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AWADmail Issue 84

August 3, 2002

A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Interesting Tidbits about Words and Languages

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Theme solution

Greetings from Seattle! Wordsmith.org has now relocated to the Emerald City. That explains why a few recent issues of AWADmail were delayed. Thanks to everyone who participated in "Yours to Discover" theme last month and an apology to those who had to wait so long for the solution. As a way to make up for it, we bring you THE ADVENTURE OF THE MYSTERIOUS WORDS where none other than Sherlock Holmes solves the mystery.

The common thread in the five words for that week was that all could be morphed into other words by prefixing a single letter.

The words were:


With a letter added at the start, these words turn into:


The honor of being the first one to figure out the theme goes to Adam Smith (asmithATling.mq.edu.au).

From: Jean Mark (jcomarkATshaw.ca)
Subject: This week's theme

Anu protests that he forgot
What prompted him these words to jot.
This is so much not like him
I find the chances very slim.
But just in case he speaks the truth,
Below the thoughts of this word sleuth:

Take a word, then drop first letter
(You might make it even better!)
My gambit is that I am right
Dubiety is not in sight.
Tirade envisioned if proved wrong
But festival if right and strong.
Completely planate if off base
Yet glad this challenge I did face.

From: David Swidler (swidlerATyahoo.com)
Subject: beheadings


his eek ach tem an e hanged o et n mended tem--imply tart he tem sing 1 ore nit.


From: K. C. Rourke (lorrettATfantasymakers.com)
Subject: theme

Looks like "words that appear to be missing their first letter". Know the syndrome well. My family must certainly once have had an O' stuck to the front of our name, but at some point it seems to have fallen off and rolled under the furniture, and was thus lost.

From: Ted Manning (tmanningATalleni.com)
Subject: Guess the Theme

Ooo! Ooo! I've got a guess. Is the theme "words-that-could-sound-like-full- sentences-unto-themselves?"

ambit: something you say when a mosquito has sucked a quart from your arm.

irade: something I do to the fridge late at night.

ubiety: how your kid demands a T-shirt souvenir from you.

If I am correct in my theory, then Thursday's word should be:

Tedrocks: something Ted's older sister should say after he guessed the word theme before she did.

From: Steve Benko (steve.benkoATgecapital.com)
Subject: Theme of the week

My solution to your last discover-the-theme week in April -- words with a string of three alphabetically consecutive letters -- provided me with long-sought and invaluable clues to the Kennedy assassination conspiracy. This time, bless you, you've revealed the secret location of Osama Bin Laden!

All the words so far (as of Wednesday, "ubiety," "irade," and "ambit") are short words of six letters or less, beginning with a vowel, containing the letter "i", and having no repeated letters. The word "Osama" shares two of these characteristics, but not all four. It is short and begins with a vowel, but has no letter "i" and does repeat a letter ("a"). Reviewing an Atlas of countries surrounding Afghanistan, this can mean only one thing. He is hiding out in the southwestern Iranian town of Ahvaz, near the Iraqi border. This name of this town is different from this week's words in precisely the same way that the word "Osama" is different: it has a short name beginning with a vowel, yet has no "i" and does have a repeated letter. As icing on the cake, the repeated letter is "a," the same letter that is repeated in "Osama!"

From: John Van Pelt (john_vanpeltAThotmail.com)
Subject: theme

Don't you mean the theme this week is "ours" to discover, (not "yours")?! As a Scrabble-player, I really enjoyed this week, thanks. A key aspect of the competitive game is knowing one's "front hooks" (and similarly, "beheadments").

From: Mary Feeney (mmfeeneyATaol.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--estival

There's an annual music fest in Paris called the Festival Estival.

From: James McLeod (james.mcleodATkvs.com)
Subject: Wordsmith Theme for the Week

The words so far this week (ubiety, irate, ambit, and estival) all sound like they could be the names of cars (the Toyota Ambit, or the Volkswagen Estival). Each is also the tail of another word as well but that is not nearly as interesting.

From: Sameer Bahadur (sameerATaplion.stpn.soft.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--theme

Ubiety of staying indoors in estival season, lying lazily on the lanate carpet, made my irade to find the theme from the ambit of linguistic play, an enjoyable pastime.

The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest men of past centuries. -Rene Descartes, philosopher and mathematician (1596-1650)

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