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warren (WOR-ehn) noun

1. A place where rabbits live or are kept.

2. A building or area that is overcrowded or has a complicated layout.

[From Middle English warenne, area for breeding game, from Old French, possibly of Germanic origin.]

"Both cases decided, Dr. Watson, and both in my favour. I haven't had such a day since I had Sir John Morland for trespass because he shot in his own warren." Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle put his legendary Sherlock Holmes on the trail of murderers, blackmailers, burglars, and con men in the cleverest guises. Crime was everywhere, according to the master detective. "It is my belief," he told his ever faithful Dr. Watson, "that the lowest and vilest alleys of London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside." In pursuit of their quarry, Holmes and Watson often came face to face with the dark side of the human character. With brains, pluck, and Watson's trusty service revolver, they conquered all.

Last week, Sherlock Holmes devotees flocked to Dartmoor, in south west England, to mark the centenary of publication of the famous Holmes adventure set there, The Hound of the Baskervilles. AWAD pays homage by sampling words from The Hound and other Conan Doyle tales. -Lauren Weiner (lauren_weiner@kyl.senate.gov)

(This week's guest wordsmith Lauren Weiner is an editor for Senator Jon Kyl (Republican, Arizona) in Washington, D.C. Her literary reviews and essays have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New Criterion, the Wilson Quarterly, the Baltimore Sun, and many other publications. -Anu)


Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. -Jean-Paul Sartre, writer and philosopher (1905-1980)

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