PULASKI [puh-LAH-skee] - firefighting tool that combines an axehead on one side, and adze on the other. [Named after US forest ranger Ed Pulaski who used the bespoke mattock-like tool to help save 45 men trapped by Idaho's wildfires of 1910.] The pulaski is also known as a cutter-mattock.
FAUXPOLOGY - phony expression of remorse; insincere way of saying sorry, or presenting regret [Blend of faux/apology] Any apology that begins 'If X was somehow offended...', then you're about to hear a fauxpology.
MUKBANG - program in which someone livestreams their consumption of a truly huge meal. [Korean - meokneun ‘eating’ and bangsong ‘broadcast’] Akin to gastro-porn, mukbang is an online version of the hotdog eating contest.
SUE BUTLER is synonymous with Australian English, as you'd expect of someone who's name nurses TRUE BLUE.
For many years, Sue oversaw the Macquarie Dictionary, ushering the nation's tome into its 7th Edition. She's also the author of the Dinkum Dictionary, plus her more personal musings in The Aitch Factor. And last year, Sue was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to philology.
More recently, The Butler has been busy building a lingo-laced platform in the shape of her lively blog, a site awash in new words a-la the bunch listed below. How many have you met before? And as a treat, a full-blooded WoW, can you craft a neat cryptic clue for any of these specimens. Sue would be tickled pink if you did.
CANCEL CULTURE - a form of boycott, where followers remove their attention from the offending person, depriving them of a following.
CONCIERGE PARENT - mother or father who offers to solve all of life’s problems for the child.
KAMBO - venom of an Amazonian tree frog, used to purge the body and in the process free the mind from unwanted baggage.
ROBODEBT - automated system for recovering sums owed, notably used by Centrelink to recover money overpaid to welfare recipients.
SOBERISTA - modern teetotaller
TASSIE TUXEDO - puffer jacket
UPLIT - uplifting literature
WELLDERLY - senior citzens who enjoy good health; aged and hale
SHIP OF THESEUS - a thought experiment asking if an object that's had every part replaced essentially remains the same object. [Based on an ancient warship having its every plank and mask replaced, yet still claiming to be the 'ship of Theseus'] When Queen tours in 2020, minus two of its original members, they enter the waters of Theseus' ship.
YATRA - a sacred journey or pilgirmage performed by Hindus and other Indian faiths. [From Sanskrit yatra ‘journey’, from ya ‘go’] Typically a yatra wends to a mountain peak, or junction of rivers, the ardour of the journey as vital as the destination.
RAUDIVE VOICES [raw-DEEV] - the disembodied sounds of supposed spirits, as heard on tape recorders or via static. [Named after Latvian parapsychologist Konstantīns Raudive.] Typically labelled EVP, or Electronic Voice Phenomena, Raudive voices enliven the realm of white noise, albeit debatably.
Cluesmith of many chatrooms, Sam has stepped forward with a classy puzzle of his own this week, with a double Nina to discover, and a strict restraint to admire.
From Sam: "I've been a fan of Dorothy Sayers since I was a teenager. Re-reading one of her short stories - Uncle Meleager's Will - I was inspired to create this grid..."
There are some beautiful clues here, several neat innovations and a few less common words too. Feel free to download and get solving, sharing your insights, hints and feedback in the Comments below.
LOVAT - yellowish-green tone popular in Scottish tweed and woollen fabrics [Named after T. A. Fraser, Lord Lovat from 1875, Scottish nobleman who popularised muted tweeds.]
HYPERTHYMESIA [HIY-pur-thiy-MEE-zha] - the condition of possessing an extremely detailed autobiographical memory, akin to a photographic recall of all life experiences. [From Greek hyper (excessive) + thymesis (remembering).] Ireneo Funes, the Uruguayan man known in a Borges story as Funes The Memorious, can recall every crack in a family's porcelain vase.
FANTOOSH [fan-TOOSH] - flamboyant, flashy, stylish or possibly exotic [Origin unknown. Possibly from French fantoche - or Italian fantoccino - meaning puppet.] The change in seasons guarantees a blossoming of fantoosh outfits.
POUJADIST [por-JAR-dist] - a conservative reactionary determined to protect the business interests of small traders. [After Pierre Poujade (1920–2003), French publisher and bookseller who founded such a movement in 1954.] Latterday poujadists include sole traders hellbent on seeing multinationals bear their fair share of the tax burden.
CHAIN-CEREALLING - to persist in renewing your breakfast bowl in order to finish the last of the bowl's milk, possibly adding a little more milk in the process, ad infinitum [Web slang possibly first cited by Twitter's Nick Norlen, April 2019] There's a Zen art in judging your bowl's milk intake to avoid chain-cerealling.
SKOSH - small amount. [From Japanese sukoshi - a smidgin - as corrupted by American service personnel during WW2.] Married At First Sight may sit among the top-rating shows, but I don't give a skosh. In fact, I'm a skosh jaded of reality TV.
SASTRUGA [SASS-truh-gah] - pronounced ridge of snow formed on a snowfield by the action of the wind; also zastruga - plural z/sastrugi. [German via Russian, zastrogat - to shave or plane (wood) down.] Experienced skiers have the nous and nimbleness-of-knee to navigate sastrugi.
NEANIMORPHIC [NEE-an-ee-MOR-fick] - seeming younger than one's actual years; age-defying in appearance. [From Latin, neaniac, young man + morphic] A kidult mindset, in tandem with cosmetic care, can contribute to neanimorphic powers.
WILHELM SCREAM - stock audio of a strangled yell, as used in films and TV series. [Named after Private Wilhelm - a character in 1953 western, The Charge at Feather River. Though first captured in 'alligator scene' of Distant Drums, 1951.] The next time you hear gurgled cries on screen, that may be a Wilhelm scream in perpetuity.
CARINDERIA [kar-in-DAIR-ee-uh] - a Filipino food stall with small seating area, typically found in markets or on roadsides. [Tagalog] The bain marie of any carinderia emits irradiance, aptly the venue's anagram.
METUTIALS [mair-TYU-shuls] – small, irksome chores which must be done before other work can commence. [Possibly a corruption of Latin's matutinal - of the morning; early] Even before embarking on drafting his Moonlight Sonata, Ludwig needed to observe his daily metutials.
Gremlins in the Nine-Fairfax machine have made DA's puzzle even harder than usual. The crossword should be escorted by instructions and shaded squares - both of which are AWOL in the printed version.
As a royal commission is being mobilised, investigating Proof-Gate, sending gremlins to prison farms, please download the correct grid as PDF below, with both directions and shaded squares. (The clues of course are found in today's Age or SMH.) And please, enjoy a far kinder brain-bend, as first planned.