A treat for fans of eggcorns and crosswords

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If you have even a passing interest in crosswords, you may know the legendary name of Merl Reagle, whose syndicated Sunday puzzle appears in many major newspapers (the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, etc.). In the 2006 documentary Wordplay, he gave a stunning demonstration of his pencil-and-paper method of constructing crosswords, and in 2008 he showed up in an episode of The Simpsons with New York Times puzzle editor Will Shortz.

Reagle, it turns out, is an eggcorn enthusiast, and for this Sunday's puzzle he managed to squeeze ten twelve eggcorns into the grid. Though most are included in the Eggcorn Database, a couple of them have only appeared in the forum. All are clued with Reagle's signature wit.

You can solve the puzzle online here in its Java version, or print out the PDF here.

[Update: Here are the twelve eggcorn entries with links to the database and forum. Type Ctrl-A or click and drag to see the hidden text:

16A: wet one's appetite (ECDB)
21A: parting of the waves (ECDB)
37A: hone in on (ECDB)
41A: butt naked (ECDB)
50A: sacreligious (ECDB)
59A: zeroscaping (EC Forum)
73A: bellweather (ECDB)
83A: laxadaisical (EC Forum)
92A: expatriot (ECDB)
94A: here, here (ECDB)
115A: unchartered waters (ECDB)
120A: a tough rode to hoe (ECDB) ]

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7 Comments »

  1. Amy Reynaldo said,

    June 27, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

    Thanks for the tip, Ben! I was planning to skip the weekend puzzles but will do Merl's.

  2. James said,

    June 27, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

    Great puzzle, thanks Ben.
    There's one that (a) I don't understand and (b) isn't in the data base (I couldn't see how to search the forum). That is, I didn't recognize the original phrase it was eggcorned from. I think I've found the answer, by googling and allowing google to make a good guess…

  3. Tim said,

    June 27, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

    James : Are you talking about 59 across? That's the one that I was unfamiliar with, anyway, in either of its forms. Here is a post about it on the eggcorn forum.

  4. James said,

    June 27, 2010 @ 7:01 pm

    Yes, that was it, Tim.

  5. Zwicky Arnold said,

    June 28, 2010 @ 11:48 am

    Ben, after some suitable period of time, could you list the eggcorns in the puzzle and their sources?

    [(bgz) See the update above.]

  6. Joe Krozel said,

    July 7, 2010 @ 8:24 pm

    FYI, I sent Eggcorn Database manager Chris Waigl an eggcorn-themed crossword in an email back on 10/7/2007 in hopes that is might get posted on that website. Will Shortz had declined to take it for NYT because there was no indication of where the made-up words originated … seems I should have included the entry EGGCORN in the fill rather than the clues. Kudos to Merl and Sylvia on getting Rich at LAT to run their excellent puzzle.

  7. Joe Krozel said,

    July 8, 2010 @ 9:41 am

    Correction: The attribution on the LAT puzzle is erroneous. Merl Reagle constructed the puzzle by himself for his self-edited crossword series (which appears elsewhere through syndication … often with the wrong attribution).

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