Clued In (Blogs)

Clued In #18 | Words mightier than swords

 |  05 April 2020

Hey there, and welcome back to Clued In!

Here’s a word you may scarcely have heard used. Which is ironic, because it happens to describe a commonplace feature of a really empowered democracy.

 

The Hindu Cryptic #12,901 | Vulcan | 19 Across

Clue surface: King’s photo gets strong criticism (9)

Definition: strong criticism

Answer: PHILIPPIC

Explanation: In this clue, ‘gets’ is a connector which suggests to the solver that PHILIP (‘King’) + PIC (‘photo’) obtains the answer. (Not sure what the ‘apostrophe s’ after ‘King’ is driving at, to be honest).

The word owes its origin to the ancient Greek political orator Demosthenes (384-322 BC) and his relentless denunciation of Macedonian king Philip II and his imperialist designs on Athens. Philip’s sword proved to be mightier than Demosthenes’ words (Greece was eventually invaded in 356 BC and Philip’s son Alexander proved to be an even greater conquerer than his father) but the bite and rhetoric of Demosthenes’ speeches rang so loud and strident that they coined an noun after his favourite target.

 

philippic

sounds like: fill-uh-pick

noun

— a speech making a bitter attack on someone or something. (Chambers)

Synonyms: rant, tirade, denunciation, diatribe, reproach

Etymology: 16th Century: from the Greek word philippikos, the term used to describe the orations of the Athenian Demosthenes against Philip of Macedon

 

Were there any other clues that discombobulated/delighted you in the past few weeks? Let us know in the comments below.

Subscribe The Hindu Crossword Plus to access the iconic Cryptic Crossword, and many more puzzles from The Hindu