Scene From A Long Drive During The Holidays

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The characters are a teenaged boy and his mother. The mom is driving, while the boy is calling out clues from a crossword puzzle that they are completing together to make the time pass.

Teen Boy: “Three Down: River to the Caspian Sea, four letters.”

Mom: “I have no idea.”

Teen Boy: “Thirty-four Across: Knoll, five letters.”

Mom: “Do we have any letters?”

Teen Boy: “Probably starts with M.”

Mom: “Mound?”

Teen Boy: “I’ll pencil it in. Okay, Thirty-four Across: Doc bloc, three letters, first one is A.”

Mom: “Try AMA.”

Teen Boy: “Twenty-four Down: Beat off. Four letters.”

Mom: “WHAT?”

Teen Boy, very quietly: “Beat … off.”

Mom: “Wow.   That’s kind of weird, because ‘beat off’ is a euphemism for …”

Teen Boy: “I KNOW, I KNOW. Let’s just move on to another one.”

Turns out the answer for Twenty-four Down was “fend.” If you doubt the veracity of this anecdote, check out the USA Today crossword for December 18, 2008 (page 7D).

–Ann Bartow

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0 Responses to Scene From A Long Drive During The Holidays

  1. bob coley jr says:

    Ah, yes! One of those quaint moments in parent-child relationships when one realizes the passage of time. Had a few redfaced moments of double meanings with my daughters. I realized (too late for me) that , from the snickering in the back seat, they knew ALL the alterative meanings of my inocent but poorly chosen words! I know they still talk of them amonst themselves. Poor old Dad!

  2. bob coley jr says:

    *amongst*. Is that even a word?