Some tricky crossings in this week's puzzles! On Tuesday, we had [Directions-finding app] at 10-A for WAZE and [Hyundai model] at 3-D for AZERA, crossing at the Z.
What's so tricky about that? Nothing, if you knew one or both of those answers. If you didn't, that Z might've been tough to guess for three reasons. First, they're both brand names, so you either know 'em or you don't. Second, neither is a standard English word, so they couldn't be puzzled out by going through your mental dictionary. And third, they're both car-related, so if you're not a driver (or just not that into cars), you might've just been guessing.
Another tricky crossing came on Thursday, where NADIA and ADA crossed, clued as [Gymnastics great Comaneci] and [Early computer programming pioneer Lovelace]. Comaneci is one of the all-time gymnastics greats but was at her peak in the 1970s, so it's entirely possible to be unfamiliar with her. Ada Lovelace is a famous historical figure but not quite a household name, so again, a missable letter.
Besides tricky clues, vocabulary that’s worth knowing and tough-but-fair is another way to up the difficulty level in puzzles. This week we had possible-not-to-know ARCANE, MURSE, and HALAL, and in recent weeks we've also had BINDI, BEEMER, EQUINE, DIEU, EUDORA, and SPY-FI. But what fun would crosswords be if you were already familiar with every single word in them?
Learn a new word from crosswords? Tweet it at #beastxword so we'll all know it.
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