Monday, February 8, 2010

Where's The Love?

The last thing I wanted to do, especially this close to Valentine's Day, was to insult Anteros, the Greek God of Unrequited Love.

For years, I've incorrectly referred to Alfred Gilbert's sculpture at London's Piccadilly Circus as Eros, the Greek god of love. The truth is, the cute winged figure is that of Anteros, the brother of Eros. I erred in an earlier blog essay, and in puzzles over the years. Ross, ever the gentleman, gently reminded me that even locals refer to the statue as Eros -- and that there was no need to worry.

But I am haunted by a mistake that might hinder the delivery of items from ProFlowers, The Vermont Teddy Bear Co., Tiffanys . . . or any number of guilt-gifts that Madison Avenue says I'm supposed to receive on Valentine's Day.

I'm not quite sure of Anteros's job description. Does he preside over failed romances? Or is his aim so bad that his arrows whiz past would-be lovers, leaving them unbitten by the love bug? This might explain the arrowhead-impaled trash cans and park benches of Riverside Park.

But this I know for sure: I need to make to amends and to explain why his brother EROS has 165 hits in Jim's Horne's database while ANTEROS appears . . . zero times. Never. Not once. Nada. Zilch. (Eek!)

[Allow me to speak directly to Anteros] . . . My dear Anteros:  It's not personal. Your brother, EROS, has a four-letter name that's irresistible to puzzlemakers. It's that simple. There are fewer opportunities for seven-letter names like ANTEROS.

Had your parents, Ares and Aphrodite, shortened your name to ANTE, (a diminutive form of ANTEros), you'd be a crossword star with 235 hits in Jim's database -- Eros doesn't even come close to that record. I don't want to blame your parents, but you might want to mention this to your therapist.
Anteros, you're responsible for some of the finest art, poetry and music this side of Mount Olympus. Unrequited love has inspired novels (The Great GatsbyWuthering Heights) and opera (Tristan & Isolde, Eugene Onegin). Heartbroken songwriters have cried through songs like:  "LAYLA" (Eric Clapton); "HELLO" (Lionel Ritchie) and "CREEP" (Radiohead) . . .  think of the crossword fill you've provided! 

Solver's Takeaway:  If you're shy about identifying a mistake in a puzzle, don't be. Do the research and if you think you've caught a mistake, post your findings on a crossword blog. Even though that Piccadilly sculpture is referred to as EROS, the artist named it "Anteros" -- and that makes all the difference. I don't want to perpetuate the mistake in crosswords. Puzzle clues should be accurate, literate and respectful of all Gods of Unrequited Love. (Thank you, Ross, for saving the day.)

Whenever I need to apologize to a Greek god, I ask DJ Casey Kasem to play a long-distance dedication. Casey, would you play Love Stinks for my good friend Anteros of London's Piccadilly Circus?


Crossword Man said...

Wow, I never expected my comment to spawn a whole new post! Thanks a lot.

The little guy has such lovely letters, I hope ANTEROS will soon have his day cruciverbally.

He even anagrams to SENATOR, TREASON and ORANTES. There are possibilities.

Elizabeth said...

Ross, THANK YOU for the clarification on ANTEROS. We don't want to irritate any of the gods who help with the construction process.

What beautiful ANTEROS anagrams. MANUEL ORANTES, HIGH TREASON, JUNIOR SENATOR . . . Anteros should be proud; can his brother EROS do that? No way. :)

Joon said...

yes, but an EROS is an EROS is an EROS, as i learned from one of your puzzles last year.

as for "where's the love?," the answer can be found in yesterday's puzzle. it's first in line, with a heart of stone and a center of gravity. end of message.

Elizabeth said...

Ha-ha, I had to think about for a minute, Joon! EROS again -- what will Anteros say now . . . ?

I loved that Wed. puzzle theme, and the progression to END OF MESSAGE. Very nice, indeed.

Elizabeth said...

That is, I had to think about "it" for a minute . . . (the dangers of writing at 2:30 am!)