SRI is often the answer to the crossword clue
[Title of respect] or [Eastern honorific]

The name of the Indian Ocean nation with a lion on its flag, officially known as the Democratic Socialist Republic of SRI [___ Lanka], literally means “holy island” in Sanskrit.

Prior to becoming a republic in 1972, its name was Ceylon, perhaps from the Sanskrit for “lion” (siṃha), + la, which may be a shortening of lanka, or island. So perhaps SRI is a [Start of a country] in two ways.

While it seems reasonable, I haven’t yet seen it established if the Sanskrit siṃha is connected to SIMBA, the [Disney king] whose name is [Swahili for “lion”].

SRI crossword lanka hindu honorific hindu title clue indian title of respect answer
Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, the last King of Kandy, which ruled most of present day Sri Lanka between the 15th and 19th centuries (image via

But getting back to SRI, it’s much more than a [Word before Lanka]. It’s a [Term of respect in India].

As such, the [Asian address] SRI is frequently addressed in crosswords as:

  • Asian Mr.
  • Hindu title
  • Indian honorific
  • Guru’s title
  • Yogi‘s title
  • What many an Indian is called
  • Relative of “Reverend”
  • Colombo Mr.
  • Mr., abroad
  • Foreign title of respect
  • Title that anagrams to another title
  • Title meaning “majesty”

I’m a sucker for the videos on the B1M Channel

Fact I learned today: the name of [Sri Lanka’s capital], COLOMBO, is only accidentally the same as [Cristoforo ___], the [Explorer’s birth name].

At least according to Wikipedia, while there’s a chance there’s a connection to CHRIS [Columbus, to friends], there’s a more likely source:

The name ‘Colombo’, first introduced by the Portuguese in 1505, is believed to be derived from the classical Sinhala name කොලොන් තොට Kolon thota, meaning “port on the river Kelani”.

Bonus Feature: My Columbus Day Spiel (including why we need Zamboni Day) (since you asked)

I’m not wild about Columbus Day, but I like the Monday holiday in early October. I’m all for an Italian-American pride day, but it oughtn’t be a national holiday. There’s also no reason Christmas should be a federal holiday in a country that supposedly separates church and state. And a group that definitely deserves a federal holiday is American Indians. So here’s my plan.

  1. Columbus Day remains a federal holiday, but instead of celebrating Columbus we celebrate the columbus, Latin for “pigeon.” I happen to like all sorts of pigeons, which for many reasons are truly exceptional animals, but for those who aren’t fans: (first, check out the fantail pigeon, and second,) consider that doves are just white pigeons. So Columbus Day can celebrate peace. Or for the more hawkish, famous wartime pigeons.
  2. A new federal holiday, fashioned after Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Native American Day is established and observed on the first Monday in March.
  3. While December 25 will still be Christmas, for government purposes it will also be a federal holiday known as Zamboni Day, celebrating all immigrants’ contributions to the country. Italians can take pride in the day’s namesake, Frank ZAMBONI, the [2009 US Hockey Hall of Fame inductee] whose name is a [Resurfacing trademark?]. Not only is the Zamboni a perfect, nondenominational symbol of winter, but Frank Zamboni is a great choice to represent other immigrants’ contributions (especially inventors) and to replace Christopher Columbus. Why? He was born in the Utah town of EUREKA, the [Discoverer’s triumphant cry] that’s Greek for [Literally, “I have found it!”]. And then instead of “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” we can wish each other a “Happy Zamboni” or just say, “Eureka!”

Thing wheeled out when the Senators go on breaks

Breandan Emmett Quigley – November 22, 2010