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An Open Letter to Will Shortz and Timothy Powell

[Spoilers for the New York Times Crossword Puzzle for 5 September 2006]

Dear sirs,

Regarding the clue and answer to 3 Down:

What antimatter universe are you living in?

Michael A. Burstein


Yeah, that was weird. Although, to be fair, antimatter atoms would still be atoms, so the clue isn't wrong per se, just misleading.

BTW, the spoiler should probably be behind an lj-cut. Fortunately, I just did the puzzle on my coffee break. :-)
Lj-cut added.
Once it's not a spoiler, what was the clue, and what was the intended answer?

Inquiring Daily News readers want to know. :)
Clue: Positron's place
Answer: ATOM
Almost certainly a typo/brain cramp. They likely meant "proton".

Leo McGarry: 17 across. Yes, 17 across is wrong... You're spelling his name wrong... What's my name? My name doesn't matter. I am just an ordinary citizen who relies on the Times crossword for stimulation. And I'm telling you that I met the man twice. And I recommended a pre-emptive missile strike against his air force, so I think I know how...

Leo McGarry: They hang up on me every time.

They probably did mean proton. I was going to call up the Times yesterday, and go all Leo McGarry on them.... :-)
It turns out it wasn't a typo; I just heard back from Will Shortz, who pointed out that two common dictionaries refer to an antiatom as a kind of atom. He said he edits puzzles for general consumption, not just for us science geeks. :-)

But yeah, I wouldn't have gone that way.
Thanks for reminding me of the quote; I always did like that line.
antiatom : atom :: dwarf planet : planet ? (no, but I couldn't resist.)

However, today's puzzle had two and a half errors in cluing
Hm. I had been thinking to create a community devoted to the Times puzzle; looks like this one beat me to it.

I've put in a join request; if you'd vouch for me, I'd appreciate it.

December 2016

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