facebook
twitter
search
search

Crossword hip-hop terms debated

Jan. 11, 2012 at 1:38 PM

NEW YORK, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- A New York Times crossword reader sparked a debate over whether "wack" and "illin" are synonyms.

Julieanne Smolinski, 28, a New York-based writer for GQ and xoJane.com, said Saturday's puzzle was in error when it provided "wack" as a clue for the answer "illin," the New York Post reported Wednesday.

"These are not the same things, at all!" Smolinski wrote in an e-mail to the Times.

Crossword editor Will Shortz replied with dictionary citations defining "illin" as "stupid, insane" and "wack" as "worthless, stupid."

"So it seems to me the clue is fine," he wrote. "I appreciate your writing. Keep up the good solving."

The meanings of the words are "kind of hard to articulate if you're not in the culture," said Marvet Britto, head of The Britto Agency, which has worked with many hip-hop artists.

"No one would ever guess that the synonym for wack would be illin," she said. "You have to understand the context of how it's used. If you say 'ill,' then it means cool and good, hot. If you say 'illin,' then it's the opposite."

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
World's oldest panda turns 37 with specially-made cake
ATM-filling workers forget bag of $141,000 on a lawn
Stockholm cyclist lifts car to clear bike path
Bouquet-seeking wedding guest drops baby
NASA tests new camera with effervescent bubble experiment