An Ode to Crosswordese

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Ah, crosswordese. Rarely a day — or a puzzle — goes by without at least one example of crosswordese making its presence felt.

For the uninitiated, crosswordese consists of words that appear frequently in puzzles, but not nearly as often in conversation or common use. My favorite variation on that definition is “words that crop up a lot in grids but are otherwise pretty useless.”

We’ve had some fun with this peculiar subset of the language in the past, whether we’re constructing grids full of crosswordese or challenging our fellow PuzzleNationers to identify examples of crosswordese in our View a Clue game.

Personally, I always enjoy seeing people work crosswordese into puzzly poems and stories. A few years ago, we stumbled across The Cruciverbalist’s Ball, a poem that packed loads of crosswordese into rhyming verse.

And now, another intrepid puzzler has contributed a puzzle poem for the world to savor. Writer, musician, and programmer Julian Rosenblum crafted a work he calls “An ODE to Crosswordese” and he managed to fill every line with all sorts of words you’re only likely to encounter in a crossword grid.

Enjoy!


An ODE to Crosswordese

The EMIR who went to ETON said AHA to James AGEE
“Point your EPEE O’ER toward ERIN and we all can sail ALEE”

Brian ENO drove an EDSEL; Arthur ASHE, a GTO
Raced from ASTI down to AGRA beating ASNER and DAFOE

“My ETUI contains an ATRA,” said the AGA to the ROI
That’s when ODIE said to ASTA, “this AIOLI is A TOI!”

Now the ONE L who’s in ONE A met the SUPE in MMI
Back when OLAF ate his OLEO and ELSA taught ELHI

If your I BEAM needs a T NUT then call OSHA, do it STAT
If your ARIA needs OBOE, try A MINOR or B FLAT

Each time ENYA visits ELBA she brings ORCA from OMAN
The YSER’s no match for YMA who serves EDAM with ELAN

On AER Lingus, trust the ETD; EL AL, the ETA
If your RTE is SSE, PANAM is AOK

Though you’ve NE’ER refueled at ESSO, seen an ERNE, or met Mel OTT
They’re ingrained in your AORTA like AMO AMAS AMAT

What did you think of the poem? Did any of your favorite bits of crosswordese make the cut? Let us know in the comments section below! We’d love to hear from you!


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