Friday, November 27, 2009

When does a raven appear at two writing desks?

Great column from Matt Gaffney on Slate about eerily similar crossword theme answers. Gaffney's style is so engaging that I'm sure even non-cruciverbalists will enjoy it. Both the author and Mike Shenk made an Edgar Allan Poe-themed crossword with RAVEN embedded in the theme answers:
Why did Shenk and I both place CONTRAVENE on top and COBRA VENOM on the bottom? Imagine a cheese tasting, in which you start off with the mildest cheese and build your way up to the show-stopping sharpest. The principle is the same here: People tend to solve crosswords from the top to the bottom, so we both chose to lead off with the dullish CONTRAVENE (a semi-boring word that semi-boringly embeds the keyword completely inside) and finish with the awesome COBRA VENOM (snakes are very cool creatures, plus the keyword is divided in an unexpected way).

He asks Merl Reagle to make a crossword with the same theme, to see if the theme answers and the grid could look different. Reagle's extra theme answers are very funny.

Labels: , ,