Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Tenth Muse

You’ve probably not yet heard of the Tenth Muse. My bad. I should have announced her long ago. It is my wife, Brigitte, but in the world of the Muses she is called Theodora, her middle name. I say this because it finally dawned on me that her gifts are too exceptional in working crosswords to be explained in the usual way.

The other day, for instance, the clue for 25 across was “Elk.” I couldn’t get anywhere with that left-central block until I asked my Muse if she had anything for 25 across. “Yes,” she said, “WAPITI.” I was astonished. “How did you come up with that?” I asked. “I don’t know,” she said. “I just knew it.”

Then, the other day, when a clue asked for one of the Muses, Brigitte produced the seventh muse in the flash of an eye: Terpsichore. Asked about that one (the only one I ever remember is Clio, the Muse of History) she said: “I’ve always loved knowing that Dance had a Muse.”

Therefore I now propose a Tenth Muse. She is there in the following tabulation. The first nine come from Wikipedia (link). The last is added by, proudly, humbly, by me.

Muse
Domain
Emblem
Calliope
Epic poetry
Writing tablet
Clio
History
Scrolls
Euterpe
Song, elegiac poetry
Aulos (ancient musical instrument like a flute)
Erato
Lyric poetry
Cithara (type of ancient lyre)
Melpomene
Tragedy
Tragic mask
Polyhymnia
Hymns
Veil
Terpsichore
Dance
Lyre
Thalia
Comedy
Comic mask
Urania
Astronomy
Globe and compass
Theodora
Crossword Puzzles
BIC mechanical pencil 0.5mm

2 comments:

  1. 'Theodora' is a good name for a Muse. And you're right that 'wapiti' is practically proof in itself! Over the years you've mentioned other impressive things Brigitte has managed to come up with it, but that one is impressive even for those.

    Plato's Academy was a religious institution dedicated to the Muses. In the Phaedrus, he says that the two Muses inspiring philosophy are Calliope and Urania, presumably because it concerns the wisdom of human life (Calliope) and the aspiration to rise to divine things (Urania).

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  2. This muse asks her poet laureate: shall we solve some more puzzles together for a couple more decades?

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