Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Wednesday, February 21 2024, Jeffrey Martinovic

Today's crossword puzzle is a bit of a language lesson, in which we learn about the self-describing nature of four geographical items around the world - that their names, when translated from their native languages, are evidently TAUTOLOGICAL:

  • SAHARADESERT : "Sahara" = "Desert" in Arabic
  • LAKETAHOE : "Tahoe" = "Lake" in Washoe
  • MISSISSIPPIRIVER : "Mississippi" = "River" in Algonquin
  • EASTTIMOR : "Timor" = "East" in Indonesian
I didn't know about any of these, so there's a welcome educational aspect to this construction; also, I tip my hat to any setter who can get TAUTOLOGICAL into his/her grid!  What's more, I like the factoid that US radio stations' call signs start with 'W' and 'K' to the east and west of the Mississippi, respectively. 

More learning - did any of you know that the figures in Rodin's THEKISS aren't quite kissing?  I looked at some images online, and if they're not, it's darned close.  It occurs to me that this may be the first recorded "air kiss", paving the way for socialites around the globe to greet their peers without risk of smudged makeup..

It was nice to see two Canadian athletes name-checked - TESSA Virtue, who achieved figure skating greatness with her ice dance partner Scott Moir in the 2010s, and the immortal MARIO Lemieux, arguably the greatest hockey player of all time; speaking of tautology, all you need to say in Pittsburgh (or anywhere hockey is spoken) is "Mario" - the "Lemieux" part is redundant.  

This was a really good Wednesday puzzle, with just the right amount of resistance.  

p.s. special shoutout to my son Simon, who turns 23 today!  Happy Birthday Simon!



  1. Happy Birthday, Simon!

  2. I see you're not on the Gretzky bandwagon. :)

    And yeah, you hit all the high points. This was a fun one. I didn't know any of those either!

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