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September 29, 2011



Auden was a crossword buff. In a poem about defecation, he noted that "revelation came to Luthor in a privy. Crosswords have been solved there."

We have cryptic crosswords, but only The Nation publishes them, and I haven't gone back since the author, Frank Lewis, died. The clues are somehow different though. "Tempts by breaking all the rules" (lures).

You're underestimating the NYT puzzle. The big difference is that every letter must have both a vertical and horizontal word attached to it, and the black squares must be symetrical. Will Shortz encourages something like a cryptic clue. "V" (The center of gravity).

Mick H

Didn't know Auden was a crossword buff.

I think it's something of a male ritual (maybe female too, though it seems a very male thing somehow), to pick up the crossword on the way to the bathroom. A Freudian might want to make something of it, but, as I'm not a Freudian, I don't.


Well, you mentioned Freud. Here is more of Auden's poem:

Freud did not invent the
Constipated miser:
Banks have letter boxes
Built in their façade
Marked For Night Deposits,
Stocks are firm or liquid,
Currencies of nations
Either soft or hard.

Mick H

Hmm. I think I see what he's driving at.

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