Sunday, May 11, 2008


We in the crossworld are Word people. We like the look of them, the feel of them, the way they roll off our tongues. They are old friends.

Certain words tend to re-occur frequently in puzzles and are known to the community of solvers as "crosswordese." They are usually 3 to 5 letters long and have more vowels than consonants which are helpful to those who actually construct puzzles.

Anna Southward has constructed a graphic that deliciously displays these words in a beautiful variation of a traditional crossword puzzle grid. Some of these like ABIE, ESAI, ENO and EERO are proper names unfamiliar to most people. And others like ASIA, EEL and TIARA are familiar to everyone.

Depending on how many of them show up in an individual puzzle, what they all have in common is the way they bring a fleeting smile or, perhaps, a grimace to the faces of those among us who work a lot of puzzles.

Anna's website is called "The View From My Window" and features not only graphics but poetry that illustrate the graphics. There is something about the interplay between the two, particularly in a haunted pair entitled "LIPS."

It is a wonderful place to visit and I have done so many times. She describes her site as "random musings in words, pictures, and color. Just for fun." I am hoping the site will be updated soon as I am looking forward to seeing which direction her work is going to take.

Here is the link for you to visit for yourself. Enjoy