Nytimes Clue Raises Heat Over ‘Clean Coal’

The climate-conscious crossword aficionados globally parked their services and tools to protest on a certain aspect of lean coal.’ These individuals took to Twitter to reveal that ‘clean coal’ could be the answer to the New York Times’s crossword puzzle on ‘greener energy sources.’


The United States Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL) was among the crossworders. Before running for this office, the representative built his name as a cleantech executive official. Canary Media reports that Sean Casten struck out the term ‘clean coal’ on this crossword using a handy virtual red pen. After striking out, the media reports that he replaced it with the term ‘Fairy tale.’

However, the puzzle author, Lynn Lempel, doubted the answer and the phrase. Besides doubting the answer, He also had doubts about the clue of the 47 Across. The author realized that the term or phrase ‘clean coal’ provides a slight pause due to the debatable nature of the existence of such a thing. The slight pause happened in the regular column entertaining other crossworders by highlighting or showing some ‘tricky’ clues.

Worse enough, the author noticed that her original clue had something or a phrase of a particular hedge. Thus, she originally framed or termed it as a dubious term to mean a greener energy source. Nevertheless, the editorial team didn’t think that a dubious term was correct.

However, Writes Canary Media revealed that the Times had to issue a correction due to the complaints and noise on Twitter. The paper addressed the issue by revealing that the crossword clue for 47 Across in the crossword puzzle on Monday had some faults. The crossword clue had incorrectly implied that coal is one of the viable sources of clean energy.

While it’s possible to sequester and capture some greenhouse gas emissions or other pollutants affecting the environment from coal-fired power plants, the method remains unused by many individuals. The high cost of creation and maintenance makes it hard to use the alternative for large-scale production.

In addition, a climate accountability podcaster and environment journalist, Amy Westervelt, provides his insights that provided correction on this Times crossword.

He revealed that clean coal is a general marketing term that this industry created and wanted to use to burnish its reputation and image. The journalist added that the term is now and has always been hogwash. The thought that it was too expensive ignores or bypasses the fact that the term was a misleading phrase from the jump.