Thursday, June 12, 2008


Marriage-saving crossword puzzle twist

B and I do the NYT Xword puzzle together most days, which usually means one of us reads clues and fills in the grid while the other sits across the table. As the reader-writer, when you know the answer immediately, it's sometimes tempting to just write it in rather than read it and give the other a moment to try to get the answer too. As the listener, you feel excluded when the reader-writer yields to that temptation.

The other day, B was the reader-writer, and I suggested that when she knew the answer immediately, she should just write it in, say the word out loud and, without reading off the clue... let me try to guess the clue!

It's a fun bit of reverse crosswordese, in which the game is to test your knowledge of NY Times cluing style.

Example: the answer was "TRANS." It could have been "__ Am" or "__ World Airways" or "Conversion from foreign lang." But my guess -- pretty darn close to exactly right -- was "__ fats."

Adds a little spice, no?

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