Goodbye Snollygoster, we hardly knew ye

According to this article, the word snollygoster has been removed from the latest edition of Merriam-Webster’s dictionary.

I, for one, am outraged. What else am I going to call “a shrewd, unprincipled person, especially a politician?” Snollygoster was perfect!

I’m going down to the ten-cent store to buy some pocket-handkerchiefs and vitamin G. My nerves are shot.

Nice article, Ol’Gaffer – I just sent the link around to my fellow editors here at the puzzle factory.

I’d buy a dictionary of retired words. Somebody tell the folks at Merriam-Webster they’re missing out a portion of the language nerd market!

Darn you!

Darn you to heck!
Some of those crosswords authors are already on a different planet. And now you give them a non dictionaried word? (Yeah, I’m verbing. You guys do it all the time, why shouldn’t I?)


NoClueBoy, sweetie, I could drive you 'round the bend without resorting to obsolete words, variant spellings, Bulgarian rivers, or Turkish currencies. Part of what makes me so damn good at my job is I can calculate within a synapse or two how hard the clue I’m using is. Actually, I’m on your side on this – I think putting obscure BS (“crosswordese” as we call it in the biz) in a puzzle is a sign of a lazy-ass constructor, and I spend many working hours getting rid of it. I sent the article around because I work in a department full of professional word nerds./hijack

“Snollygaster” deserves to live, though.

Well, snollygoster may soon be making an appearance on this page, which will gratefully accept your donation.

I once worked a crossword that had several words (a theme thingy) not fitting at all. When the solution came out the next week, all the unsolved words included the character *****

As in *****Trek, crossed, super, etc…

I thought that was really, really bad.

I like it when a solution to an obscure clue finally jumps out at me, like reading a verb as a noun, or a name as an adjective, yada yada… That’s fun! I like a challange. But, don’t make it some secret code that only Yamamoto knew. :slight_smile:

Actually, you’re adjectiving. :slight_smile:

The first time I encountered one of those, I was dumbfounded. But now I like it when the Sunday Times crossword gives me something to really chew on for a while until I go, “Oh! That’s a little box! ing ring, car Willie, shadowing! I get it!”

Then again, I’m a serious puzzle-geek. I used to make my own cryptic crosswords and send them to the New Yorker. They’d always send me a card explaining that they didn’t accept unsolicited puzzles.

Then they stoped running them entirely. Rats.

[hijack]Thank you, thank you, thank you. There are some “brands” of crosswords that I won’t even touch now, because of the “crosswordese” in them. I enjoy working on various types of word puzzles (including but not limited to crosswords) but sometimes a puzzle or a portion thereof is simply UNSOLVABLE. It’s even worse when the word is defined WRONGLY. That makes me want to strangle someone. Preferably the creator, but most any random person will do.

Sorry, that’s a bit of a sore spot for me.[/hijack]

Check out Superb Crosswords, by Official Publications. All theme puzzles, crosswordese kept to a minimum, serious attention paid to the editing.

[rushing out to newstand to purchase this as we speak!]