by Jennifer Berk
with thanks to Rosalie and David Berk

Reading down the first letters of the given poem’s lines gives you SPELLING SOCIETY DEAREST CREATURE POEM, which leads you to the Spelling Society’s republication of the most complete version of the poem “The Chaos.”

This is a poem about how terrible English is to learn to pronounce, with the first line starting “Dearest creature. . .” A version of the poem was originally published in 1920 in “Drop Your Foreign Accent: engelsche uitspraakoefeningen” (“English pronunciation exercises”), then expanded in following editions, hence the puzzle title.

Each line of the given poem clues all but one italicized word from a line of “The Chaos,” using only three- and four-italicized-word lines. Reading down the first letters of the unclued italicized words in the order of the given poem gives you VOLVO PERFORMANCE ELECTRIFICATION DIV, which is POLESTAR.

Learned Liz is, of course, Liz from the movie Sneakers, from which Setec Astronomy takes our team name.

Remaining word“Chaos” lineClued wordsPoem line
VICAR31SCHOLAR, CIGARSaid learned Liz [SCHOLAR], “This puzzle circus isn’t ready. Close, but no [CIGAR].
OVEN23HOW, WOVEN, LOWPray, in what way [HOW] have writers intertwined [WOVEN] their muted [LOW] riddles?
LAUGHTER26TERPSICHORE, DAUGHTEREvoke the muse of dancing’s [TERPSICHORE] blessing; every girl-child [DAUGHTER] join the show.
VOWED84LEOPARD, TOWED, PEOPLELet in the big cat [LEOPARD], those it dragged [TOWED], the humans [PEOPLE], and their fiddles.”
ONE37ANEMONE, BALMORAL“Let’s move, we’ve got windflower [ANEMONE] and the castle planned by William Smith [BALMORAL].
PRINCIPLE90DISCIPLE, LABELIt’s plenty for an acolyte [DISCIPLE] to read the sticker’s [LABEL] lineup.
EASY69TEASE, TWOPENCE, THREEPENCENo need to make fun [TEASE]; let them pay their couple–few cents [TWOPENCE–THREEPENCE] now, forthwith.
REWARD56TOWARD, FORWARDGo on [TOWARD] with test in sight, to front [FORWARD], the eager teams will sign up.”
FAMOUS101CLAMOUR, PRIVY, IVY“Still, uproar [CLAMOUR] over hushed discussions [PRIVY] tests our secret garden’s wall [IVY].
OWN137ROUGH IT, DOWNOpt out from comforts [ROUGH IT], no distressed, glum [DOWN] faces: light exposes.
ROUNDED59SIEVE, WOUNDED, GRIEVECan sifter’s [SIEVE] skill avoid an injured [WOUNDED] brain, or solvers stumped who bawl [GRIEVE]?
MENIAL158DENIAL, TRIPODI’m told rebuttal’s [DENIAL] pointless; camera’s stand [TRIPOD] awaits our poses.”
ADDRESS104DESERT, DESERT“Except we need you—don’t abandon [DESERT] us for arid landscape’s [DESERT] peace—
NATURE176MATURE, STATURETo keep adult [MATURE] repute’s [STATURE] meticulous refined high standard.
CORNICE71REVISE, VALISE, NICEYour plans please edit [REVISE], close your satchel [VALISE], we’ll be pleasant [NICE] if you cease!”
ERRING129ARCHANGEL, ARCHDistraught he called to seraph [ARCHANGEL] limned in window’s shape [ARCH] and pandered.
ENAMOURED170FLIGHTY, PARAMOUR“Enough, I’m not that fickle [FLIGHTY] to abandon so a lover’s [PARAMOUR] want!
LEISURE230SKEIN, RECEIVER, NEITHERAnd not to wind [SKEIN] a giftee [RECEIVER] up with taunt of any [NEITHER] number.
EVER229FEVER, AVERRepent your febrile sickness [FEVER], vow [AVER] hard-headed checks for my détente.
CLIMBER98LION, BULLION, TIMBEREmploy some testers, brave as Simba [LION], paid in gold [BULLION] and lumber [TIMBER].”
TOPSHAM35KNOWN, RENOWN, BROUGHAM“So done and understood [KNOWN]! Their fame [RENOWN] is broadcast far by carriage [BROUGHAM] routes:
RIBALD133PERSEVERANCE, SEVERANCETenacity [PERSEVERANCE] their calling card, no layoff [SEVERANCE] halting cracking.
IRON97GAOL, MUSCULAR, MUSCLECome see: in lock-up [GAOL], brawny [MUSCULAR] brains, their sinew [MUSCLE] straining, beating doubts.
FURY198TARRY, BURY, PARRYRest loitering [TARRY], entomb [BURY] concerns; they fend off [PARRY] any slacking.”
INVEIGH121INVEIGLE, NEIGH“Entice [INVEIGLE] the testers! Excellent, now let them bray [NEIGH] their worst concern
CONSENT247SPITE, RESENT, RESPITEAnd torment [SPITE] all our rest, begrudge [RESENT] our ever sleeping easy [RESPITE],
ARSENIC117SPECIFIC, SCENICTry out particular [SPECIFIC] disasters, panoramic [SCENIC] trial and learn
TREASON132COVE, COVER, HOVERUntil each inlet’s [COVE] lid [COVER] has dramamine to fly [HOVER] less queasy.”
IDEA221AREA, GUINEA, SEA“Right on! This region’s [AREA] coin [GUINEA] is paranoia and the ocean’s [SEA] deeps.
OPPUGNERS201FAUGH, OPPUGNANT‘Ew something smells’ [FAUGH] is useful, not antagonistic [OPPUGNANT] drivel.
NUT208PUT, GRANITE, UNITEPosition [PUT] building stone [GRANITE] and gently bring together [UNITE] ‘aha’ leaps;
DOSE120RISE, PARADISE, ROSEObsess; ascend [RISE] to heaven [PARADISE]; buy a flower [ROSE] if uncivil.”
INDICT268VERDICT, HOUSEWIFE“Essential judgment [VERDICT] says our sewing case [HOUSEWIFE] is ready now.
VOMIT217MANOEUVRE, YACHTMove skillfully [MANOEUVRE] to cruise [YACHT] our way and put hand to the plow. . .”