1974 John Wayne title role / Sat 6-7-14 / Like some Hmong / Donkey : mule :: __ : huarizo / Orion's hunting companion / Admission ticket
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Constructor: John Lieb
Relative difficulty: Easy
Word of the Day: EMERITA (65A: Professor _____)
---The Chicago Manual of Style OnlineQ. I have been using the title “professor emerita” with the names of retired female professors. Now one of those professors insists that I have confused sex with grammatical gender. She writes, “The phrase is Latin; the noun ‘professor’ is masculine and should be modified by the masculine form of the adjective—‘emeritus’—regardless of the professor’s gender.” Since the sixteenth edition of CMOS has used “professor emerita” as part of an example at paragraph 8.27, I’m assuming that this usage is correct. Can you weigh in on this?
A. The professor has a point. But one of the nice things about the Latin word professor is that it has survived absolutely unchanged into contemporary English. And most people intend the English word professor in the phrase “professor emerita.” In that case, though professor is invariable and therefore neutral for gender (but not for number), it is perfectly acceptable to adjust emeritus to suit the gender (and number) of the professor(s): emeritus, emerita, emeriti, emeritae. But in this case of grammatical correctness coming up against political correctness, there is no clear winner. If you need to cite another authority, the latest editions of both Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate (11th ed.) and American Heritage (4th ed.) include examples with emerita—without any warnings about usage problems.
• • •Hello, Rexworld. This is treedweller filling in. For once, I got a chance to write about a Saturday puzzle I was actually able to finish, which is why I rated it Easy. Some of you probably have a more nuanced system, but for me they are all either Easy (For A Saturday) or Impossible. Like any good weekend offering, this one required a mere mortal like myself several trips through the clues before
things started coming together (though I'm sure someone finished it in like two minutes). It didn't help that my first move was to gleefully type in "Pop-up ad" for 1A (Web nuisance), but I finally gained traction in the SE, finished the bottom half, then slowly pieced together the remainder. All those Xes in the center helped a lot.
I doubt anyone will call this THE BEST (62A: #1), but I found it quite lively and engaging without sacrificing the challenge many of us seek late in the week. So often, Saturday puzzles seem to harken back to the days of mind-numbing trivia that hardly anyone knows or cares to. Or we are amazed by the stacks of long Acrosses but hold our noses when we see the Downs. The worst fill I can find here is ITA (61D: Suffix with 28-Across) and OUTEAT (41A: Show up at dinner?). That's a small price to pay for this nice mix of new (SPAMBOT, MANCAVE) and old (BOSCO, ROLODEX), pop (LEGOS, WALK-OFF HOMER) and classical (ARTEMIS, WABASH), colloquial (LIT INTO, SCHMO) and scholastic (TERAWATT, X-AXIS).
- 20A: Donkey : mule :: ___ : huarizo (LLAMA) — I had No Idea on this one, but once I got the double-L there wasn't much doubt. Wiki tells me the other half of a huarizo is an alpaca.
- 35A: The middle Andrews sister (MAXENE) — This apparently refers to her age, since she always seems to be on the end in photos and videos. Wiki says her name is Maxine Angelyn "Maxene". Very forward-thinking of her to adopt a spelling variant as her nickname to create a crossword niche.
- 4D: 1974 John Wayne title role (MCQ) — I held off on entering IRAQ WAR a long time because I had forgotten this movie. All my favorites of his are oaters.
- 31D: Pipe accompanier (TABOR) — I tried "pouch" and "light" and "match" before I finally realized we were talking instruments. I couldn't say why I knew this particular drum, but it came quickly once I looked in the right direction.