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Author Topic: profanity  (Read 4523 times)


  • Guest
« on: August 01, 2009, 06:24:57 PM »
I've been doing crosswords for 22 years now and have been surprised by the profanity used
in clues these days.  Is this the norm now?  I did one by Ben Tausig and was truly surprised.
I now find myself looking thru the clues before deciding on doing the puzzle.  Something that
was once fun, now is not.

Imagine at


  • Newbie
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  • Posts: 5
Re: profanity
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2009, 05:42:22 AM »
I'm not sure where the puzzle you did came from, but my assumption is that it comes from The A.V. Club, where Mr. Tausig is the crossword editor. The puzzles in that fine publication are the only ones in which I've seen any profanity. If you look at some of the more common puzzles (NYT, LAT, TMS, Newsday, etc.) you shouldn't be able to find any profanity in either clues or answers. Just stick to the more established crosswords, and you'll be fine.

I think Mr. Tausig is perhaps trying to appeal to a younger, less traditionally oriented crowd, who might find his more relaxed editorship refreshing. This kind of crossword is a good fit for the readers of The A.V. Club's parent paper, The Onion, as well.


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  • Posts: 2
Re: profanity
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 04:14:52 PM »
While I certainly enjoy watching movies like Bambi and Finding Nemo, I also enjoy movies with adult themes.

The vast majority of crossword puzzles, if they were movies, would be rated G. However, there are some puzzle creators who do create R rated puzzles. There's certainly nothing immoral about using language inappropriate for children. I know that Ben Tausig's puzzles are sometimes inappropriate for children, but, boy, can they be interesting! I love his puzzles (I'm a 50-something female).

If you find a constructor who offends you, just stay away from their puzzles. They are a very small portion of the puzzles available.


  • Guest
Re: profanity
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2011, 03:26:35 PM »
Times are changing and it's unfortunate that the people who create the crossword
puzzles feel as though they have to resort to using profanity to make the puzzles
more interesting.


  • Hero Member
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  • Posts: 2579
Re: profanity
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2011, 08:38:59 AM »
Read "Breakfast Test" by Green  --- a few topics down for a related discussion.


  • Guest
Re: profanity
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2011, 01:21:09 PM »
I am new to this forum, but I couldn't help reading this thread about profanity.  I personally don't believe it belongs in crosswords, movies, literature, or anywhere. No I am not a prude, I believe in using the intelligence God gave you.  There are great works of art that using profanity is a part of the story line, not used for the shock factor. 


  • Guest
Re: profanity
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2011, 01:52:03 AM »
I think it all comes down to the enjoyment of the solver. I'm sure a majority of crossword solvers would not be happy about profanity in a puzzle. Thus, a vast majority of the puzzles out there do not use it. I'm a 22 year old guy. I use profanity when talking with my friends. It's used in the movies and TV shows I watch. It doesn't offend me at all. When I find an R-rated crossword, I find it enjoyable. Part of it comes from it being a little subversive.

Even if it offends you, look at the upside. Younger people reading the Onion find the crossword and see clues that relate to them. (Profanity aside, the clues are a little more modern.) Once they realize they have a thing for crosswords, they'll go the gold standards like The NY Times. The AV club crosswords might not be for everyone, but I think the more the merrier. I'd see a reason for complaint if newspapers started featuring profanity laced crosswords, but that's not the case. Nothing is being replaced, constructors are just adding new puzzles for a different group of solvers.


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