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NY Times crossword puzzles readers by labeling clean coal a “greener source of energy”: “Shameful”


New York Times readers who generally enjoy tough point-of-sale puns were annoyed that one of Sunday’s crosswords referred to clean coal as a “greener source of energy.”

Several social media users, some of whom described themselves as climate activists, banded together to agree that clean coal was not actually “clean” and shamed the Times for the suggestion and leaving a dirty taste in it. the mouth. Campaigners have often advocated for other renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, to prevent an increase in the use of natural gas.

“Do better,” a Twitter user told The Times.

FILE – In this file photo from June 1, 2017, protesters gather outside the White House in Washington to protest President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement on climate change. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh)

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A user who called himself one of the many “climate / crossword nerds” said he was “outraged” by this weekend’s game.

NY Times crossword puzzles readers by labeling clean coal a “greener source of energy”: “Shameful”

The cooling towers of the Stanton Energy Center, a coal-fired power plant, are seen in Orlando.
(Paul Hennessy / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

A user identified as the head of digital strategy for the United Nations Environment Program accused the outlet of spreading disinformation.

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NY Times crossword puzzles readers by labeling clean coal a “greener source of energy”: “Shameful”

Robert W Scherer Power Plant, a coal-fired power plant operated by Georgia Power, a subsidiary of the Southern Company, in Juliette, Georgia, United States on April 1, 2017. Photo taken on April 1, 2017. REUTERS / Chris Aluka Berry
(REUTERS / Chris Aluka Berry)

Crossword creator herself Lynn Lempel admitted after printing the game that she was slightly uncomfortable with the wording of the hint and pointed the finger at her editors, who she said deleted additional language she had provided.

“’Clean coal’ as an answer gave me a slight pause as one wonders if there really is such a thing,” she wrote. “My initial clue included some sort of hedge (‘dubious term for a greener energy source’), but the editorial staff didn’t think it was necessary. In fact, there wasn’t lots of clue changes overall. That obviously helped with clue- writing to know that this would definitely be scheduled for a Monday. “

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Some readers did not believe Wemple’s explanation and put “full responsibility” at his feet.


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