Bestsellers of 2018—Announcement from Panini Press SpecGram Vol CLXXXIII, No 4 Contents

Cryptolinguistic Puzzle ⠼⠊

Mary Shapiro
Truman State University

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1. Past LSA president is addled bore about LING.

6. In the beginning, Arabic, Rajasthani, Palauan, and Hopi joined forces for speakers of Algonquian language

9. Chic avocado toast contains hollow space, in Italy

10. Is it cool, using insane person to study language variation?

16. As 500 Latin speakers would call a University courtyard

17. Attempt to delay process covered up by historical linguist Allan Bomhard

18. “Small fish” not clearly expressed by Hittite translator

21. A total, complete way to speak

23. Old Testament judge is telic despite lacking boundaries

24. She (insane) and/or I studied language death

25. Oddly, ears at speed removed all traces

27. Dansk, hollowed out and refilled with beer, fought Dr. Who

28. Be identified as, e.g., no Trump

29. Change the other one, as ancient Romans did

30. Wolof and Menominee, at the start, combine to form half of human race

32. Attorney general, a heavy stove, like one of several Khans

33. How many Australian languages did he study? 509? None? Any number....

36. Preposition covered with affirmation by Nobel-winning poet

37. Focusing device used casually perhaps by Bloomfield and Talmy?

38. A big mouth emerging from dangling object

40. SIL’s database of languages a crazy tongue hole

45. Or cut off the lowest deck on the ship?

47. Artificial intelligence backed up United Nations for Hokkaido’s minority language

48. On Dutch Caribbean island, rube loses English in Alcoholics Anonymous

50. I will shortly describe formedness of ungrammatical sentences

52. Dash each disjunction, like some penguins

54. Against acquiring English, like filmmakers Joel and Ethan

56. Dandy focused on preterite, initially

57. Definitive lexical resource abridged or bobbed, without bilabials

58. Pen English in (on?) ancient Roman walls

61. Multiple crossroads in Italy: Three of them? Six?

62. U.S. tax enforcer returns with Indian honorific

63. North America has uncontrolled need for indigenous language family

64. Sentence in violation of religion law, without speaking Spanish

65. You each sound like a Northern Michigan dialect

66. Scoff about Hegel losing English? He was a pioneer in conversation analysis!


1. It’s as dumb as questioning whether it contains an isolate

2. U.S. Army corporal or sergeant, e.g., mixed up with Mexican

3. Young women in Georgia with large sentence

4. Even letters heavy in the offer made electronically

5. Large and/or deranged, like Langacker and Wardhaugh

6. Sounds like Indian-American surgeon and New Yorker writer Gawande is a tool?

7. Ladefoged (not a syntactician) put preposition as head of very confused tree!

8. Klingon inventor OK, right? And how!

11. University of Texas newspaper (low quality) immerses itself in Old English, provoking angry reaction

12. Medical scan named by Turing revealed Romance language

13. Glide, stop, fricative... In other words (two of them) what’s hiding here

14. Mongolian loses all nasals and round vowels, keeps nervous system connected

15. ASL expert took wrong in Southeast

19. Saying please in German is complicated in disputed region

20. English verb form requiring dummy subject sounds like it rules!

22. Tigre educator conceals slender plant

24. Do we sound all wet?

26. Ask dr., if time conceals language change

31. Underlying representation captured by peculiar name? Crap!

32. French telephone greeting insincere, may be pronounced various ways

34. Each Italian has a backwards lingo, mostly

35. No one loses English at this time!

39. Although peculiar flub, he is tasty catch for Australian tailor

40. Gender-neutral piece confused before reaching northeast

41. Healthy linguist studied endangered and non-configurational languages

42. Gang acquires very soft one in a type of ellipsis

43. English sour, confused about international currency

44. Ask for proof of age if and only if where Nik Coupland studies variation

46. Behold embedded reference to sexual desire!

49. 1-Across , losing linguistics, becomes Afrikaans farmer

51. Closer, almost, to form that doesn’t get pointed at in O.T. tableau

53. Object (Verb) that is following a thousand in film

55. Unspecified items from a list in this? Leave me out of it!

59. Undergrad degree? No, Chinese steamed bread

60. French vine or American mushroom, except loses extension

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 February 15th, 2019, you could win some SpecGram merch. The correct solution and winners, if any, will be announced in the next issue of Speculative Grammarian.

The solution to last month’s puzzle, Rasmus Rask Diamond Puzzle VIII, is provided here.

Each of the puzzlemeisters below will receive some moderately desirable SpecGram merch of their choosing:

Vincent FishAnders HornDaniel SwansonJamie Wheeler

Congrats to all!

Bestsellers of 2018Announcement from Panini Press
SpecGram Vol CLXXXIII, No 4 Contents