notes on learning, design, tools, & life

Oreos and the Art of Crossword Puzzle Construction

Nice shallow-to-deep dive into crossword puzzles from Russell Goldberg in The Pudding:

“Cookie that some people eat with mustard.” Before 2020 got crazy, this little clue from a USA Today crossword puzzle captivated a nation.

Have fun.

When you’re ready for something more sobering, and haven’t had your fill of crossword puzzle analysis, Michelle McGhee has an awesome breakdown of how inclusive various crossword puzzles are, Who’s in the Crossword?:

The New York Times crossword has been criticized for being too old, too white, and too male. They publish more puzzles by men than by women, their clues can be a bit outdated (and even offensive), and a few editors at the top can use their power to maintain the status quo.

As a puzzle lover, I wanted to better understand who is being referenced in crossword puzzles — an unexplored piece of this puzzle. I teamed up with The Pudding to see if the people in crossword clues and answers represent the people who could be solving them. To measure this, we looked specifically at clues and answers that include the names of real people.

Love it.