New Thing #9: The Scottish Word 'Tartle'

One of my favorite times of the week is Sunday late morning/early afternoon, when I sit down to do my crossword. Crosswords, actually.

I love doing the New York Times one, so I save that for last, and I start with the Boston Globe crossword.

But I hate when the puzzle's theme is a quote.

I feel like, if I don't know what the quote is, I have no shot at 4 or 5 of the long "across" answers. And then I'm relying heavily on getting many of the "downs", and that just doesn't go well with my crossword strategy.

Anyway, this past Sunday's Globe crossword was similar to the quote ones, though it wasn't a quote - it involved 5 across lines leading up to the big clue: "The Scottish Word 'Tartle'":


And this was the rare instance when I was able to figure out the definition (i.e. the "quote") and solve most of the puzzle, rather than giving up halfway through.

Turns out, the definition of 'tartle' is "to hesitate while you are introducing someone because you have forgotten their name."

I was not only pleased that I figured out the puzzle, but also so intrigued by this word that I looked it up, and indeed it was true. I just think "Pardon my tartle" is such a charming expression.

So this was a new crossword experience for me.

Consider yourself warned, though - there's an Irish definition of the same word from the north of Ireland that carries a significantly different meaning.