MOULIN [MOO-lin] - cylindrical shaft that extends through a glacier, one that's carved by meltwater from the surface [From Latin molinum - a mill or grindstone] Robert Macfarlane rappels into a moulin's maw as part of his latest nature paean, Underland.
SCARAMUCCI [skar-ah-MOO-chee] - ten-day period between a person's hiring to firing; also SCARAMOOCH or MOOCH. [Named after White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci who was dismissed by the Trump administration almost as quickly as was hired.] Volatile executives may only last half a Scarmucci in the top job.
SOIGNÉ [swan-YAY] - elegantly dressed or well groomed. [From past participle of French soigner ‘take care of’, from soin ‘care’] Audrey Hepburn is the epitome of soigné.
NEANIMORPHISM - the quality of looking younger than your age. [From Latin neanias - young man - plus Greek morphe - shape or form.] Yak milk and Photoshop are the two secrets of neanimorphism.
GRAUPEL [graw-PEL]- soft hail-like precipitation consisting of condensed snow pellets. [From German diminutive of Graupe, hulled grain; akin to Russian krupa, groats.] As a fiddler on the roof, Topol had to watch out for graupel.
WARNOCK'S DILEMMA - online scenario where a blog post or forum article attracts zero responses due to (a) indifference, (b) absence of readers, or (c) the post's completeness - where nothing more needs to be added. [Named after US Usenet observer Bryan Warnock in 2000.] To be pedantic, Warnock's Dilemma is more a trilemma of possibilities, or more going by the man's manifesto.
SHURIKEN [shooh-ruh-KEN] - a concealed star-shaped weapon thrown by ninjas or other assailants as an aerial dagger or distraction. [Japanese 'hidden hand blade'] The shuriken is also known as a throwing star - or ninja star.
Long overdue for an opaque clue or two. Below is a batch of perplexing clues drawn from an array of British puzzles, with each of them still thwarting my bid to grasp the wordplay in full. If you think you can shed some light on the matter - any of these matters - then your counsel is encouraged.
(And if you feel like some freewheeling clue-mongering, then you're welcome to conjure original clues for the same answers. A chance to strut with 'normal' words, away from the WoW challenges.) Thanks for both in advance.
1. Stitch finally made runner fall = PURLER (Times 11,453)
2. Attending party in NI, doctor by nature smart = DRESSED UP (Times 11,456)
3. Picks up brown coat leader of hospital body’s dropped = RUSTS (Times 11,457)
4. It follows funk broadcast in European city = SOFIA (Times, 11,449)
5. Man with cross to bear: that’s self-evident = AXIOM (as above)
6. Reduced opening for leasing arrangement = GROUND RENT (Times 11,499)
7. Plant by seawater never appearing evenly = YEW TREE (Loglady - The Indy)
ONIOCHALASIA [ON-ee-oh-CARL-ay-zhe-uh] - purchasing of objects as a form of mental relaxation; retail therapy. [Greek onios - for sale - plus chalasis: loosening, relaxing.] Bookshops are where I practise my oniochalasia.
TOODLEMBUC - game-of-chance device consisting of a skewer, a cotton reel, and a disc marked in sectors, each bearing a horse's name and odds proportional to sector size ; also toodle-em-buck [From 'toodle doodle' reduplicative aligned with spinning, plus 'em them + buck - a gambling marker] Bet you can't find a toodlembuc image, as a roulette diagram was the nearest I managed.
WANNIGAN [wohn-NEE-gahn] - a lumberjack's chest or box; an canoe's inbuilt cabinet for food preparation or storage. [From Algonquian wannigan - pit trap, container for sundries. Compare Ojibwe waanikaan - excavated hole] For a jamboree in Wamberal, every wobbegong had a wannigan.
PALATSCHINKEN [pah-LAT-shin-kuhn] - thin egg batter pancake stuffed with jam or stewed fruit. [German, from Hungarian palacsinta, from Romanian placinta - flat cake - linking back to Latin placenta] Palatshinken is the mid-European version of crepe Suzette.
HAGIOSCOPE - an angled slot at eye-level within a cathedral's stonework allowing a secluded worshipper off the main nave to observe the service; a low-side window; a squint. [Greek - holy + see] Hindu temples have an equivalent hagioscope for the unclean to witness liturgies from without the temple.
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.