Well, it is far from the truth. I just couldn't help making reference to one of my favorite book, Robert Fulghum's All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. I did learn a few new things of late primarily from playing crosswords.
- Eero Saarinen was the architect responsible for the St. Louis Arch. Sure I was there twice and maybe even read his name on some plaque but now that it took me a few seconds to look him up in Wikipedia, the name will stick better in my memory. The clue wisely read Young Saarinen because Eero's father Eliel was the designer who influenced him in sculpture and furniture design. Eero, a name any crosswords makers must love. Chances are my sister in St. Louis knows all about him already.
- Eider is a type of seaduck. Supposedly, the quack is famous for its down (feather).
- A hasp is the metal plate, one end hinged, the other end usually rounded at the corners, and slotted in the middle for the thingamajig to pass through, through which a padlock's whatamacallit would then go through. The clue simply read padlock adjunct. I didn't solve it directly but rather through the connecting words. I had to look it up in the dictionary afterward.
- Ides, not to be thought of as the plural form of ide (whatever id is), is the middle of the month, in the Roman calendar, i.e. the 15th day for some month and some other day on shorter or longer months.
- for the nonce means for the time being. Never heard of that phrase before. Maybe I should go out more often. Of course, it could be just things that only happen in crosswords, such as some words in Scrabble. For the life of me, I can never fully understand the word qua or when to use it. I think the teachers in Snoopy movies say it all the time, usually five in a row.