There are a few hundred short words, mostly of three or four letters, that are very common in puzzles. Collectively they are known as "Crosswordese." (I could have called them "Arthur" but I didn't want to steal a gag from the Hard Day's Night
movie.) Among the words that appear in several puzles every week are LEI, ALOHA, ESE, OTT, SRTA and ELLA. Subscribing to the Times, Register
and Daily News
gives me a lot of puzzles to work...but I get dismayed at seeing the same words in several puzzles a week, although I enjoy seeing how many different clues the editors can come up with for the same word. When "LEI" is in three puzzles every week, they can't make it obvious by using the same clue each time. Today's Times
puzzle may have set a record for the greatest amount of Crosswordese in a single puzzle: ETA, ETTU, EERO, BLT, BAD, ADO, REO, CHAI, LULU, INCA, NCAA, ASP, OAR, YES, TAI, TLC, ZITI, ELATE, OREO, LASER and TASER. I'd love to see some puzzles with more originality!
Magus, maybe most of us stand pat and it's only the lazy
people who sit