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May 8, 2006
This week's theme
Yours to discover

This week's words
aphotic
plashy
procellous
scrabble
balsamic

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A.Word.A.Day--aphotic

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

It's that time of the year again when you get to don your word-sleuth hat. There's something common among this week's words but we're not telling -- it's your task to find the property that applies to all five words this week. Each day this week brings a new word that on the surface may not appear to share a trait with the others, but does.

Will you be first to solve the mystery theme? If you think you have the answer, scribble it down and email it to wordsATwordsmith.org (replace AT with @). Only one answer per person, please.

aphotic (ay-FO-tik) adjective

Lightless, especially without sunlight.

[From Greek a- (not) + phot- (light). Ultimately from Indo-European root bha- (to shine) that's also the source of beacon, beckon, phantom, phenomenon, and phosphorous.]

See more usage examples of aphotic in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

The aphotic zone of an ocean or lake is the part that's not exposed to sunlight. At such depths plants grow without photosynthesis.

"In fact, Larry's craven musings and jaundiced view of the world is so aphotic, Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer seem like cheery philanthropists."
Vinay Menon; Think Seinfeld Only Darker; The Toronto Star (Canada); Feb 12, 2003.

X-Bonus

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. -Edward R. Murrow, journalist (1908-1965)

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