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.
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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.
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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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.