Much to our surprise, the Monster LingDoku presented in the last issue was a resounding success. The SpecGram puzzle team was looking to go on vacation for a couple of months, and so they pulled out the most horrible puzzle they had in reserve, confident that no one would try to solve it. To their dismay, hundreds of correct solutions poured in. Rather than go to all the trouble of actually comparing the submitted answers to the hastily constructed “solution”, we had some of the interns pick out their favorite accompanying letters. As previously discussed in these pages, there is nothing wrong with some appropriate sucking up. Below are some excerpts from winning entries. —Eds.
... This mighty sudoku variant was actually a pretty fun and straightforward puzzle to solve
I would love to see you continue in the same spirit, whether it’s
I have taken some time off my thesis and lost some sleep to finish your magnificent Monster LingDoku. Thanks for teaching me how Hangul works! I hope you have as much trouble reading my solution as I had constructing it.
By the way, I really love your magazine; and in [the last] issue, I
particularly liked the phonetics-
I am enclosing my (purported) solution to the [Monster LingDoku] puzzle.
With appreciation to the devious mind that concocts these things for our distraction,
Here’s my solution to the Monster LingDoku. ...
By the way
I ... humbly suggest that, should you do this again, you forgo the double consonants, as it would seem that one needs a PhD in the computer sciences in order to enter them on the keyboard.
I was both surprised and pleased to see the recent article on the lovely language Spanyol. That was some of our best work.
That is to say, Spanyol is actually a constructed language created by the Γραμματο-
I just wanted to thank you for sharing that anarcho-
[Editor’s note: We attempted to get verification of this amazing claim from Dr. Ekker-Chey, only to find that he has died under “mysterious circumstances”
I am very concerned after seeing two surprising references to your journal’s finances in the last issue. First, you found it necessary to “pimp out” the space usually reserved for the letter from the editor to fund the issue. Second, you claim that a $1,000,000 grant from that Rapscallion fellow would only fund SpecGram for a week. How much does it cost to run an academic journal these days? Should I be worried that the entire enterprise will collapse and disappear? I just pre-
You needn’t worry. As we mentioned before, we suffered a temporary illiquidity event. We can’t go into too many details
As for running a journal, it is incredibly expensive. But that’s why we have those insanely lucrative library subscriptions. (We recently expanded to 16 pages per issue in part to settle a class action lawsuit filed by a coalition of subscribing community colleges.)
We aren’t currently worried about our immediate future, though. Worst case scenario: SpecGram goes underground again for a decade or two until our funding sources recover and the publishing environment becomes more hospitable.
To the editors:
In Claude Searsplainpockets’ otherwise excellent article on Spanyol, he wrote:
I was able to load considerable Middle and Modern Spanyol data into the Hockett Syntacular Morphemic Resonance Spectrometer, which is capable of measuring glottoradiological Swadesh Shift down to a hemidemisemiformant.
Everyone knows that glottochronology is frivolous and without merit. The Hockett SMRS is no good!
[We let Claude respond and explain in his own eloquent way. —Eds.]
My dearest Helga,
First, let me say that the perfume on your letter was delectable. I am sure that when I opened it I was surrounded by a sweet cloud of feminine lavender and lilac. Did I also detect a subtle hint of bladderwort?
But to your question, I don’t find either glottochronology or the Hockett Syntacular Morphemic Resonance Spectrometer to be completely useless. However, the publication of the article has resulted in the desired “more and abundant funding,” and, as a consequence, I have been able to reanalyze my data with a newly acquired electromagnetic Zipfian Emic Alignmentation Locus. A couple of the lower branches of the family tree moved a bit, but the result was essentially the same.
I hope this minor dispute will not take away from what I believe may develop into a beautiful friendship, Helga!!
Speculative Grammarian accepts well-