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Default with Spaces: 125055
NOTES: I watched Gravity this week (four down, five to go on last year’s Best Picture nominees) and added some space-related terms to the Notepad: deorbit (65), space debris (75), Kessler effect (65), and MMU (40). Hannibal Buress was a guest star on Ask Me Another this week and mentioned working on a goat farm (75). My sister has told me numerous times about her dream of starting a goat farm but I never thought of adding the phrase to Default until I heard it on a webcast. I finally got around to looking up the spelling of Maltesers (55), a candy brand occasionally referenced on the BBC program QI. I guess it’s just a British Isles variation on Whoppers malted milk ball chocolates.
LISTS: Alex Boisvert mined some Eugene Sheffer and Thomas Joseph published crosswords and added the new entries to the sharedoc. I remember the Sheffer crosswords from my college days — they ran in the local newspaper of the small Kansas town where I attended school. I pulled just over 500 non-matches from the list Alex posted. The new entries include some dry book and film titles (The Sea Lions (60), The Rite (60)) and long partials (your eyes (35)) but also many good words and phrases: beach blanket (80), bungee jumper (75), and tin roof sundae (80). I’m about halfway through the list and am very happy with the additions. Thanks, Alex!
I only ended up adding about 400 to the CWL because I couldn’t be bothered with YOUR EYES and the like. It’s nice to have a source of easily obtainable words that are crossword-friendly.
More and more I’m adding entries like YOUR EYES not because I think they are usable, even in extreme circumstances, but because adding them means that they become easier to filter out of future lists. For entries added in the 40+ fill score range, your 400 looks about right,
I have never in my life heard of a tin roof sundae, and I consider myself fairly dessert-aware. Is it regional?
Hmm. I considered the term to be well known, but your question prompted me to check OneLook. TIN ROOF SUNDAE doesn’t appear in any of OneLook’s dictionaries (save Urban Dictionary) and is not a Wikipedia headword. The term gets decent Google hits, and while the dessert concoction was apparently popular in the early 20th century, the term is more commonly used now to identify a flavor of ice cream modeled after the dessert (vanilla ice cream, chocolate fudge swirls, peanuts). Several national ice cream brands produce a Tin Roof Sundae variety so I don’t believe the term is regional but it may be dated.