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Aug 16, 2010
This week's theme
Words that appear beheaded

This week's words
estival
auteur
irenic
utilitarian
rotund

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

In Indian mythology, Ganesha, the rotund god regarded as the remover of all obstacles, sports the head of an elephant. It wasn't always like this.

According to the story he was born a regular boy with a regular head. Something he did annoyed his father, Shiva, so much that he chopped his son's head off. Later when it came out that it wasn't the poor boy's fault, the father had the head replaced with that of an elephant.

It's unclear why an all-knowing god couldn't figure out the truth in the first place without needing to decapitate someone. It's also not clear why an all-powerful god couldn't reinstate the original head instead of having to sacrifice a pachyderm. But gods are like that. They fall apart as you begin to consider things logically, no matter what the religion.

This week's words look somewhat like Ganesha before the restoration job. They appear beheaded (some more than others), though they can survive like this too. Your role is that of Lord Shiva. Can you find a letter for each word to rehead it?

estival or aestival

PRONUNCIATION:
(ES-ti-vuhl)

MEANING:
adjective: Relating to or occurring in summer.

ETYMOLOGY:
Via French from Latin aestivus (of or relating to summer).

USAGE:
"Ms. Croghan confides that she is sometimes known as a battle ax, both to locals and estival visitors."
Joanne Kaufman; Prep Work; The New York Times; Apr 25, 2008.

See more usage examples of estival in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Familiarity is a magician that is cruel to beauty but kind to ugliness. -Ouida [pen name of Marie Louise de la Ramee], novelist (1839-1908)

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