The Special Category

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An optional explanation about the anagram in green, the subject is in black, the anagram is in red.

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[A three-way astronomically-themed crossword includes 5 entries colored in red, comprising an anagram of a celebrated astronomer. The across and down clues are anagrams of each other as well being anagrams of the completed grid.]

1. Brusque; mean
6. Underestimate
11. Propose
12. Minks
14. Mutiny
15. A nascent sun
16. Sol
17. A giant gaseous planet
19. Harness; strap
20. A wee lad
21. Tavern; saloon
25. A church
27. Worried
29. Whisper at him or her "Hey you..."
31. SSN equivalent
33. Acreage
35. Urchin
36. Lloyd's of London, e.g.
39. Incipience
41. Arctic; bitter
42. A tear
46. Zodiac
48. All our pennies contain it
49. Hotelier
51. Senseless
52. Appropriate
53. Sure was one remote planet
54. Stretch
55. Felicitously

1. Unpalatable
2. Usual observances
3. Union
4. I zap hair
5. Yard construction
6. Illness
7. Alien phoning home?
8. Reins
9. A dye
10. PC time-waster
13. War deity
18. Not hers
22. Spook's month
23. Super___
24. Quasi-stellar
26. A part in ears
28. Articulate
30. Sun-centered revolution
31. I play racquet games in here
32. ___ minor
34. Genuine patriots
37. Portfolio
38. Plus; also
40. Watch; see
43. Seamen's deity
44. Connected
45. The Oracle was seen in here
47. Scarf
50. Hector, e.g.

18D 1D 14A: 30D 48A =
___ ______ __________ ________ __________

His unpopular treason: Heliocentric Cosmos =
The Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus

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[Angela Beegle's A POEM FOR MARTIN RICHARD is anagrammed into another poem entitled "PEACE" with the acrostic "NO MORE HURTING PEOPLE." The title and phrase are from this picture of the eight-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim, Martin William Richard.]

by Angela Beegle

I see you there in your last moments,

Hanging excitedly over the fence

Watching for your daddy, mom and sisters at your side

People swarm and mill around you, unnoticed

But your attention is for only one man

Your young face glows with pride

What might you have been, if you had grown?

What contributions might the world have known?

A scientist, astronaut, fireman brave?

Who knows what lives you might have saved?

It's a haunting image, that one captured frame

The next shutter-click would show a different aim

A trajectory of metal, flung outward

A spiteful curse at the world by strangers

Who dropped their bags and walked away, smirking.

You weren't the target. You just happened to be there,

Clinging to the fence, cheering at the finish line,

Best seat in the house, lucky kid!

To watch your daddy finish his race.


Naked though in its tough resoluteness, oppressive with the chunks

Of a broken dream, why they, the detested two who

Meant to murder and maim

Ordinary humdrum lives on that trustworthy day;

Rubbing out that week of huge fortune, of customary grace, hence

Extinguishing a youthful flame.

Hurling heavy shrapnel into the air

Unflinching in its awkward bitterness and despair.

Ravaging to attack thoughts one day, they cut and defeat

The mighty barricades on Boylston Street.

Incisively affected, wanting to "B Strong,"

Now you wearily turn away to "So Long...

Goodbye, Martin William Richard."

Prejudice accommodates, chooses the worthy.

Every young hopeful watches the wideawake to now

Offer a murmur, a prayer whilst we

Patiently wait for dad Bill as you of eight

Leave behind mom Denise and sister Jane

Endure an excruciating lifelong pain.

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Dante Gabriel Rossetti's sonnet 'The Vase of Life' is anagrammed into a sonnet about a Ming Vase with two relevant constraints: it contains a fitting acrostic down its left side, and it's also shaped like a vase when centered]

Around the vase of Life at your slow pace
He has not crept, but turned it with his hands,
And all its sides already understands.
There, girt, one breathes alert for some great race;
Whose road runs far by sands and fruitful space;
Who laughs, yet through the jolly throng has pass'd;
Who weeps, nor stays for weeping; who at last,
A youth, stands somewhere crowned, with silent face.
And he has filled this vase with wine for blood,
With blood for tears, with spice for burning vow,
With watered flowers for buried love most fit;
And would have cast it shattered to the flood,
Yet in Fate's name has kept it whole; which now
Stands empty till his ashes fall in it.

What Truth Hides in a Piece of China?

This gloss, straight from the halls of royalty,
Has hardly waned a bit, but rather thrived;
Each passing decade made this subtlety
More marvelous than ever... and alive.
In older days of awful wrath and strife,
No warrior would dare to scratch this face;
Great lords, who often knew the joys of life,
Dreamt, spellbound, to possess the fabled vase.
Yet, when we watch this white and florid shell,
Now showcased, poignant, in that house of arts,
A wish for greatness flows through us as well,
So potent that it's bound to fill our hearts!
The beauty's pure as snow on winter flowers,
Yet deep within, we find its hidden powers.

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[For the 1 year anniversary of Neil Armstrong's death, the poem Sonnet to the Moon is anagrammed into a sonnet that celebrates Neil in 3 different ways, detailed below:]

Sonnet to the Moon, Sir Philip Sidney

With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies,
How silently, and with how wan a face!
What may it be, that even in heavenly place
That busy Archer his sharp arrows tries?
Sure, if that long with love acquainted eyes
Can judge of love, thou feel'st a lover's case;
I read it in thy looks, thy languished grace
To me that feel the like thy state descries.
Then, even of fellowship, O Moon! tell me,
Is constant love deemed there but want of wit?
Are beauties there as proud as here they be?
Do they above love to be loved, and yet
Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?
Do they call virtue there ungratefulness?

