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Merriam-Webster promoted a word game littered with offensive terms — the latest reckoning over language in the puzzle world

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“My feeling, rightly or wrongly, is that any benign meaning of a word is fair game for a crossword. This is an issue that comes up occasionally with entries like GO O.K. (which we clued last April as ‘Proceed all right,’ but which as a solid word is a slur), CHINK (benign in the sense as a chink in one’s armor), etc. These are legitimate words,” Shortz wrote. “Perhaps I need to rethink this opinion, if enough solvers are bothered.”



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