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catacomb (KAT-uh-kom) noun

1. Often catacombs. An underground cemetery consisting of chambers or tunnels with recesses for graves.

2. An underground burial place.

[Probably French catacombe, from Old French, from Late Latin catacumba.]

"The best-known burial grounds are the great Victorian cemeteries which ringed London from the 1830s and 1840s. Most of them boasted catacombs, as at Highgate, Brompton, West Norwood and Nunhead." Andrew John Davies, Down to a sunless city: Beneath your feet lies another, Independent, 26 Sep 1994.

It's that time of the year again when you get to don your word-sleuth hat. There is something common among this week's words but we are not telling--it's your task to find the unifying theme. Each day this week brings a new word that on the surface may appear not to, but does share a trait with the others. Are you going to be the first to solve the mystery theme? If you think you have the answer, write to garg AT wordsmith.org. Look for the solution in this space next week. -Anu


...it is difficult to picture the great Creator conceiving of a program of one creature (which He has made) using another living creature for purposes of experimentation. There must be other, less cruel ways of obtaining knowledge. -Adlai Stevenson, American statesman (1835-1914)

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