Take the following lines from the song Love Minus Zero / No Limit:
The bridge at midnight trembles. The country doctor rambles.
“It both trembles and rambles as a rhyme,” Ricks said in the interview. “It trembles because it’s not quite securely in place. It rambles because it moves off from the sound of ‘trembles’ into ‘rambles’.”
Maybe there’s a God above
but all I ever learned from love
was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you.
A homophone clue in a cryptic crossword puzzle involves words that sound similar, words that rhyme. But, as Christopher Ricks’ interview made me realize, rhyming is accent-specific. If you think about it, our accents are kind of like melodies with which we can sing almost-rhymes into place.
When you speak, does the word “saw” rhyme with the word “soar”? If so, you’re probably English.
If you can rhyme "want to" with "croquet", chances are you're Scottish.
And if you rhyme “Heather” with “cheddar”, you may be a French Canadian speaking English.
Can you think of a cryptic crossword homophone clue that has catered to your specific accent? And if you’re up for a challenge: can you write one?