WSJ Crossword 3-30-20 (8-1-20) Complete

Wow! It’s August! But since it’s a Saturday, I’m doing puzzles from the archive. This one is from the end of March. Remember March? Remember how Coronavirus was just becoming a thing people were taking seriously? California shut down on March 17, stopping what otherwise would be fun drinking for St. Paddy’s Day.

So this March puzzle Abstract Attacks. Lots of A’s all around. Starts with 1A Pre-GPS travel aid: AAAMAP. It’s important to note that AAA still makes and prints maps, and the AAA maps are still cool to look at. I argue that they’re nice to have for planning because you get to see where things are relative to each other and not just exactly where you’re going.

But the clue that I like the most is 38A Amazonian biter PIRANHA. Like the majority of Americans, I always believed that the pronunciation is pih-RAWN-uh, and that was that. But piranhas are in Brazil. Where they speak Portuguese. Where hn is like the French gn which is like the Spanish ñ. So rather than pih-RAWN-uh, it’s pronounced pee-RAH-nya. Here it’s still the normal way, but there it’s the way that’s new to me.

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