Doris—Plato SpecGram Vol CLXXXVI, No 4 Contents

Cryptolinguistic Puzzle Dodecahedron

Mary Shapiro
Truman State University

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1. Sign language expert is gullible, well-adjusted and not large.

8. Saying “bye” (Lousiana) and “bye” (Alabama), or “mmmm.”

16. Randomly decided to gut Aleutian oratory.

17. Grieved like crazy, as dialects may do.

18. Think all wrong after undergrad degree, naming Russian semiotician.

19. Some gap lexical items obfuscate business with many screens.

20. Linguistic unit finally sandwiched into premed classes.

21. Multilingual beer brewery hosts reading of American playwright.

23. Nothing comes back to him in Esperanto.

24. Stirred Spanish rice with sharp blade.

25. Deliberate misspelling, to the extent required (following English), is fun? Quite the contrary!

29. Pullum & Katz collaborated (in the margins) with worthless person.

30. Is it animate? Just the first few? That’s cuckoo!

31. Lower tone the rhetoric camouflaged.

34. Teaching Assistant in San (aka. Bushman) truly evil.

37. Did IE stop existing? Mostly.

38. Chomsky loses fringes, gains nothing, remains erectus, if not sapiens.

39. Object noun in Near English? Not at all!

40. Katrina lost a thousand in a phonetic feature (abbr.).

41. Soft and sticky way you’re said to use your computer.

43. He screams in French: “49 credits, that is!”

46. Pun teller buries French so-and-so.

48. There’s time between two events in July in France.

49. Skinner is wrong, but coming back partially with alarm.

50. Supporting women is all good and well in Sweden.

51. Troubled oxen, if proven, rulelike myself!

53. Sweetser, Nunberg, Ohala initially twist in Scandinavia with endless mucus.

54. Mantra? Gee... I’m so surprised (briefly).

57. Greenberg, Edmondson concealed briefly the alternative to U.S. high school.

58. Never ending polls: Legal lusting, at heart? In Wales, I can!

62. A type of strong wind, not here, entirely, but right inside.

65. Portuguese European (fem.) has money, gym class and one A.

67. I followed formal pledge, except for last syllable, in S. American language.

68. Manner: Yelling (Peripherally). About: Small male person.

69. Fecal gulf again? Oi! Confused mention of what the U.S. has never had.


1. Blab badly about English to find origin myth of human languages.

2. Pre-Iranian language found in the morning among a select, superior group.

3. Beneviste (Émile), Kenyon (John) shared terrible secret: They seemed Dutch.

4. Clarke’s A.I. returns with sentence-final particle in Singlish and Malay.

5. Calcutta region contains the north in Hindi (like Pradesh).

6. Go before Illinois as young girl in New York? (The Irish weep softly.)

7. UK soft drink drunk in burr.

9. Here, in Hungary, to hide (without high tone) a freshwater fish.

10. A girl in U. went crazy for Gallo-Italic language.

11. A verb (adjective, initially) for classic Hollywood actress Gardner?

12. Giuseppe (familiarly) puts prepositional phrase in spelling contest.

13. Country code in real life (in texts, at least).

14. Sociolinguistic variable in any language, finally.

15. Glue fixing a real crazy English creole superstrate.

19. Catch some Zs in average (in English sentence) for intermediate levels.

22. English sentence containing preposition consumes something.

26. Tense, after nothing in Spanish, after Dutch.

27. Bring together core of Zuni tenses.

28. Vietnamese noodle soup is acidic object.

29. Verbose, for fifty-nine.

31. Gringo once reinvented in African language family.

32. Marathi effectively conceals stealthy pilferer.

33. They’re emitted in French, it seems, strangely without tense.

35. Minor limb has tone without number.

36. English underlying representation in no prefix for nervous system.

42. Paiute loses me and Dad outside somewhere among Germanic speakers.

44. Take carI tire, unusuallyto see, e.g., OT’s constraint component.

45. Push to higher speed about verb.

47. Joan Bresnan and Nancy Dorian share a British grandma.

50. Dude swaps article for object in 50-across.

52. Pun be fun, mean, oddly showing creative spirit (and Greek breath).

55. Functional idiom emptied and put back in mouth of stereotyped African American speakers.

56. German and UK Royal Air Force members put together at first in Dutch grave.

57. A Norwegian genius with Italian genes, or an English noun in a U.S. soldier.

58. Percussion instrument a joke with preposition instead of adjective.

59. Hurrian plague deity lurks in Carnap, Ludlow collaboration.

60. Referring to an Italian woman, a Princess for Han.

61. Course prefix for many of us left when Bolinger dumped Afrikaner.

63. Number prefix sounds like an effort.

64. Thus Latin has complementizer, but no sentence.

66. Speaker of Latin (or perhaps Italian) with no mantra nonetheless operated.

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 the crossword and send your solutions to the editors of SpecGram by February 15th, 2020, you could win some SpecGram merch. The correct solution and winners 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: directive, intrusion, antonymic, phonemics, humdinger, restfully, analogies, governess, marimbist; and the three additional words are: voiceless, cuneiform, diaphragm. For the second puzzle, the nine words are: bilateral, rebirthed, anomalous, cabinetry, kickstand, entelechy, tagmatics, egyptized, different; and the three additional words are: bracketed, rhotacize, translate. Each of the puzzlemeisters below will receive some moderately desirable SpecGram merch:

Thorsten SchröterJoachim MugdanJessica PlummerRick Bryan

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

Keith SlaterVincent FishJožefa KovačičAoife Ó Briain

SpecGram Vol CLXXXVI, No 4 Contents