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Author Topic: WSJ 2017 Puzzle Statistics  (Read 4349 times)


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WSJ 2017 Puzzle Statistics
« on: March 10, 2018, 12:17:02 PM »
For those that are interested, I analyzed all the 2017 Wall Street Journal crosswords and came up with some data regarding words/answers and clues.

This one has some information about the most used words/answers.  For instance, ERA and ORE both occurred 34 times.

This one has some stats regarding clues.  The first list is repetition in clues (i.e. same clue, same answer).  For instance, ALOT appeared with the clue [Heaps] 7 times.  The second list involves diversity of cluing (i.e. words that appeared with the most number of different clues).  For instance, the word ORE was clued 30 different ways in 2017.

I would have loved to look at some other sources, but I didn't have PUZ files available for that entire year.  Those were all the questions I had, if anyone has something different, they're always free to suggest. 


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Re: WSJ 2017 Puzzle Statistics
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2018, 03:20:00 PM »
Interesting stuff. No real reason to repeat the same clue/word combination, but no big deal if you do. In my books I avoided that and was able to adhere to it just about 100% of the time (especially within the same volume). But clearly some editors have "pet" clues for certain answers.

Just looking at the data available on this web site, NYT used ERA 23 times last year (that's pretty low for such a handy and legit word), with 20 different clues. Coincidentally, I used ERA 23 times in the books (450 puzzles) with about 20 different clues.
Mark McClain
Salem, Virginia, USA


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