The crossword daily double

Yes, I know this is truly mundane and pointless. That’s why I’m putting it here.

There are two crossword puzzles I do online every day, the one on Yahoo Games (which comes from the Washington Post), and the USA Today puzzle. AFAIK there is no connection between these two puzzles. The authors and the theme of each puzzle changes from day to day, and they provide a little mental stimulation to start the day.

The strange part is that virtually without fail there will be one word that will appear as an answer in both puzzles on the same day. Today the word was QUIZ. I can’t think of all the examples from last week, but there have been words such as PASTA, SNAP, and others. Sometimes there are “semi-matches,” in addition to the daily double. For example, one day last week (the same day that both puzzles had PASTA), one puzzle had the clue “Output from an atomizer” (answer: MIST). The other puzzle had the clue “Item on a dressing table” (answer: ATOMIZER).

When I first started noticing this, I just put it down to coincidence, but since I started keeping track about a month ago, not a day has gone by without a duplicate word.

I guess in reality this is one of the ways that “they” can pass messages to each other until “they” are in position to take over the world.

Damn! He’s onto us!


Shades of Leonard Dawe! :eek:

Yikes! I didn’t know who Leonard Dawe was, so I googled and came up with this link. What an interesting story.

I’ve noticed the same damned thing - but in the puzzles my local newspaper (Danbury News-Times) and those of the New York Times.

Some time back, when I mentioned it here, Twickster reacted similar to the way she did in this thread - humorously, but close to a “no comment.” As part of the xword culture, perhaps she feels compelled to keep the trade secrets secret. Which as far as I’m concerned is perfectly ok. She is a very nice lady.

Anyway, when I noticed this phenomenon. I suspected it was the same person constructing two puzzles but under different names.

But I like the OP’s hypothesis better than mine - that it’s a cool way for puzzle composers to communicate with their peers.

And for what it’s worth, here’s more evidence of my suspicious nature.

There’s multi-volume anthology of xword puzzles - often with a big fat pencil on the cover, often with a spiral binding. But going through one of them, I noticed a boring sameness in the puzzles, even in the grids themselves. Yet there were many different people credited for the puzzles. I finally concluded that the editor does most of the puzzles and makes up names to impart the flair of a book of puzzles by a whole range of constructors. And at the same time, saves a lot of money.

Finally, I will admit to a strong dislike of the term ‘constructor.’ Why not ‘composer’, or ‘author’? After all, we’re not talking about kids fooling with building blocks, or Leggos. These wonderfully clever and witty people regale us day in and day out.

I’ve never noticed the pattern (I rarely pick up the News-Times), but I just wanted to say “Hidey-ho, apparent neighbor” :wink:

Hidey ho back at you TellMe

I thought I detected a southern CT drawl in your posts. :wally

Enjoyed them, too…

I wasn’t so sharp as the OP to notice the echoes - Atomizer/Mist, Mist/Atomizer or things like that. But I did catch the unlikely repetition of uncommon words - none of which I can recall right now.

And I want everyone to notice that Twickster has kept mum after her first - and only - post in this thread. Poor thing is having a nervous breakdown with these arcane xword matters bubbling to the surface. :smiley: :smiley:


That was supposed to be a :slight_smile: not a :wally

Honest injun.

Gah. Stop and do actual work for a couple of hours and get in trouble for that. Ain’t that the way of things?

Obviously, I can neither confirm [sub]fnord[/sub] nor deny the truth or falsity [sub]fnord[/sub] of any allegations or speculations [sub]fnord[/sub] made by those who are [sub]fnord[/SUb] unfamiliar with the secret handshake … but I say too much.

A couple of notes:

Having done a little in my day, I’m okay with calling the creation of crossword puzzles “construction.” Coming up with a theme – creative. Cluing – creative. Putting the damn grid together – construction. It’s fun and challenging, but it’s more like putting together one of those three-dimensional puzzles than anything else. (Except, of course, that I suck at those three-dimensional puzzles, and – well, let’s just say you probably don’t want to play Scrabble with me.)

The “how can these words be duplicated by chance” reminds me of an experience I’ve had more than once – where I throw in some random eight- or ten-letter word (i.e., not a theme entry) to fix a grid, and discover that the reffa steffa shneffa thing is already in there. The most memorable occasion was when I put in “dipstick,” and it also happened to me once when I put in “supermarket.” (Hm, might be some bad mojo about the p-k combination.) When you have to rip a whole section out and start again – well, that’s when you really know why it’s called construction.

And now, if I may, I’m going to go back to work for a while. [sub]FNORD![/SUB] If that’s okay with you, Antiochus? :wink:

See? See how Twickster obfuscates, dithers and dodges?

There damn well is a plot by those strict Constructionist
Crossword Puzzlers or I’m not the bastard grandson
of the late Senator Joe McCarthy.

:slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Wow! Today there were four duplicates between the Yahoo puzzle and the USA Today puzzle.


:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

“They” must be getting ready to launch their secret plan!


Okay – here’s a hint: three of the four words will anagram to other common crossword words.

You have ten minutes to figure out the signifcance of that.

Four of four:


Ooops. they’re not anagrams. :o


Sorry, I didn’t make it in ten minutes. I was off in GQ for a while.

Yeah – but what’s the significance of this? I’m trying to throw you guys a lifeline here, before … well, before certain irrevocable actions are taken.


I suppose what you’re getting at is that these are fairly common patterns which can be mixed and matched to work around other words when constructing the puzzle. But it still strains my credulity that there is at least one match every single day.

Hmmm… Adam: Eden stem name. Stem name could be something like “John” being the stem name for Jonathan, or it could be something like the name of a stem for a plant - like Fig leaves or apples…


Hmmm, tell me I’m crazy, but I realized EMTS also anagrams to METS and thus came up with ADAM: EDEN NAME “METS”. Translated: The New York Mets will attain the Eden of a World Series championship this fall, and the cruciverbalist inner circle is at the crux of the conspiracy. Of course, the word conspiracy can be split into “cons” and “piracy” – although the Mets are pros, among the cons (arguments against their chances) are the acts of Piracy the National League team from Pittsburgh may attempt to inflict. Of course, pirates (if imprisoned for their crimes) become cons of another sort…

You did know the book of Genesis contains coded prophecies about baseball, didn’t you? Why do you think the first few words are “In the big inning…”?