Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Meaning of "American"

americanWhat does the word "American" in cryptic clues stand for?

A look at what it could mean.

Standard Abbreviation

"American" is most often an abbreviation for US, sometimes for USA, AM or A. As in:

FT 13131 (Alberich): Taking excessive interest in American fellow kicked off outrage (5)
USURY, charade of US {-f}URY.

Guardian 24730 (Arachne): Perhaps Tom meets South American in America (5, 3)
UNCLE SAM, charade of UNCLE (from "perhaps, Tom") S AM.

Americanism Indicator

"American" can suggest that a word required in the answer is an American one – in usage, spelling, or pronunciation. Instead of the word "American", the name of an American city could also be used.

Examples:

FT 13143 (Bradman): Issue with American racists leading to fuss in one state (8) COLOR ADO
"American" indicates the US spelling of "colour".

Times 24097: Killed a great number in Chicago (4) SLEW dd
"slew" also means "a great number" in American usage.

Solve These!

Try solving these clues that use "American" in the Americanism sense.

Times 24208: A party connected with, e.g., American red or blue state (8)
Times Championship 2009 Qualifier 2: Push one's way through American street (6)
Times 24287: American sank last of our port (5)

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5 comments

Vinod Raman said...

Very interesting post. There are other things "American" like American attorney/lawyer - DA, American sub - USS, American policeman - BULL, American soldier - GI/JOE.

Times 24208: A party connected with, e.g., American red or blue state (8) A DO with COLOR => COLORADO
Times 24287: American sank last of our port (5) DOVE (past for DIVE) R => DOVER

Neath said...

Cool blog!

Shuchi said...

Thank you, Vinod and Neath. Good cracks both, Vinod.

Any takers for the remaining unsolved clue?

Hint: The definition is "push one's way".

maddy said...

Push one's way through American street (6) THRU ST.

Shuchi said...

You got it, maddy.