Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The New Volcanocabulary

My word list has been shut down until further notice -- grounded until who knows when? It all started with that volcano in Iceland. But the usual suspects -- molten LAVAMAGMA and ASH -- aren't to blame.

The word list was broken by the volcano's name:


That did it.

All I did was try to introduce EYJAFJALLAJOKULL to its crossword kin: MAUNA LOA, ETNA, VESUVIUS, STROMBOLI, PELEE, FUJI, MAUNA KEA. It was downhill after that. The word list is history.

Volcano E -- I'll see you in court.

I immediately called Teri, my lawyer . . . only to learn that she's stranded in Paris because of (you guessed it!) Volcano E. She had been vacationing in France when the first round of volcanic ash halted air travel. Though I've left messages, not a peep has been heard from Counsel.

Knowing Teri, she probably dismissed the flight delays with a litigator's fist-pump and not one iota of regret: "I am forced to spend seven extra days away from my clients . . . in Paris. Bring it!"

Teri is stranded in Paris. By day, she roughs it at The Louvre. In the evening she endures yet another French eatery--forced to live on avocado souffle, baby greens in a pomegranate vinaigrette and hazelnut buttercream torte.   

This leaves me with no word list and no lawyer. And I can barely pronounce the defendant's name. Do I even have to say the word conspiracy? As the dust settles on the investigation, we learn of a possible co-conspirator. He is described as a sleep-deprived journalist with a QWERTY keyboard imprint on his forehead. A background check on Volcano E uncovered this etymological theory on how it got its name:

Eyjafjallajökull Рnamed when the person writing about it fell asleep on his keyboard.


DebbieJRT said...

knowing Terry, I don't think she is too disappointed to be stranded in Paris:-)
If anyone ever manages to get Eyjafjallajokull in a crossword, I will hang up my solving pencil

Elizabeth said...

Debbie, you got that right. Terry makes the best of any situation and goes with the flow, even if the flow involves molten lava. :)

Gareth Bain said...

Love how you drop hints to your up-coming NYT masterpieces @ your blog... Except I solved your puzzle yesterday and read your blog post today!

Elizabeth said...

I'm hoping that my stranded friend solved the puzzle in Paris . . . talk about coincidences!

Sir Gareth, you've improved me. I've added GARETH to my word list, and have no idea why it was gareth-less for so long. A most noble addition! :)