Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Should the International Herald Tribune run the NYT crossword puzzle?

I'm not a great crossword fan but I do occasionally have a run at the NYT crossword puzzle in the International Herald Tribune.

My sense has always been that for the amateur crossword enthusiast, without deep local knowledge of U.S culture, that the NYT crossword is unsuitable for the World's Daily Newspaper. That doesn't mean replacing it with a British one (Murdoch runs his London Times crossword in the New York Post) where the problems are simply created for people without local knowledge of British culture.

The argument runs at the IHT - I presume - that Americans are still the largest single nationality reader group (about a third) and the NYT crossword is 'free'.

Personally, I believe the IHT needs to create its own crossword as part of defining its own unique character (along with its own editorials).

Here however are the more expert musings of British crossword enthusiast Peter Biddlecombe on this subject....


For more on British v. American crosswords visit



xwd_fiend said...

My musings were really about the differences between British cryptic crosswords and the NYT as a representative of American puzzles which are almost entirely non-cryptic.

It should be possible to produce an NYT-style puzzle without any local culture, but I'm not sure how many people that would interest. (And of course, there's only one way to find out.)

Peter Biddlecombe

Ian said...

Hi Peter,

I'd be interested in your musings on how one might go about producing a NYT style puzzle for a truly global audience - what is the shared global culture of the interconnected, IHT reading global 'class' (to use a rather loaded term in British English)?

The IHT claims to be cognizant of all countries/cultures, captive of none, but its crossword is undisputably captive of the U.S.A and American local culture.