The sg-index—Separating the Wheat from the Chaff—The SpecGram Data Science Interns SpecGram Vol CLXXVI, No 3 Contents

Cryptolinguistic Puzzle Γ

Mary Shapiro
Truman State University

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1. Likely to blow up without divorcee? Stop!

4. Fat teacher insane? Brown & Levinson say this requires mitigation

8. Informal pronoun in Rhode Island and Alabama, like insults studied by Labov

9. Sex, if fair, holds more than one extra back

10. It’s definite: teaching assistant writes letter for semantic role

11. Dragnet cheapens ten all mixed up, leading to dead-end parsing

14. A subset of why nympho is running amok

15. Male heir has weapon belonging to a Germanic tribe

16. A yarn got twisted in IE branch (not to mention Nazi Germany)

18. No noun about ecstasy? Maybe just for this occasion.

20. Extinct Alaskan language inside or outside Yakima

22. What we collect to analyze is a little bit backwards.

24. To cover with asphalt holds it back twice, right? A piece of it, in this case.

25. Even Dad knows Bantu language

26. Classification system evident in writing error record, yes.

27. Ivan goes back for Cameron’s Avatar language

28. Salinas easy to arrange, allows airflow through the nose

29. Non-farm egg up robe, oddly, reveals backwards Neogrammarian


1. A spring, bouncing around, analyzing sentence structure

2. Spelling system has harpy (or goth?) cavorting

3. Travel loses head and gets mixed up, e.g.g.

4. Into CT/NY life, I do (sic), performatives have these (2 words)

5. Lower psyches hide abbreviated measured brain responses

6. Mistaken person ate constructed language

7. Aunt (tia) rolled (op. cit.), unscrambled like really, really (2 words)

10. True car sluggish? it’s always true!

12. Group of Uto-Aztecan languages has mathematical ratio, dude.

13. Meaning? Sounds? Odors?

14. Backwards nerd has four, after crown, like Pollard & Sag’s grammar

17. A light sleep, followed by Israeli dancegood reference!

19. I follow extended race, but lose on Indic language

21. Egyptian spirit (noun) and nothing Spanish make up Dravidian language

23. Are gremlins hiding round about, potentially causing phonemic reduction?

Like other cryptic crosswords, the clues in this puzzle are not straightforward. Unlike most, however, this one focuses mainly on languages and linguistics. For instance, the clue for Zapotec might be “Oto-Manguean variety alters pez coat” (anagram of pez coat), or “Indigenous Mexican language to destroy overtime prior to European Commission” (ZAP + O.T. + E.C.), or “a nice top, a zany blouse conceals retro Oaxacan language” (niCE TOP, A Zany), or many other combinations of puns, anagrams, or typographic quirks. Punctuation in clues is often misleading. Each clue contains both a definition (of sorts) and a more cryptic part, but these may come in any order.

If you can complete (or make a good effort on) the crossword and send your solutions to the editors of SpecGram by July 15th, 2016, you could win some SpecGram merch.* The correct solution and winners, if any, will be announced in the August issue of Speculative Grammarian.

The solution to last month’s puzzle, Mix & Match ‡, are provided here. The nine 9-letter words from the first puzzle are: breathing, heteronym, asynaptic, conundrum, unobscure, catalysis, streaking, vocatives, archenemy; and the three additional words are: resonator, translate, intrusive. For the second puzzle, the nine words are: viewpoint, isoclines, conjugate, flagrance, labialize, stableman, liquidate, cogitator, enthymeme; and the three additional words are: isolation, plurality, inanimate. Each of the puzzlemeisters below will receive some much envied SpecGram merch:

James HyettShawn BianchiShazeen Afzal

In addition, the following puzzlers have achieved the everlasting glory that comes with an honorable mention:

Bernd MöbiusDaniel SwansonKeith SlaterThorsten SchröterVirginia Bouchard

* Note that SpecGram Anti-Hoarding Guidelines stipulate that puzzle-related prizes cannot be won by anyone who has won a puzzle-related prize in the last three monthsthough honor, fame, and glory may still be seized on the metaphorical field of puzzle-related battle.

The sg-indexSeparating the Wheat from the ChaffThe SpecGram Data Science Interns
SpecGram Vol CLXXVI, No 3 Contents