CRYPTIC TAXONOMIES

Geist - - Miscellany - —The Edi­tors

Some time ago, we re­ceived a note from our avid crossword solvers, Jim Lowe and Brian Goth, on the back of their puzzle so­lu­tion. They were cu­ri­ous about the iden­tity of Me­an­dri­cus, the cre­ator of the al­ways-chal­leng­ing, some­times frus­trat­ing Geist Cryptic Crossword. Me­an­dri­cus is the pseu­do­nym for our in­trepid puzzle-maker, who is also a book de­signer, pot­ter, teacher, vol­un­teer, writer and lat­eral thinker.

The first Geist puz­zles were pre­pared by Smi­lax, whose pseu­do­nym was be­lieved to be the name of a gar­den slug. Geist fact check­ers re­cently dis­cov­ered that Smi­lax is the name of a plant, not a slug. But there is a slug known as Mi­lax upon which our orig­i­nal puzzler may have based his pseu­do­nym. Me­an­dri­cus, who took over as the Geist puzzler for is­sue 9 (April/may 1993), re­calls try­ing to find an ap­pro­pri­ate slug name as a pseu­do­nym but since “Me­an­dri­cus” refers to a fish, not a slug, some lat­eral think­ing must have taken place, the de­tails of which were left be­hind in the ’90s.

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