One of the most serious aspects of crossword news is the puzzles’ still-controversial role as “preventative medicine” for various forms of senile dementia. That role is likely to increase, as Alzheimer’s cases are projected to triple between now and 2050.
Mark Longair has gathered some statistics about The Guardian cryptic crosswords from mid-1999-early 2010. Most intriguing by far is the list of “most often clued words or phrases,” a list which actually includes no phrases but sheds some light on what the experts consider a “standby” answer in a cryptic.
The Web’s abuzz about this regular expression crossword from the MIT Mystery Hunt. If your spatial logic muscles need a workout, you know where to go.
Crossword Maker for Cruciverbalists is now available for all iOS devices. If you do a lot of work on the iPad, this tool could be worth looking into. Third-party reviews are nowhere to be found at this point, but at $4.99, it’s at least cheap to try.
Patrick Berry’s previously-announced Kickstarter has met its goal!
The BBC has an eight-minute report on Araucaria’s influence, very Wordplay in its tone and approach. Highlights: a couple of well-known fans give interviews, and Araucaria ponders whether there are crosswords in Heaven.
The Cape Breton Post is using a crossword contest to incentivize subscriptions, and it’s not skimping on the prize money ($20,000 just for the winner– IF the winner has subscribed first).
Sports blog The Score has some observations about Wheel of Fortune‘s NBA Week. Some are kind of inside-basketball, some apply to any week of the show.
Brendan Emmett Quigley’s been doing a new series of Bawdy Crosswords every Monday for the Bawdy Language site.
TC: yeah, those Alzheimer statistics are very scary. Mostly due to the aging of the population. But all the junk that we put in ourselves, which produces an inflammatory response, does not help matters. Inasmuch as these disorders are sensitive to the environment, I feel that both intellectual and physical activity help, but maybe more against normal cognitive decline than full blown AD.
Some neurologists say that if we lived long enough we would all develop it. A colleague makes the analogy to taking out the trash daily, but leaving behind one crumpled piece of paper. You live long enough the whole volume of the house will be clogged up…Not a lovely thought…