second letter I), to lay low is kill. To hide, is to lie low.
The pedant in me says that core group is not a cadre! A cadre is a frame or border, which contains other things placed inside. If you’re pretentious enough to use the word cadre, then your core group are the newbies.
Muss one’s hair. Tussle means wrestle, scuffle or struggle It’s not accurate, unless we’re talking about Amos, from the 9 Chickweed Lane comic strip – tousle comes from the Scottish touse – to handle roughly – to dishevel.
Finally, we get to related things which occur serially and sequentially, but are not identical.
Festive nights are not eves! Eve is the short form for evening, the time when light and dark are about the same – dusk, twilight, nightfall, even gloaming – depending on the date, perhaps from Six P.M. till Nine. ‘Nights’ continue through till sunup the next morning, but very few festive parties do.
To fill a pipe does not mean tamp. They are two separate actions. A pipe must first be filled, before the tobacco can be tamped down for a slow, even smoulder. It’s why Scotty stopped smoking a pipe. When he was smoking someone else’s tobacco, he crammed so much into the bowl that he could hardly draw. When he was smoking his own, there was so little that it wasn’t worth it.
Ties vs. laces. I see teenagers all the time, whose shoes have been laced, the ends of which are dragging on the ground, untied. I often wonder why they, or someone else, don’t step on a trailing end, and produce an epic face-plant.
Unlatch a gate – open. I can unlatch a gate, and leave it for the dog, or the cows, or even my buddy the burglar, to open when it is necessary, or convenient.
Assuming that the therapy session goes well, and the meds kick in, I’ll be back, as usual, in a couple of days. You’ve been warned. 😉