LANAI /luh.NIE/ n. a living area, such as a roofed patio, porch or veranda, built onto the side of a house, especially in Hawaii
Today’s word should be pretty easy to spot in your favorite newspaper puzzle, with clues like…
- Roofed patio
- Lounging terrace
- Maui veranda
- Patio off the tiki room
- Breezy room in Hawaii
- Hilo porch
That is assuming, of course, that you’re up to speed on Hawaiian geography (not Word Buff territory I’m sorry!), and in particular that you know the names of the main Hawaiian islands.
And speaking of Hawaiian islands, I should also mention in passing that Lanai (with a capital this time) actually is one!
This Lanai is often better known as The Pineapple Island.
You might also occasionally encounter a clue like [Florida room], and wonder what this has to do with Hawaii. Nothing. This clue relates to the fact that in some parts of southern US, especially Florida, a lanai refers to “a screened-in enclosure that is attached to the back of a house and very often includes a swimming pool”. Like this one…
But personally, I’d much prefer to chill out in the Hawaiian version.
LEI /LAY.ee/ n. a decorative garland of flowers, usually in the form of a circular band worn around the neck, especially in Hawaii
Spellers need to be particularly on the lookout for that unstressed -ee
in its pronunciation, often omitted by those of us outside Hawaii.
And speaking of Hawaii, the crossword enthusiast will need to be familiar with a tad more of its delightful argot in order to spot today’s word hiding behind clues like…
- Luau wear
- Wahine’s gift
- Muumuu accessory
- Pikake garland
- Hula hoop?
I was going to define all those words for you (and yes, they are all legal in Scrabble), but I realized I’ve got the makings of a whole monthly Word of the Day theme buried in this one!
Finally, it’s also worth keeping in the back of your mind that the word lei (this time pronounced /lay/) also refers to the plural of LEU (another spelling bee bullet, pronounced /LAY.oo/), a unit Romanian and Moldovan currency worth 100 BANI.
And that gives me an idea for another monthly theme…