What sound does a crossword puzzle make? Sounds are very useful for crossword writers, especially since their spelling is often so flexible. Some of the sounds crossword writers put in their puzzles can be a bit dubious. Has anyone ever actually shrieked "Eek!" upon spotting a mouse? More people have surely written EEK into a crossword grid than have shouted that while standing on a chair in the kitchen, since you see it in puzzles all the time.
Let’s look at some other examples, including from last week’s Daily Beast puzzles. On Thursday we had TEE-HEE clued as [Laugher's sound], plus a [German exclamation] for ACH. Other common sounds you see a lot in puzzles include AAH, OOH, HUH, DUH, BRR, and GRR. AAH is often a [Sound heard at a fireworks display], but AHH is subtly different as [Jacuzzi enterer's sound], and AHA is of course a [Cry of discovery].
OHO is another slightly sketchy shout. It's often clued as something like ["So that's your game!"] or ["Now I see what's going on here!"] but again, I’m not sure how often I've heard that in real life. Maybe the same people who shout "Eek!" at a mouse also shout "Oho!" upon unraveling some dastardly ruse.
Another question is: how far can you push one of these sounds? BRR is common in real life and in puzzles – 87 times in the New York Times crossword over the years. But how about when it's a little colder out and you have to say BRRR? That's appeared in 25 Times puzzles. And what about the super-Arctic BRRRR? Even that has appeared twice, most recently in 1995. So far no one has used five-R BRRRRR, but we'll see what happens. It's enough to make you want to say OOF!, which was 1-D on Sunday's Daily Beast puzzle!
Or was it OOOF? Or OOOOF? Or even OOOOOF...?
Got a puzzling exclamation? Shout it out to #beastxword on Twitter and I'll shout something vowel-heavy back atcha.
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