Monday, March 30, 2009

Etui, Ice-T

Probably, Elizabeth Gorski turned in her 3-29-09 Sunday crossword puzzle before this item on endangered crossword answers appeared in the Boston Globe in February (link from Bookforum). This is probably one of those situations where you see a word everywhere once you start to look for it (or its absence), but I can't remember the last time I saw ETUI in a NY Times crossword. From the story:
Last year, during the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, host and puzzlemaster Will Shortz held aloft a tiny object. It was barely visible from the back of the cavernous hotel ballroom, but the whole room of more than 700 contestants promptly burst into applause. What was it? A little needlecase, better known to puzzlers as an etui - one of the mainstays of the curious language of crosswordese.

And the ICET answer in the same puzzle was clever. The theme answers in the puzzle seemed like they were set up to test out the balance between new terms and older terms that have become less familiar as answers.

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