There's an accent mark on the E in "Khloé Kardashian," who was 1-Across in Thursday's puzzle. The media is pretty good about using that accent mark most of the time — but what about crossword writers?
We generally ignore accent marks in grids, since the crossing word would need to use it as well. For example, the É in KHLOÉ could have been crossed with, say, the É in ÉMILE, as in the French novelist Émile Zola, using the accent both ways. Indeed, puzzles have been written using this accent-marks-works-on-both-words idea, but generally speaking the accent marks are ignored in puzzles.
This generally doesn't bother solvers, with one notable exception: the N-tilde in Spanish. The letter is such a part of familiar Spanish words like MAÑANA and SEÑOR/A that demoting it to N-no-tilde status seems a bit odd. There's also annoyance from some Spanish-speaking solvers when the word for "year" is used in crosswords, which it frequently is. The word is "año," which you may recognize from "Feliz Año Nuevo," which means "Happy New Year."
But written as ANO in the grid, without the tilde? Well, that's the Spanish word for "anus," which isn't something everyone wants to write in over breakfast.
What's your favorite crossword entry word with an umlaut, tilde, or accent grave? Tweet it to #beastxword and you'll look über-cool.
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