When it comes to crossword puzzles, The New York Times Crossword is renowned for its challenging and often enigmatic clues. One such crossword clue that has puzzled many solvers is “Storyteller who coined ‘sour grapes’.” In this article, we will delve into the origin of the phrase “sour grapes,” the context in which it was used, and attempt to uncover the storyteller responsible for its coinage.
Origin of the Phrase “Sour Grapes”
The phrase “sour grapes” has a rich history dating back to ancient times. Its origin can be traced to one of Aesop’s famous fables, “The Fox and the Grapes.” In this story, a hungry fox encounters a bunch of ripe, juicy grapes hanging high on a vine. Despite numerous attempts to reach them, the fox fails and ultimately walks away, dismissing the grapes as unripe and sour.
This fable is a classic example of sour grapes, where one devalues something they desire but cannot attain. It reflects the human tendency to rationalize and downplay the significance of something that is out of reach. Over time, this phrase has become a part of everyday language, symbolizing sourness and disappointment.
The New York Times Crossword Clue
The New York Times Crossword is known for its cryptic clues that often require solvers to dig deep into their knowledge of language, history, and pop culture. The crossword clue, “Storyteller who coined ‘sour grapes’,” is a classic example of the kind of challenge crossword enthusiasts relish.
This clue suggests that the answer is a storyteller who was responsible for coining the phrase “sour grapes.” To crack this puzzle, we need to consider famous storytellers from various eras who might have popularized this expression.
Exploring Possible Answers
To uncover the storyteller behind “sour grapes,” we must consider historical and literary figures who used this phrase in their works. Here are a few contenders:
- Context: As mentioned earlier, Aesop is the original source of the phrase in his fable “The Fox and the Grapes.”
- Likelihood: High, as Aesop is credited with the earliest recorded use of the phrase.
2. Jean de La Fontaine
- Context: A French fabulist known for adapting Aesop’s fables and creating his own versions.
- Likelihood: Moderate, as La Fontaine’s adaptations of Aesop’s fables might have contributed to the phrase’s popularity.
3. Aesop’s Modern Interpreters
- Context: Various authors and poets have reimagined Aesop’s fables in different languages and contexts.
- Likelihood: Low, as these interpreters may have popularized the phrase but not coined it.
- Context: A Roman fabulist who translated and adapted Aesop’s fables into Latin.
- Likelihood: Moderate, as he played a role in spreading Aesop’s tales.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: Why is the phrase “sour grapes” so famous?
- A: The phrase “sour grapes” gained fame due to its origin in Aesop’s fable and its relatability in everyday life. It encapsulates the human tendency to devalue something they desire but cannot attain.
Q2: Is there a modern usage of the phrase “sour grapes”?
- A: Yes, “sour grapes” is still widely used today to describe the act of belittling or dismissing something out of reach. It’s often applied in discussions about sour attitudes or jealousy.
Q3: How can I improve my crossword-solving skills?
- A: To enhance your crossword-solving skills, practice regularly, expand your vocabulary, and familiarize yourself with crossword conventions. You can also find crossword-solving tips online and join crossword-solving communities.
Unraveling the mystery of the storyteller who coined “sour grapes” has been an engaging journey through history and literature. While the exact originator may remain elusive, it’s clear that this timeless phrase continues to resonate with people, serving as a reminder of our innate tendencies.
If you’re eager to explore more intriguing word puzzles or delve deeper into the world of language and culture, The New York Times Crossword is an excellent place to start. Happy solving!