American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

 Crossword Tournament

28th ACPT • March 11-13 2005
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At the tournament, Alan Arbesfeld performed this entertaining original talking blues, waxing sentimental over all those wonderful words known uniquely to longtime crossword solvers.

In the later verses, it is a call and response; he provides the clue, the audience responds with the crosswordese answer word. Below you will find all the answers obscured with a black rectangle. Click-drag your mouse over each rectangle to reveal the correct answer.

videoWatch the Video and sing along

Talking Crosswordese Blues

by Alan Arbesfeld

A couple of years ago in this very room
Will was sayin' that there's been such a boom
In the number of people comin' through
To play in this tournament, what should we do
To try to keep pace
Should we find a new space
To go on with the race
For first place

Well I thought about it some and began to see
That the reason for Stamford's popularity
Is that so many people are solvers today
They love doing crosswords and they want to come play
And try their hand
Competing with the best in the land
But Will hadn't planned
On needing a grandstand!

Now why are so many having such success
With crosswords? Well, take a guess
Today's puzzles are filled with familiar words
Brand names, actors, and phrases you've heard
We can blame it on Manny
And Liz and Cathy and Franny
Heck, even my granny
Can do a Monday

So how can we reverse this turn of events
And lower the numbers at this tournament?
The answer my friends is plain to see
We've gotta make the puzzles as dry as can be
Not fresh like a breeze
But stale like moldy cheese
What I mean if you please
Is crosswordese!

Now some of you youngsters will want to stand clear
Of many of the words you're about to hear
You won't ever use them when you're out on a date
But never mind that, they used to separate
The chaff from the wheat
And created a special elite
Because a puzzle complete
Was quite a feat!

Now here's the part where you can help me out
If you know the crosswordese just give it a shout
So if you're traveling on some Indonesian blocks
You may come across the Celebes ox ...... ANOA
What about a Greek portico? ...... STOA
Or a Malayan boat? ...... PROA
An extinct bird? ...... MOA
An Asian gazelle? ...... GOA
Hey, you're pretty good!

Since the first few answers seemed to rhyme
I will try to arrange that the rest of the time
So if you go to an orgy you should always try
To remember the famous Bacchanalian cry ...... EVOE
What about a Siouan people? ...... OTOE
A Nigerian tribe? ...... IBO
Atlantic game fish? ...... CERO
A church calendar? ...... ORDO
A gourd? ...... PEPO
Danish islands? ...... FAROE
Exchange premium? ...... AGIO

Puzzles today have some obscurities
But not too many classic crosswordese
One of my favorites, and most remote
Belongs to Guido, it's his highest note ...... ELA
What about bambi's aunt? ...... ENA
Or an Okinawan port? ...... NAHA
A New Zealand parrot? ...... KEA
Leningrad's river? ...... NEVA
A Norse saga? ...... EDDA
A water wheel? ...... NORIA
Here's a tough one - an Oriental pagoda? ...... TAA

When constructors are stuck and they refuse to abort
Crosswordese becomes a last resort
Now here's an example that shows its face
In many a puzzle — a needlecase ...... ETUI
What about arrow poison? ...... INEE
Or a Norse God? ...... LOKI
Kaffir warriors? ...... IMPI
A pintail duck? ...... SMEE
Gudrun's spouse? ...... ATLI
A fairy? ...... PERI
A Swiss canton? ...... URI
Vedic fire god? ...... AGNI
North American finch? ...... TOWHEE
Gateway to a Shinto temple? ...... TORII

We can think of these words as being very arcane
But most people say they're just a big old pain
Whose purpose is to stop the average Joe
From completing a puzzle. Well, maybe so.
But this is the way, Will, without any doubt
To get this ballroom to empty out
If you take my advice, I think it's true man
The only one competing will be Stanley Newman!


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