Monday, May 4, 2009

Time for a Crossword Blog

I'll l get back to our moving experience, but meanwhile something happened this morning that reminded me of my love for crossword puzzles. The clue for 33 Down was "Largest city on the island of Hawaii?"  And the correct four letter word answer was of course "Hilo."

Many people do not know that the Big Island's official name is "Hawaii."  And the Big Island Visitors Bureau (BIVB) would like to recapture the name of Hawaii. (For instance, when someone says "New York" most people think New York City rather than New York State.)   I wish the BIVB good luck, but it may be an uphill battle.  Nonetheless, the Big Island is actually named Hawaii Island, and is only designated "The Big Island" to avoid confusion with the state name of Hawaii.

I started doing crossword puzzles in the NY Post on my return commute from Hoboken to Madison, New Jersey when I took my first job in the financial district in NYC.  And being an engineer/business school graduate, my early results were disastrous.  I would be lucky to fill in perhaps five or six clues.  Eventually, my poor performance led to me dropping the activity.

Then low and behold, one Sunday after moving to Connecticut I tried the NY Times Sunday puzzle and found it totally enjoyable although my results were no better.  So now I started doing the NY Times puzzles in the morning on my way into the city.  And learned that Monday's puzzle was the easiest and that they got increasingly tougher through Saturday, with Sunday's puzzle being at about Thursday's level but much much longer and more time consuming.

After awhile I could master the Monday puzzle, and by year two, Monday through Wednesday's puzzles were generally doable.  Now I can generally complete the puzzle on most days -- with the exception of Saturday.

It's great fun, and can be done online without subscribing to the paper.  My favorite blog for understanding the answers and themes of  New York Times crossword puzzles is  He's awesome and funny at the same time.


  1. I vaguely remember seeing a program on PBS about the people who write crossword puzzles and the seriously competitive puzzle workers.

  2. There was a great documentary called "Wordplay" about Will Shortz's tournament then held annually in Stamford, CT. It included interviews with celebrity crossword solvers, including Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, Jon Stewart, Ken Burns, and others.


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