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Old 01-23-2008, 10:03 AM
BarnOwl BarnOwl is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,748
My theory on why the same word pops up in different crossword puzzles

I haven't noticed any recent threads addressing this matter, but if I'm offering a theory someone else here - or elsewhere - has already advanced, I can only plead ignorance.

Part of it comes down to the fact(?) that many of the finer puzzle constructors are composing under their own names and aliases as well. So, when you see a relatively distinctive word in one puzzle and see it again soon after in another puzzle, it just might be that both puzzles were done by the same person. And with a bit of a twist.

When composing, let's say the PC (puzzle constructor) chooses to use PROFLIGATE as a DOWN word in his grid. Going across he can intersect with words like APE, PERISH, LOST, etc.

So he completes that puzzle, but to increase his output (and thus more efficiently increase his $ intake), he takes the same PROFLIGATE turns it ACROSS in another grid, makes some adjustments of intersecting words and he's taken a big shortcut to getting another puzzle off to a different publisher.

Then, to avoid being obvious, the PC uses a different name.

Of course the PC can use the same distinctive word as an ACROSS word in two grids. Maybe we wouldn't notice. But if I were a PC I wouldn't want to risk it.

Anyway, that's what I think is going on.

I won't be surprised if Twickster pooh-poohs all this.

Last edited by BarnOwl; 01-23-2008 at 10:06 AM.