VINGE = GIVEN
CHOTN = NOTCH
MONIRF = INFORM
GGLGEA = GAGGLE
NOAH WEBSTER HADN’T STARTED WORKING ON HIS DICTIONARY YET, BUT HE WAS – – –
IN OT NM AGE = MEANING TO
Happy Wednesday, Jumble fans! It was another easy puzzle this morning, but the cartoon was a period piece so that meant I wasn’t going to come away from the game empty-handed. Mr. Webster ended up being a very interesting person to learn about and I’ll share a few interesting nuggets of knowledge that I unearthed right after we take a quick look at today’s words.
Mr. Hoyt dazzled us with four original anagrams, but all of their solutions were old friends that we’ve bumped into over the past few years. None of them stumped me, but the triple G’s of GAGGLE did cause a slight hiccup. At first glance my eyes saw ALGAE, but my brain knew that it didn’t have enough G power. The other G-word, GIVEN, was our vintage word of the day and was last gandered on 4/28/14. NOTCH was last sheared with us on 6/25/18 making it our most recent repeat.
Today’s panel brings us to a library and it’s there that we encounter the two Jumble characters that provide the foundation for our solve. The gentleman on the left, dressed in period clothing and spectacles that gave him a Ben Franklin vibe, started off the dialogue exchange by asking about the status of a “big word book”. The other fellow, appearing to be in his late 40’s or early 50’s, exclaims that it’s still in the works and also provides a little more information about the book.
The cartoon sentence names one of the characters as Noah Webster and we can deduce from the dialogue that he’s the seated gentleman on the right. Noah Webster, whose surname is synonymous with “dictionary” in the United States, was born in The Hartford, Connecticut Colony of British America in 1758. His father mortgaged the farm in order to send him to Yale College, and he later graduated with a law degree.
Unable to find work as a lawyer (imagine that!), Webster had some financial success by opening a private school as well as writing the “Blue-Backed Speller“. In 1793, Alexander Hamilton loaned him $1,500 in an effort to have him move to New York City and edit the leading Federalist Party Newspaper. He made the move and edited the paper for four years, but he had bigger ideas up his sleeve.
In 1806, Webster published his first dictionary called “A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language”. The following year, he began compiling an expanded and fully comprehensive dictionary entitled “An American Dictionary of the English Language”. It took 26 years to complete, but in his defense, he had to learn 28 languages to get the job done. The book sold a mere 2,500 copies and he ended up mortgaging his home to develop a second edition. Plagued with debt, the second edition was published in 1840 and contained two volumes. On May 28, 1843, a few days after he completed revising an appendix to the second edition, he passed away at the age of 84. Shortly after his death, the rights to his dictionary were purchased by George and Charles Merriam. They went on to continue publishing dictionaries under the Merriam-Webster name.
After taking half an hour to research Mr. Webster, the final solve wound up only taking a few seconds to complete. The layout was an anagram consisting of 9-letters that would solve into two words. The “IN” at the beginning of the anagram allowed me to find the “ING” suffix, and TO was right behind for the 2-letter word. MEAN was left in the remaining letters allowing me to stitch it all together. With only two days left in the week, my fingers are crossed that we’ll get a real brain-bender on Thursday or Friday. Until then, have a wonderful Wednesday, and I’ll see you right back here tomorrow!