n.— «On the second floor, flames had corrugated the banister into what looked like charcoal briquettes, a phenomenon known in firefighter parlance as “alligatoring,” because of its resemblance to a reptile’s bumpy back. The marshals got to the ground floor, where the fire had been hottest and raged the longest. Every step of the stairwell and each railing and inch of banister was alligatored.» —“Working Backward and Seeking Reasons in the Ashes” by Cara Buckley New York Times Mar. 10, 2007. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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