Skip to comments.Down but Not Out: The Uncertain Future of the Crossword Puzzle
Posted on 07/11/2014 5:41:49 PM PDT by nickcarraway
The future of puzzling is as fluid as the English language itself.
While the world warns of an impending print collapse, it might take down an innocent bystander with itthose little black and white squares that have long inhabited the back pages of newspapers and made themselves the primary Sunday-afternoon obsession of crossword nerds, for whom completing a puzzle is a bragworthy accomplishment.
Yes, the meager crossword, its unnerving simplicity belying a capability to wrench you mad with clues that speak of everything and nothing at once, is moving toward becoming a relic of the past.
Binghamton University English professor Michael Sharp is tactful about its potential demise. Im not predicting the death of the crossword, just saying that there are significant hurdles that the crossword faces in coming decades, said Sharp, who writes the popular Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword Puzzle under a pseudonym.
Crosswords are having quite the moment, despite hitting their 100th birthday late last year. Alan Connor, the British media personality, wrote a book released this week called, The Crossword Century: 100 Years of Witty Wordplay, Ingenious Puzzles, and Linguistic Mischief, tracing the history of crosswords and their cultural significance. Despite being a British inventioncompared to the Beatles as one of the country's most valuable exportsConnor argues the crossword is quite American. The puzzles themselves are distinct from one another, depending which country you're in.
British puzzles have more black squares, and the effect is not merely aestheticit means that the constructors can limit themselves to words found in a dictionary, Connor explained. The words in American puzzles interlock far more often, which means that they end up including proper nouns: unlikely places, extraordinary people, and everything from inventions to fragments of phrases.
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
My late Mom,who never went beyond high school because she grew up with a widowed mother during the depression,used to do the Sunday NY Times puzzle in pen.If only I had inherited *her* intelligence.
Love crossword puzzles, I just do them online now ... haven’t subscribed to a newspaper in years.
Just because newspapers are dying doesn’t mean crosswords have to.
Plenty of activity books devoted solely to them as well as combos.
6 Down and 3 across
They also have cryptogram puzzles also.
One of my daily stops.
My favorite clue ever was for a thirteen letter space. It was “GEGS”.
Answer: “scrambled eggs”
I’ve bought StandAlone’s crossword app for two Palm pda’s, an iPod Touch, and my 7” Google Nexus tablet. Doing crossword puzzles help me wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night. And doing crossword puzzles makes the time fly while waiting for an appointment.
I remember staying with my grandparents for a week during the summer while in high school. Grandma used to do the newspaper crossword in purple ink. :-)
I never gave it much thought...but crossword puzzles will probably go the way of the dinosaur.
Kids don’t know how to spell and it isn’t taught in school anymore.
Just imagine a crossword puzzle made of “text talk”.
I do mine in red ball point.
There isn't enough mind-bleach available on this planet to counteract that imagining...
The ban bossy campaign and renaming of sports franchises fad has now spread to banning ALL cross words.