Part of an occasional series on odd newspaper terms.
Not necessarily what you think it is.
A clove of garlic is smashed under the knife blade. The poor roadside flowers are smashed under the wheels of passing vehicles. The New Year’s Eve reveler is smashed in a different way (and we hope he will not get behind the wheel to smash something else).
At the newspaper, the term “smash” or sometimes “mash” means an unfortunate thing has happened to a “blanket” used on the press. In offset printing, a blanket is a rubber-like material that receives ink from the printing plate and transfers it to the paper. Because of its smash or mash, probably caused by too much compression, an unattractive blot of ink appears on the printed page.
A smashed blanket has to be fixed. It usually shows up not in the early press run of the B Section, when there is some spare time, but when we start up A Section in the afternoon, when everyone is...
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