View Single Post
Old 01-23-2008, 01:36 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 42,147
Originally Posted by twickster
I don't understand why you guys are convinced it can't be a coincidence. It's not really any stranger than any other odd repetition of a word (in two different tabloid stories about two different celebrities, or two different book reviews, one of a novel and one of a biography).

Crossword constructors tend to have good vocabularies. They tend to use words with useful combinations of vowels and consonants. There are thousands of crosswords written every year. The fact that two using the same word should appear before your eyes within X amount of time ... coincidence.
I'm with you, since sometimes I see the same word in a Times Sunday puzzle and a Games puzzle from two different people. (Well known enough that I've read their bios.)

On the other hand, some people do have favorite words. I've dug up an old Middleton acrostics book. These get easier as you go along, since he had favorite words with letter combinations that were useful.

I haven't noticed a lot of duplications myself, and I do the Times puzzle everyday. I wonder if the automatically generated puzzles for low class syndicates have lots of duplicates?