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Author Topic: Question about "similar words"  (Read 1455 times)

ebirnholz

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Question about "similar words"
« on: February 25, 2009, 11:51:34 AM »
I'm just wondering if people think the following pair of words are too similar to use in the same grid because of the shared word of "AIR."  I'm hoping the community thinks it isn't.  McNair is a name, where as "airing" is the act of broadcasting.  This wouldn't bother me so much if the shared word wasn't a word by itself (air).

What do people think?  Would the NYT accept those two words in the same puzzle?  And how similar can two words be before constructors consider them to be off-limits for the same puzzle? (that is, how many consecutive letters are acceptable)?

Larry Shearer

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Re: Question about "similar words"
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2009, 01:51:21 PM »
You're being much too "hyper" in this case.  The letters AIR just happen to be part of the name McNair and have absolutely no connection to the conceptual meaning of the word "air."  Now if you had something like AIRPORT and FRESH AIR in the same puzzle, then you might have a reason to be concerned.  However, even then it would depend on the particular editor.  If you look at many New York Times puzzles you'll see that Will Shortz does not seem to be all that bothered by similar entries in the same puzzle, as long as it's a well constructed crossword.

ebirnholz

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Re: Question about "similar words"
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2009, 02:00:37 PM »
Thanks, Larry.  I'm gonna leave them the way they are because it'd be way too hard to replace either one without blowing up the grid I've made.

 

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