JohnsonI have never completed a crossword puzzle outside of perhaps a sixth grade history assignment. You would think that journalists devour crosswords, but I can’t remember hearing about one who actually does them. Probably because we try to solve puzzles of other kinds a good portion of our workdays.

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Katie Johnson: Cross words for erroneous puzzles

Published 10:30pm Tuesday, July 27, 2010

That is not to say I don’t appreciate crosswords. It takes some ambition and some smarts to tackle them, let alone finish them. My mom finishes the Star Tribune (of Minneapolis) puzzle every day, and her father also did puzzles every day. I understand it takes some time to figure out some of the words, and even then you don’t always know for sure if you got them right until you see the answers in the next issue of the newspaper.

Which takes me to my point — and I do have one — is that we have been receiving many calls from avid crossworders who are unhappy with the incorrect answers we have printed in the Niles Daily Star.

The process to obtain the correct crossword answers, as I understand it, is not as simple as it seems, and for multiple reasons, the wrong puzzle answers are sometimes printed. The puzzles are handled by other departments, but I hear of the problems both from co-workers and from callers who reach my phone first.

If there is something you do not mess with in the printed word world, it is crossword puzzle answers. The readers’ calls are riddled with emotion and fury and threats of cancelled subscriptions, and I think mostly underlying frustration.

You spend a long time grappling for the right answers, paging through a dictionary or quizzing your spouse, and you want to know if the answers are right, or you want to fill those last empty blocks that have perplexed you since you finally set the pencil down in disgust.

Like any errors or omissions, we take credit for the blunders and apologize for any inconveniences it may have caused. We understand that like with calendar events, obituaries, sports scores and news articles, these are the events, places, people and stories that are important to you, and we want to hear if we have printed something incorrectly.

Because trust me, you do not want to cross a crossworder scorned.

Katie Johnson is the managing editor of the Niles Daily Star, Off the Water, Cassopolis Vigilant and Edwardsburg Argus. She can be reached at (269) 687-7713 or at katie.johnson@ leaderpub.com.

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