Schwa hits the Big Time!

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu May 29 23:22:29 UTC 2008

Thank you, Ben, for finding the data.  I have done the NYT puzzle
regularly, for decades, and thought I remembered it as an answer.  I
can even convince myself that I remember your specific examples --
but not the dates of their appearance.


At 5/29/2008 01:10 PM, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>On Thu, May 29, 2008 at 12:33 PM, sagehen <sagehen at> wrote:
> >
> >  Schwa can be found peeking out from the gloom of arcana into the
> full glare
> > of general culture (it says here) with this week's edition of /The Nation./
> > It appears in Puzzle No.3128.  Frank Lewis gives it a *very* broad hint in
> > the  clues.  I don't pay much attention to the NYT-type  puzzle any more,
> > but I have, over the years, & I don't think I've ever run across "schwa" in
> > any other puzzle.
>Here's a list of 15 appearances of "schwa" in the NYT puzzle since
>1994, with clues:
>The geographical clues are interesting. I like "Sound in the middle of
>Italy" and "Either end of Alaska" -- "'Long Island' sound" not so much
>(which sound?).
>--Ben Zimmer
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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