Foods and Cooking - Cross Out Puzzle Two Solution

Materials Designed to Build Vocabulary - For English as a Second Language Students and Teachers

by Sally Jennings

  1. Words that begin with "B" in lines 1 through 6. (basket, bread, banana, beef, bun)
  2. Names for meals. (lunch, dinner, supper, breakfast, brunch)
  3. Fruits. (grape, pear, peach, apple, apricot, strawberry)
  4. Fast food in odd lines. (hamburger, fries, milkshake, soda, onion rings, sundae)
  5. Starchy foods, columns A, B, E, F. (rice, grits, macaroni, corn, potatoes, pasta, noodles)
  6. Asian food in columns A, C, D, F. (sushi, sashimi, udon, tofu, dim sum, egg roll, wonton)
  7. Cooking verbs in the 3rd Person, Singular, Present form in lines 7 through 12. (bastes, toasts, mixes, bakes, broils, stirs, burns, folds, creams)
  8. Flavors of ice cream in even rows. (chocolate, tutti-frutti, mint, caramel, vanilla, chocolate chip)
  9. Cookware. (pan, skillet, pot, griddle, kettle, wok, poacher)
  10. Meats. (pork, chicken, ham, lamb, roast, steak, veal, mutton)
Crossing out the words above leaves you with the proverb "Too many cooks spoil the broth."

Do you notice that the grammatical form of the proverb is not quite right? It really should have a punctuation mark after "cooks," but is more common with no punctuation. The underlying structure would be "(if there are) too many cooks (they will) spoil the broth."

Instead, in the form above "cooks spoil," the verb seems to agree in number (plural) with the plural noun "cooks." However, according to the meaning, it is a single situation being described, "having too many cooks," which would be followed by "spoils" not "spoil." The underlying structure in that case would be "(having) too many cooks spoils the broth."

So, either the verb form or the punctuation is incorrect in the form "Too many cooks spoil the broth" but that is the common form of the proverb.

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