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Cryptolinguistic Puzzle Sebē

Mary Shapiro
Truman State University

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1. Confused parley comment about some distributions.

6. LING students’ greatest personal anxiety, initially and briefly.

8. High by one in the afternoon, I see, revealing mentally relevant distinctions.

13. Found covert prestige in sticking 500 (in universal grammar) in trill.

16. Endless data coming up, or just a little bit?

17. Nasal, a short vowel conceals whip.

18. In Spanish, article followed by noun then determinerbut not at sea.

19. Disrespectful speech act in South, with underlying tense, initially.

20. Add -k for Norwegian vinegar, or -e for Murphy, Van Halen, or Bauer.

21. A tree grew in Hjelmslev’s class.

23. Masters follow unfinished signssignifiers of summation.

24. Half of Salishan love accentless Latin who claims to leap (or Spaniard who claims he left).

25. Common (indefinite) abbr. for respiratory problem without a mother.

27. One railroad carries exceptional verb, briefly.

28. Garlic? A fan? Nu? Mixed well, it’s what we have in common. (2 words).

33. To announce in Indonesian or Malay: University of California to accept advanced placement!

34. Frenchman will go astray, like designer Carolina, if she lost her head.

35. Bo Peep lost long vowel, like German Sanskrit scholar.

38. GOP lists total, minus one, separating vowels of uh-oh! (2 words)

40. Inflectional phrase a system for encoding sound, briefly?

41. Direct object left to measure pain.

42. Subfield of applied linguistics for the particularly sensitive.

43. Cryptographic protocol for instant messaging based on Optimality Theory, right?

44. Verb object caught in Spanish article, Darwin’s process cut short!

46. Cowper drops bovine for a fruit.

48. A relative clause briefly forms a curve.

50. The way a teaching assistant gets a zero.

51. Sankoff to Labov, or Will Ferrell’s double initiatives.

52. I plow, says Italian? A bunch, says Esperantist. (With mouths turned round.)

54. Unfinished epic above and beyond in English, Dutch, Italian & Portuguese.

56. Myers-Scotton to sing 52 Across in 150 (at Christmas).

58. Evil eats taco the wrong way and shows us where.

61. I mark his unusual Dardic language.

64. Universally, or at least partly.

65. Hipbones? They say, in France, there are.

66. Schegloff hid Marxist revolutionary. Italians say What? Who?

67. Disheartened Slavic reveals initialism for largest city in Utah.

68. Mary E. Beckman has secret stash of booze.

69. Our attic scale makes new combination, anticipates or perseverates.


1. Later Egyptian to select between 100 and one less.

2. Using inflection to express attitude in Missouri precedes overdoses.

3. But in France there is more Portuguese corn from so many places!

4. Honorifics from this talker so odd.

5. Why identification plate records Germanic language.

6. Like Irish, I’d go other way before Eli, more or less.

7. Strange promo, halls, different ways of saying the same thing.

9. Solo Mandarin speaker?

10. Extra lateral liquids self-identifying at first.

11. Animate without energy? Nuts... like a typical Sao Paolo morning.

12. Garlic, ham, or rocket with edges cut off on tongue of Guam.

14. Measurement of ionized particles (awesome!); if you cross river next, you become author of syntax text.

15. In Germany and University of North Dakota?

22. Frenchman will read this as worth something before the European Union.

25. Scope over end of mora (with nothing lost) yields tricky predicament.

26. Afrikaans’ language gives a large thanks (or the other way around)

28. Labov traps me before real crazy sound like /w/.

29. Republican party loses center, gains one (parasitic? Accidental?).

30. Postdoc chap, often.

31. Creative works unlimited in Romance, but bounded in Hazel Carter.

32. Crystal’s online language kept sane? Nope, completely nuts.

33. Unit loses one, gains nothing for archaic preposition.

36. Optimality theory gets quiet by choice.

37. Ill-defined function word is part immediate constituent, low English.

38. NIH’s domain orders (generally) Object-Verb.

39. Missing half of semanticist Barbara may be great; first half just average.

41. Should Ted coin another way?

45. Near Long Island? Just the opposite! (Like A and B on Crete.)

47. Biblical name confuses Charles endlessly.

48. Ratios readjusted in Greek past.

49. Cog Sci locative study comes back, carrying severe tummy pains

53. Beast at heart of grammar.

55. One prefix or many? (Or none, in how to work diligently.)

57. Heraldic wreath or border or French article.

59. U.N. labor group hiding among philologists.

60. By way of lurking in Latvian.

62. McCawley hid object case abbr. wrong way.

63. Sounds like footwear of Egyptian god of wind and air.

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 June 15th, 2018, you could win some SpecGram merch. The correct solution and winners, if any, will be announced in the next issue of Speculative Grammarian.

The solutions to last month’s puzzle, Mix & Match ¶, are provided here. The nine 9-letter words from the first puzzle are: postulate, overtaxed, numbering, crackpots, conformal, integrate, asemantic, immersive, eyepieces; and the three additional words are: tentative, axiomatic, semanteme. For the second puzzle, the nine words are: necessary, phonetics, allograph, malamutes, duodecimo, accentual, unattuned, aethereal, slenderly; and the three additional words are: collocate, structure, segmented. Each of the puzzlemeisters below will receive some moderately desirable SpecGram merch:

Thorsten SchröterBerit Johannsen Daniel SwansonMike Schloss

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

Bernd MöbiusPhilip Newton Vincent FishKeith Slater

SpecGram Vol CLXXXI, No 4 Contents