If you are a fan of crossword puzzles, you might have encountered the clue “forces to leave” in the New York Times crossword of October 8, 2022. This clue, created by Kyle Dolan and edited by Will Shortz, has only eight letters as the answer, but it is not an easy one to crack. In fact, according to the website Crosswordeg.net, the solution is quite difficult and requires some knowledge of musical terms and history.
What does “forces to leave” mean?
The clue “forces to leave” is a cryptic way of describing a verb that means to expel or dismiss someone or something from a place or position. There are many possible synonyms for this verb, such as eject, evict, oust, banish, exile, deport, etc. However, none of these words fit the eight-letter pattern of the answer.
How to solve the clue?
To solve the clue, you need to think of a word that has two meanings: one related to forcing someone to leave, and another related to music. The word should also have eight letters and fit the crossword grid. The word that meets these criteria is drums out.
What does “drums out” mean?
The word “drums out” has two meanings, depending on the context. The first meaning is to force someone to leave a place or organization, especially in a disgraceful or humiliating way. For example, you can say that a corrupt politician was drummed out of office, or that a cheating student was drummed out of school. This meaning is derived from the historical practice of using drums to accompany the dismissal of a soldier or a prisoner from a military camp or a prison.
The second meaning of “drums out” is to produce a loud or rhythmic sound by hitting a drum or a similar object. For example, you can say that a drummer drums out a beat, or that a child drums out a tune on a pot. This meaning is related to the musical instrument of the drum, which is a percussion instrument that consists of a hollow cylinder with a membrane stretched over one or both ends.
Why is “drums out” a clever solution?
The word “drums out” is a clever solution for the clue “forces to leave” because it uses a wordplay technique called homonymy. Homonymy is when a word has two or more meanings that are spelled and pronounced the same way, but have different origins or senses. For example, the word “bat” can mean a flying mammal, a wooden club, or a stroke in cricket. Homonyms can create confusion or humor in language, and they are often used in crossword puzzles to create challenging or amusing clues.
The word “drums out” is a homonym because it has two meanings that are spelled and pronounced the same way, but have different origins and senses. The first meaning of “drums out” is derived from the noun “drum”, which comes from the Middle English word “dromme”, which in turn comes from the Middle Dutch word “tromme”, meaning “drum”. The second meaning of “drums out” is derived from the verb “drum”, which comes from the Middle English word “drummen”, which in turn comes from the Middle Dutch word “drummen”, meaning “to beat”. The two meanings of “drums out” are related to each other, but they are not identical.
By using the word “drums out” as the answer for the clue “forces to leave”, the crossword puzzle creator Kyle Dolan and editor Will Shortz have created a clever and challenging clue that requires the solver to think of both meanings of the word and how they fit the clue and the grid. This clue is an example of the art and skill of crossword puzzle making, and it shows why the New York Times crossword is one of the most popular and respected crossword puzzles in the world.