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Reading the OED: A Crossword Puzzle

Purdy, Publicity Director

This week Ammon Shea is in the UK with Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, meeting with OED editors and media to honor and celebrate the 80th anniversary of the OED’s publication. Since Shea is busy, I have commissioned a crossword puzzle based on his wildly successful book Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages to substitute for his usual blog contribution. The puzzle was created by Adam Fromm, a regular contributor to Games magazine, is for intermediate puzzle solvers. Shea will return to this blog space soon.  I hope you enjoy this diversion while he is away.  Check back later today for the solution to the puzzle.

In his new book, Reading the OED, author Ammon Shea tells the story of his yearlong goal to read the Oxford English Dictionary from cover to cover, all 21,730 pages of it. Along the way, he introduces us to many of the odd and fascinating words he encountered on his journey. To honor his achievement, we’ve featured eleven of those words in this puzzle; you likely won’t recognize them by sight, but with the help of crossing entries you’ll soon learn their meanings like the chrestomatic sort you are. Onward!

Across

1) Two-short-and-a-long metric foot
8 ) Follower of many an Internet “dot”
11) British runner Sebastian
14) Candle holder
20) Russian teahouse sight
21) “Goody Two-Shoes” singer [2 wds] 23) Love in the Time of _________
24) Vapidly
25) One of the Balearic Islands
26) Czar Nicholas II’s family name
27) Engouement – (n.) Irrational…
29) Aspectabund – (adj.) Having an… [2 wds] 31) Battle of Normandy loc. [2 wds] 33) Dodgers legend Ron
34) Bart Simpson’s grandpa
35) Freaky
40) Letter between rho and tau
42) Just a tad open
45) Baby buggy, in Bedfordshire
49) Lennox and Potts
51) Sandpapery stuff
52) Agathokakological – (adj.) Made up of both… [3 wds] 56) Novercal – (adj.) Like a…
58) Empleomania – (n.) A manic compulsion to hold… [2 wds] 59) “Your Highness”
60) Muscles just north of the glutes
61) ________ X (today’s 30-somethings)
62) Innovative
63) Michigan or Ontario
64) Memo abbr.
65) 2001 title role for Will Smith
66) Folksinger Williams
67) Rosebud, in Citizen Kane
69) Corrals
70) River linking China and Kazakhstan
71) Press
72) Martin, Short and Chase were three
74) [Reprinted with errors intact] 75) Chrestomathic – (adj.) Devoted to the… [4 wds] 83) Wider-than-hyphens dashes
84) Sometime Godzilla foe
85) Opera premiered at the Suez Canal
86) Was introduced to
87) Top 10 singles
89) A-F connection
91) Some 44-Down conversations
92) “I did not need to know that!” (in 91 Across)
93) Prima donna
94) Oodles of
95) “Kiss my grits!” lady
96) High-ranking connections
97) Entry charges
98) Unique thing
99) Indesinence – (n.) Want of… [2 wds] 103) Rapin – (n.) An unruly… [2 wds] 105) Naturesse – (n.) A… [2 wds] 106) Sunburn balm ingredient
107) Dish wiper, often
108) Cowboy flick background item
109) One in the red
110) Faceted part of a cut diamond
112) Star-shaped blossom
113) Old chum
115) Gives the go-ahead to
117) Oklahoma city
119) Garbist – (n.) One who is adept at engaging in… [2 wds] 127) Fleeten – (adj.) Having the color of… [2 wds] 133) “Go in,” to a surgeon
134) Too bright
136) Angry landlord, perhaps
137) Sea cow
138) Price hikes
139) Mozart’s Amadeus rival
140) Carpenter’s workbench item
141) Approx.
142) Gregory Hines’ forte
143) German water nymphs

Down

1) Like [2 wds] 2) Prefix for tech or meter
3) “_______, a plan, a canal…” [2 wds] 4) Swimming hole
5) Tied, as scores
6) Bargain hunters’ dreams
7) Secret rendezvous
8 ) Protruding bit of a machine wheel
9) Canine bane of Garfield’s existence
10) Tailless house pet [2 wds] 11) Pack heat [3 wds] 12) Not repeatedly
13) Airport schedule figs.
14) Give a push
15) Show up
16) Name of five Norwegian kings
17) “99 Luftballoons” artist
18) ‘Gator relative
19) Rooftop overhang
22) Be glum
23) Standard nursery furnishing
28) Giving the brush-off to
30) Fish found in a can
32) Shrek and Fiona, to name two
35) Christmas punch
36) Give a name to
37) Tendency to stay put
38) Become edible, maybe
39) Opponent of the GOP
41) Space station that fell in 2001
43) Liquidy lump
44) Popular ISP
45) Universal PC file format
46) Bounce back
47) Birdlike
48) Rockers Jagger and Fleetwood
50) Sci-fi classic remade with George Clooney
53) Got an A on
54) Sooner than soon
55) Surrenderer at Appomattox
57) Claw
58) Dropping dead
61) Full range
66) Sheen and Berenger’s Platoon costar
67) Couches
68) Univ. based in Baton Rouge
69) Souvlaki holder
71) Road houses
73) What Lysol is designed to fight
74) Not even remotely nice guys
76) Keys in again
77) “If You Leave” band, for short
78) Age range for high school seniors [2 wds] 79) Some street performers
80) Noteworthy
81) Payback
82) First-string player, often
87) Seraglio
88) Words following hole or all [2 wds] 89) One of the French flag’s colors, to the French
90) Give comfort to
93) Boneheads
94) It might be 32 hwy., 21 city
95) To’s counterpart
96) Wallflower type
97) Stopped dead in one’s tracks
100) Epoch
101) Crow relative
102) “Rocks”
103) Brewpub order
104) _______ creek [2 wds] 106) Stolichnaya shelfmate
111) Thusly [2 wds] 113) One of the 12 Apostles
114) Having _______ in one’s bonnet [2 wds] 116) Captain Picard’s predecessor
118) Couch
119) Ostentatious display
120) October’s birthstone
121) Actress Olin
122) Shiraz’s nation
123) England’s museum of modern art
124) Where the heart is
125) Ms. Gardner’s namesakes
126) Philbin’s partner-in-talk
128) Not terribly spicy
129) DLI doubled
130) Hwy from CA to FL
131) Mythology
132) Mr. Kringle of the North Pole
135) 1/3 of a Tbsp.

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  1. [...] today we posted a crossword puzzle by Adam Fromm, a regular contributor to Games magazine, based off Reading the OED by Ammon Shea. [...]

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