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« Letting go of idiom | Main | Progress »

June 25, 2007


David Phillips

The introductory sentence in the Pullum post also captures Will Shortz perfectly:

"The abbreviation for preposition is PREP; and if you replace the first and last letters by the preceding letter of the alphabet you get the name of a kind of cookie: OREO!"

We've got the abbreviation and the irritating brand name all in one short sentence. That pretty much nails Will Shortz.

I have some memory of a quip by Eugene Maleska, the crossword puzzle editor at the NY Times prior to Shortz, to the effect that pop culture clues are lower class. However a quick scouring of the web turns up many descriptions of Maleska as a "world-class curmudgeon" but nothing specific about his thoughts on puzzles by Will Shortz. The same sources also speak positively about Will Shortz's puzzles being "more democratic" which I can't complain about as they're too hard for me late in the week.

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