Friday, June 11, 2010

14 across: wild Asian ass

So you're an octogenarian going on nonagenarian status and your hobby is crossword puzzles. One of the clues is stumping you so you decide to do what the youngsters — sexagenarians and septuagenarians — are doing and you get a little help from the Interwebs.

After fifteen futile minutes or so of searching your computer for the pneumatic tube in which your written request will be transported, you remember reading something about "Google" and so you go there in search of the elusive word.

For Asian ass.

Needless to say, 89-year-old Jack Sedgewick was shocked that he was unable to find anything about the equus hemionus onager, also known as the Asian wild ass, the last word of which was the answer. But he did manage to discover plenty of other animal behavior.

He knew something was amiss when the words that popped up were super long: They were eight-, nine-, ten-, sometimes even twelve-letter monstrosities that wouldn't fit in this tiny six-letter space.

Oh, imagine the horror if he'd also typed wild.

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