Trivia Teaser

Which word contains a smaller word that can mean 'a distinctive air or quality'?

Sauntered
Restaurant
Grasping
Farmyard

Clues

28
Feb
2014
 

By Miranda

We always try to make our clues as direct and clear as we can. But recently we had some problems with the clue "Airwoman". The word we were looking for on the crossword grid was AVIATOR.

This seems to be straightforward as we also have the clue "Airman" for this word.

Interestingly, some puzzlers thought we were trying to be tricky and extract the word AVIATRIX. This was difficult, first as this archaic feminine form (oh well, it can't have been around for too long, since we'd have to have had a plane in existence for the aviatrix to fly) has, to put it mildly, fallen out of use in the last half century or more, and secondly as this word has one more letter than AVIATOR and therefore would not fit into the grid.

Having some connections in the industry, I did some quick checking and found no woman at the pointy end of the aviation industry who would accept being called an AVIATRIX. Since my research covered not only commercial but also armed forces areas, this response was delivered with more emphasis than I care to repeat.

So what was the hesitation point?

Is an "Airwoman" somehow not as much of an AVIATOR as an "Airman"? And what does that tell us about our use of language?

And more, there are some delightfully obscure feminine forms of various occupations, most of which seem to be falling out of use.

Any suggestions?

669 Responses to

Clues

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said:
March 07, 2014 at 7:15 AM

Off to my Dr appt will chat when l get back.:)

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pdiaco said:
March 07, 2014 at 8:35 AM

The key to a better society is knowing that in a democracy the citizens by definition are the rulers, and the *appointed* governments are managers. It is now feasible, with modern technology, to form a large permanent group/s of citizens that act as a layers of control over government administration/maladministration/legislation. An IT student could develop this and at the end of it we would have a Brand New Country Version 1.

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said:
March 07, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Governments would then be accountable.

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pdiaco said:
March 07, 2014 at 8:57 AM

FIFTH ESTATE. Unofficial Internet-based Citizens keeping governments in check is known as the 'Fifth Estate'. Keeping government in check unofficially via the press is known as the 'FOURTH ESTATE', but the press has abandoned this guardian role in recent years for various reasons, so unless the citizens become actively involved in creation/participation of Fifth Estate sites, any unsupervised 'democratic government' inevitably in my view becomes corrupted, useless, incompetent and dictatorial.

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said:
March 07, 2014 at 9:01 AM

On this, we can agree, pd. :)

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pdiaco said:
March 07, 2014 at 9:04 AM

That's the idea Fir. As far as I know there is no longer a smidgeon of control or accountability of Australia's State and Federal governments.

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said:
March 07, 2014 at 9:32 AM

nor in Canada....The key, as I see, it is to get citizens to feel that they can actually do something about this. Most people seem to have their heads in the sand. It must become a grassroots issue.

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said:
March 07, 2014 at 10:18 AM

l was talking to my Dr this morning about this issue and he said it needs people to stand up and demand either by protest or with their feet matching down the street, or petitions to politicians to make them stand and take notice of what the general public is saying. We elected them we have a right to a say in what is happening!

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said:
March 07, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Hi Anne, have a look at my comment under the new heading "avatar" in relation to what we have been discussing...re care for the aged...:))