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Cryptic clue: Horse-drawn vehicle industry

Answer: Diligence

How do we figure this one out?

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Wiktionary says:

diligence (plural diligences)

  1. conscientiousness or determination or perseverance when doing something
  2. (religion) One of the seven contrary virtues, opposite the vice of sloth.
  3. A public stage-coach. (19th century, now used only in reference to France or other European countries including Great Britain.)

industry (in the sense of "busily working") would match definition 1, and definition 3 is a horse-drawn vehicle, if an obscure one. I had no idea!

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  • wow. i didnt find this where i usually look. thefreedictionary.com/diligent. Good one. I expected it to be something on "vehicle industry", and not "h-d vehicle; industry" as two clues. – JoseK Dec 24 '10 at 14:11
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    @JoseK: you'd find it if you searched for "diligence"! – Jimi Oke Dec 24 '10 at 16:26
  • @Jimi: but i did that too. thefreedictionary.com/diligence – JoseK Dec 25 '10 at 5:39
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    @JoseK: if you look at definition #2, it says "a large stage-coach", which is basically a horse-drawn carriage. – Jimi Oke Dec 25 '10 at 9:41
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Here's the etymology of the third meaning given at the Wiktionary.

From the secondary French sense comes the old usage of diligence for "public stage coach" (1742; dilly for short), from a French shortening of carrosse de diligence.

O.Fr. diligence means "attention, care; haste, speed," so carrosse de diligence means "speedy coach."

The Encylopaedia Britannica expands on how the diligence differs from the american stagecoach.

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  • It amuses me that in 100 years we'll be similarly mystified by such words as cassette (what does that have to do with music?) and perchance newspaper (news was printed on paper??) – ghoppe Nov 4 '11 at 18:24

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