34 Comments

  1. For that matter, what’s a “Craow”? “Brow” is spelled similarly as “crow”, but they’re pronounced differently.

  2. Geeze, Clay Miller, who told you to try to grab ’em all at once? Thanks for spoiling it for the rest of us.

  3. “Blushing crow” was even one of Spooner’s real-life Spoonerisms, I think — it least it was so cited in an Ellery Queen short story about a guy with Spoonerism problems, “My Queer Dean.”

  4. I struggled to think of a four-letter, white bird whose name starts with “C.” It’s obviously “crushing blow,” but crows are black.

  5. I figured the most noticeable thing about the crow was it was white so I figured Bleached or Blanched but Creached and Cranched didn’t work so figuring I had to fill in the blank “Cr….. Blow” and figured it was “Blushing Crow” …. but it took me a while to figure why a crow being white would be blushing.

  6. Oh… And is “Box Fan” a thing? I guess it is. I think I’ve heard it. Is that something east coast or people with personnel jobs are more likely to use? It seems a really weird term and I’d have a hard time figuring what it actually means. Although I think I have heard it.

  7. Yeah, box fan is totally normal to me. I own a couple of the ones deety shows above. In fact I can lean over and touch one without leaving my chair, as I have one here in the office (although it should have been put away for the season).

  8. I dunno. “Box fan” sounds a little like “box social” or “plate lunch” or some other odd americanism that never really enter my vocabulary. I mean why is it worth noting that the fan is a box shape? Who cares? Also, with plastics these days the encasements can more closely match the shape of the blades. If it’s still placed directly on a surface and is in a contained unit is it still a box fan even if it less than rectialinear?

  9. Woozy, if you have a “double hung” window, the type with a flat layer that slides up and down, this kind of fan is exactly what you need to use. It sits in the open square, then you lower the sliding part enough to rest on the top of the fan and hold it steady. This is something you cannot do with a reciprocating fan, or a fan with a round base.

  10. That’s the major intended purpose for box fans, but they do come with plastic feet you can insert so they can sit on the floor without falling over.

  11. “if you have a “double hung” window, the type with a flat layer that slides up and down, this kind of fan is exactly what you need to use. It sits in the open square, then you lower the sliding part enough to rest on the top of the fan and hold it steady.”

    That actually goes a huge way in explaining my linguistic challenge. I have of course seen that in movies and television shows. But in California, no-one ever does that. Ever.

    So if we don’t ever do that, we don’t really need a vocabulary for it and if we don’t need a vocabulary, we don’t get why “box fan” should be an important concept.

    “If it’s not rectilinear, it’s not called a “box fan”.”

    But they are encased in a frame and the frame is placed on surface and the center of gravity is low. The fact that the shape is square rather than domed hutch shape didn’t seem to have any relevance or significance to me (until mitch explained the putting it in the window use) so I was wondering why a specific terminology for it.

    I was also curious as, although I know what a box fan is, it did seem on of those phrases that seem to be used more and be more important to east coaster. And I was wondering why.

  12. woozy — it helps to understand that “box fan” is almost a perfect synonym for “window fan.” There are edge cases where you might use the phrase in other situations — I think I’ve heard someone use the term to talk about a self-contained cooling fan module that they put in their under-the-desk computer, and, checking various stores’ websites, I see that they sometimes categorize some floor fans as “box fans”, and that there are some nine-inch fans that are sold as “box fans”, but, on the whole, a box fan is a twenty-inch fan in a square enclosure which sits in a window.

    And if you live somewhere which either doesn’t have summer, or which always has central air, or which has casement windows… this wouldn’t be a thing. If you live in Boston or New York City or Providence or wherever, these are literal lifesavers — they are generally good enough to keep houses below heat-exhaustion-dehydration-and-death levels during the summer.

  13. I have through my life come across phrases in my reading that have more importance or significance or commonality to other people than to me. Sometimes it’s a regional thing (like the difference between stores that can or can not sell alcohol or prepare food depending on the individual states ordinances making such distinction relevant whereas in other states they would not be) and sometimes it’s just me (apparently “consignment stores” are a big deal to most people but I never really cared).

    Of course I’ve heard all these terms so it’s not like that are alien. It’s just the difference in the scale of significance that I find interesting. It wouldn’t have occurred to me “box fan” was common enough phrase to be word play in a jokey puzzle.
    https://onlinereadfreenovel.com/robert-j-sawyer/page,2,62160-factoring_humanity
    It’d be like making a pun on “Mary Higgins Clark”

  14. Woozy, I have sort of fixed up your links. But they are addressing pages, not images, so are not embedding, if that was what you had in mind.

  15. I really thought and HTML 2.0 type anchor hypertext reference tag would be pretty standard not be an issue. The first I forgot a closing quote ” mark. So it’s understandable we that failed. The second I think I did correctly (admittedly I haven’t hand-coded in decades but it’s not something you forget). I guess though Word press doesn’t won’t html code and …. well, I can never remember the message board square tag commands.

  16. But in any case, Woozy, what in the end is your point about this “box fan” business? Are you looking for people to join you in denouncing it as a bad entry in the Spoonerisms puzzle? I submit you’re forgetting two things:

    It’s supposed to be all in good fun.
    Regardless of the status of “box fan” as a familiar expression, that entry also turns on the switched-around expression “fox ban” which nobody would claim was a set phrase. So you could give “box fan” a rest and look at the obverse.

  17. Ha! Another formatting mystery! I had numbered my two points, but the numbers disappeared.

  18. I’m just amused it was thing enough to make a joke. I did get the answer… I got them all, but I thought it was weird the crow was white and that “box fan” was considered common enough. I just thought it was odd is all. It’d have been as if they had used linseed oil or federal agency (edible fragrancey?) as a basis.

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