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Wood Measure

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Wood Measure

Postby Slava » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:33 pm

I recently completed an online crossword puzzle and it had an answer that I do not understand in any way, shape, or form. Neither does the Internet.

The clue is: Wood measure
The answer: stese

Does anyone out there have a clue as to what this could mean?

Here's a link to the whole puzzle, in case you're interested:
http://mazerlm.home.comcast.net/wsj090508.puz

You have to have Across Light to read it, but it's free and as far as I can tell harmless.

What is stese?
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Postby Audiendus » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:08 pm

I think it is a misprint for stere (a measure of wood volume).
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Postby Slava » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:14 pm

Unless it is an abysmally edited crossword, it can't be a misspelled word. The intersecting words are correct. If the Wall Street Journal really published such a piece of drivel, I'd be surprised.
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Postby Audiendus » Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:42 pm

Perhaps it's the compiler's fault. Maybe he/she somehow got the idea that the word was 'stese' rather than 'stere'.

The fact that the internet has nothing relevant for 'stese' strongly suggests that there's no such word in English. And if there is such a word, it seems odd that there is another one, just one letter different, that is also specifically a wood measure.
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Postby bnjtokyo » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:42 pm

I used the ngram tool I mentioned recently (www.ngrams.googlelabs.com) to compare stere/stese. "Stere" is much more common. The vast majority of the "stese" examples are in a foreign language -- Italian is common, but also some Slavic languages, Hebrew, American Indian languages, etc. The actual early English examples (around 1820) are misprints/misreadings (by the scanner) for words like "stone"

In short, I can find no support for "stese" being a unit of wood measure in English at any time between 1800 and 2000.
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