The Sweetest Pilot Who Touched The Heavens

No, Heaven's truest board of awesome worth
Evaluating deeds should not have fretted;
It never will receive a soul from Earth
Less worthy than the easy catch they've netted:
A wholesome knight that's still beloved today
And vowed to pay mankind one welcome service,
Respected truly for his small-town ways
More than this 'leap and step' on stony surface,
Shall join these giants, for he chose to be
The first of this one-in-a-billion crew.
Relieve this healthy Man of Piety,
Obey these ceaseless calls to let him through:
No birth upon this sphere - above it, too -
Gave us a buddy that was quite like you.

[The contraints: The sonnet contains an acrostic ('Neil A. Armstrong') and Neil's famous quote ("That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind") - which itself draws the outline of a full moon:]

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[As a tribute to the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address celebrated this November, Lincoln's speech is anagrammed into a poem about an old battlefield that contains a relevant acrostic down its left side - as well as a visual constraint, detailed below:]

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

A virtual voyage in a battlefield's heart

That wealth at noon was quite a view
Here, in the field; how good to note
Each heather here prevailed and grew:
Great growth had formed a heavy coat.
Each youthful bird soared in the air,
Too smooth, too blithe and too naive.
That view may look too fine and fair,
Yet we once heard that looks deceive.
So, what faint thing can no one peep,
Beneath that view of peace and cheer,
Unheard-of, worn and wedged too deep,
Remaining faint too long, for years?
Great fear once ailed that stretch of land,
All through that time of pained contention;
Death governed it when legions grand
Did rotten things we wouldn't mention.
Respected war-gods clenched their teeth,
Each striving to maintain their might;
Steel sabers shot out of their sheaths,
So fiercely keen to clinch those fights;
But clever Earth, then scorched and dried,
Yearned to correct that dream we shattered;
A lot of troops that toiled there died,
But to that earth, it barely mattered:
Red poppies grow where brothers fought
And blades of grass where bodies fell.
Hate, pain and grievance were for naught,
Around that growth where pine trees dwell.
Men, blood-lust and their cannon's flare
Leave no vague trace out here, it seems,
In one vast piece of Heaven, where
No force but Nature reigned supreme.
Cool winds invade all that survived
On heavy vines that brave that chill.
Life carried on - it wants to thrive,
Now that the ground has had its fill.

[In case you haven't spotted it yet, here's a smaller display. This poem is actually Lincoln's silhouette:]

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Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

"Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes - how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight:
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

The Ballad of Hannah and Leigh

'Twas the night before New Year, when Hannah and Leigh,
Had sat, as the clock chimed, to watch the TV,
Now, in silence, they gazed at the blank TV screen,
He drank his Bass beer and she sipped Irish Cream.

"Another year over," she sighed, "glad it's done;
"'Twas all rather hellish, it hasn't been fun,
"Truth be told, it was horrid the whole time, of course,
"For you just played golf while I worked like a horse.

"You do nowt to help and sod-all to inspire me,
"I don't get affection, like my sister Ivy,
"Her Welsh husband, Dafydd, treats her like a queen,
"All I get's: 'Where's me best shirt? Hell... is it clean?'"

"Now hold hard a second!" Leigh said to his wife,
"Strewth, Hannah, you haven't had that bad a life!
"I'll list all the kind, helpful things that I do,
"And tell me if one single word isn't true:

"Heck, I know I don't work, and finances are stiff,
"So you graft at McDonalds on thirteen-hour shifts.
"When I get home from golf, you're not back from work,
"And though I'm half-famished, I don't act the jerk

"When you beg to rest for a while before cookin'
"I spare time to comment on how bad you're lookin',
"And I nod: 'Hell, then take that well-earned rest, hon.,
"'And I'll take a nap, wake me up when it's done.'

"You don't wash the dishes right after the supper,
"Though a wife's supposed to be chief washer-upper,
"So I whisper: 'I know you're jaded, but hell,
"'Those dishes aren't just gonna wash up themselves.

"And when you complain to me constantly how
"You can't do all the shopping in one lunch hour,
"I take that on the chin and'll helpfully say:
"'Don't fret so, Hannah - stretch it over two days!'

"And, ok, I know that you get up at dawn,
"Which is why you're so dog-tired when mowin' the lawn,
"So I'll smile, 'Ok, stop for a second or two,
"'And you might as well get me a beer when you do.'

"I know that most agein' women like whinin',
"And I'd noticed how slapdash you'd got with the ironin',
"And I want to confess that I do realise,
"Women's hormones are hell, and I empathise.

"Hell, I've tried to keep cheerful and not criticise,
"And not be so harsh when I mention 'the thighs',
"A woman gets stroppy when she's overweight,"
"But I cope with this well. Hmm - I must be a saint!"


Leigh died with a split rectum that New Years Day
Up his back-end a golf club was thrust all the way,
'Twas a Calloway extra-long fifty-inch rammer,
And right next to this was a bloodied sledgehammer.

When Hannah was charged with the death of her mate,
The all-woman jury decided her fate
In three seconds, the verdict: "Not guilty, m'lud,
"The deceased sat, by accident, on his golf club!"

Now Hannah's a widow and she's rich as hell,
The insurance on Leigh's life had paid her damn well!
She has shoppers and chefs; she wears silk pajamas,
And this New Year's Eve she'll be in the Bahamas!