New Additions

Added Across Lite files/Notepad
Default – 336192 Words

Transposal (8): Bennett Cerf on What’s My Line, e.g. / Disney Afternoon series featuring airplane pilots

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ATJAR (60)

A few weeks ago I was having brunch with some friends, both members of the National Puzzlers’ League. One commented on the practice of searching restaurant menus for typos, which is common pastime for NPLers dining in groups. I remembered a time at one of my first NPL conventions where we studied a menu for typos and discovered the word ATJAR. None of us knew its meaning, and smartphones weren’t around for a Google search. When I got home from the brunch, I marveled at the fact that I remembered that odd menu item after all these years, checked the meaning on Google (it’s an Indonesian salad), and added it to Notepad.

BRONY (70)

I’ve known about the subculture of male My Little Pony fans for some time, and I may have already had this entry in Default from an indie crossword. I added it to Notepad after my post-Lollapuzzoola-6 homebound flight. The passenger sitting next to me was a young man with long hair and alternative dress clutching a pink My Little Pony stuffed animal bedecked with punk jewelry. He was a harmless seatmate, but his devoted connection to the pony was fascinating. I’m not sure it he was an example of a BRONY per the typical application of that term, but it put the entry on my mind.

HOCUS (45)

The most recent list of entries taken from CCWIN grids included HOCUS, OINGO, and YELLO. I gave all three of these entries the standard fill-in-the-blank fill score of 45, though I considered scoring them differently based on the fact that they are each associated with one basic phrase that is composed of rhyming words. The repeating letters in the clues {___ pocus}, {___-Boingo}, and {Mello ___} diminish the appeal of the entries. {Start of a magic phrase} and {End of an old soda brand name} are options that avoid the letter repetition, though those options don’t work as well for NITTY, PAMBY, TOITY, etc. At some point I will review the 45 range of Default to see how many “HOCUS” entries could be rescored.







Default – 336031 Words

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I’d never encountered this word in singular form before. Research suggests that it is a variant used in non-U.S. parts of the English-speaking world. 11C lists SWEEP-STAKE as a variant form of SWEEPSTAKES, though it also mentions the non-hyphenated form in the etymological notes for the entry SWOOPSTAKE, an obsolete adverb meaning “in an indiscriminate manner.” I should remember to avoid assigning fill scores to the Default entries swoopstake.


I remember learning the convention of pluralizing -US words as -I when I was very young. It was something my parents, who were not Latin scholars, passed along as an amusement for a precocious child, and it wasn’t until I reach graduate school that I discovered that many of the classic -US to -I plurals are technically incorrect. I made the error of using the word “prospecti” with a pedantic professor, and now tend to double check such plurals in the collegiate dictionary to see which forms are accepted.


Sheesh, I have a lot of TAKE* entries in the 10s. My Extras file only added nine new entries to Default, so the inflected forms of most of the TAKE phrases were already in my word list. I still need to compare the TOOK* entries in the current list to see if I missed anything.