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On puzzling

Last week's New Yorker had this piece, on puzzle solvers. The author (Burkhard Bilger), attending the 2001 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford, CT ("the largest gathering of puzzlers in the world"), there encountered one Joshua Kosman, a classical-music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. Kosman, an unrepentant puzzler, tells him:

"Did you know that Britney Spears has signed a big endorsement deal with Pepsi? That's right, it's true, and we are all very happy about it. You see, 'Pepsi-Cola' is an anagram of 'Episcopal' and 'Britney Spears' is an anagram of 'Presbyterians.' "

Naturally, our author was less than amazed (as are you, no doubt, good reader). And so, Kosman, realizing that this miraculous corporate and mystical synergy is, in fact, imperfect, reluctantly acknowledged: "Yeah, I know. 'Episcopal' is singular, and 'Presbyterians' is plural. But we take what we can get."

Indeed.

March 4, 2002 4:57 PM

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