Comments: Note to cruciverbalists

Does the word "frost" appear? If not, maybe he just didn't have a reason to use either word, but if he had, he would have used "rime"...?

Posted by Doug Orleans at August 6, 2009 07:19 PM

So "rime" as a variant of "rhyme" won't cut it? Frost's poems rhyme, yes?

(caveat: not that good at crossword puzzles.)

Posted by Janice in GA at August 6, 2009 07:25 PM

Any idea if the "Dusk, to Donne" clue for EEN is similarly flawed?

Posted by Todd at August 6, 2009 07:31 PM

I can't believe I'm playing devil's advocate and thereby defending NYT style cluing, but: The clue doesn't say Robert Frost used the word "rime" to mean "frost" in a poem. RF is being invoked as a generic poet, and poets use "rime" for "frost." Which is not to say that I don't understand your objection. Only that I think you're overreacting to a harmless convention.

Now, about "Kind of dog" for HOT ....

Posted by Jon Delfin at August 7, 2009 12:55 PM

Janice: That would only work as "Archaic word for what some of Frost's poems do". And that clue is never getting written.

Todd: If I find a searchable Donne anthology, I'll look, though "e'en" meaning "evening" might be buried amid a sea of instances of "e'en" as an adverb. (Same thing with "o'er", as in "Done, to Donne".)

Jon: Yes, "Kind of dog" for HOT is worse. But I disagree that using Frost as a signifier for "some poet or other" is legit, especially when he's a modern poet and "rime" is on the old-timey side. Just because it's solvable doesn't mean it should get a pass for not actually being accurate.

Posted by Francis at August 7, 2009 01:08 PM

Would a "maybe" tacked on the end satisfy you?

Posted by Toonhead! at August 7, 2009 01:35 PM

I would accept the clue "Frost, to Frost, inasmuch as Robert Frost was a human being who knew English and was probably aware of synonyms of the word 'frost' even if he never used them in a poem".

Posted by Francis at August 7, 2009 01:39 PM

My objection is more on the order of "This was vaguely clever the first time it was done, but by now it's just stale."

Posted by David. at August 7, 2009 01:54 PM

How about "Red Rose" for PETE?

Posted by Skullturf Q. Beavispants at August 8, 2009 10:50 AM

I don't see what's wrong with "Kind of dog."

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