Last week we marked two fairly auspicious anniversaries in crossword history, celebrating 15 years since the release of Wordplay and 150 years since the birth of crossword inventor Arthur Wynne.
There are loads of crossword-related anniversaries worth celebrating. The birthdays of constructors and influential editors. Anniversaries of events like ACPT, Lollapuzzoola, and others.
Heck, in a few years, we’ll be seeing the centennials for Margaret Farrar’s first book of crosswords for Simon & Schuster AND the invention of the cryptic crossword by Edward Powys Mathers (aka Torquemada), not to mention one hundred years since there was a Broadway musical revue about puzzles!
(Somebody really needs to get to work writing Wordplay: The Musical.)
[Dancing Will Shortz cameo!]
Well, this week, we have a somewhat less momentous anniversary, but still something that brings a smile to my face when I think of it.
But first, a bit of context.
If you’ve read a newspaper for any length of time, you’ve come across the corrections section. Corrections are part of newspaper publishing. No matter how good your content or how thorough your editing and proofreading, some things slip by on occasion.
This is as true for the crossword as it is for any other section of the paper. Back in April of this year, a Tuesday mini crossword puzzle featured incorrect clues for two across entries, and the correction appeared the next day.
Some corrections are better than others, more memorable, more interesting. And today is the six-month anniversary of what I consider to be the best correction, crossword or otherwise, ever in the New York Times.
But, hilariously, the story doesn’t end there.
[Image courtesy of muppet.fandom.com.]
They then had to issue a correction for the correction, which is just icing on the cake:
Then, a sharp-eyed puzzler on Twitter under the handle @CoolKrista pointed out that the correction was STILL wrong. You see, the first Muppet to lobby Congress was Kermit the Frog in the year 2000.
[Image courtesy of muppet.fandom.com, specifically an article titled
“Kermit’s political affiliation,” which is just so great.]
(And yet, the water remains potentially muddied. After all, do you consider Big Bird a Muppet? Because Big Bird went to Congress back in 1989.)
These are the sort of minutiae-filled rabbit holes that the Internet was pretty much designed for. How can you not love it?
You can follow the whole saga on the New York Times Wordplay Twitter account. Please enjoy.
Oh, and Happy Six-Month Anniversary, Best Correction Ever. We salute you.
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