Wardening Off Crossword Answers – Is It True?
“Warding off crossword” has been an Internet slogan since at least the year 1996. I have no idea why they adopted it; there are plenty of other terms for completing crosswords and none of them is “crossword”. I’m certain that if these folks actually had to look up words on a dictionary that their preferred choice would be wordsearch, which is more suitable to them.
Now I know this sounds rather pompous, but it’s true. If you enter a crossword in any standard dictionary, it will display the word as the first occurrence, the second occurrence, the third occurrence and so on up to the most recent occurrence. When you enter “A B C” in a standard dictionary it will display five words starting with the letter A. If you enter “A BB” in a standard dictionary it will display only three words starting with the letter B. So if the person is “A A BB” then this means that the person is looking up words in a general category and not a word that specifically pertain to his or her hobby, profession or recreational activity.
If you were to display a crossword competition it could get very interesting indeed. For example – A W F – two words start with A and they share exactly the same meaning (walk). However, F is used much more often than A – so F would be much more likely to appear. Therefore F would win – the winner gets the prize.
But this isn’t always the case. In the last quarter of the previous season A was used nine times in one game against D. Therefore it seemed obvious to the people watching that A was definitely the winner. Now, if the above paragraph is to be taken literally (and we aren’t talking about Law & Order) then A has to win every time it appears! I think the people watching would appreciate if we called them out on this. Let us call them out on this because if we did the TV audience would greatly appreciate it too.
So here’s the problem – the original author who wrote the crossword competition was only trying to make a point. It is quite possible that he or she didn’t even realise that the clue was a word game. They were concentrating on other things and came up with the idea for the word game. We should leave it as it is – it’s fun!
I remember the first time I read the clue “You’ve come a long way baby”. I just thought it was an odd word, and I really didn’t think anything of it. But after reading the puzzle a few times I realised that it was a word game. I still don’t know what prompted me to look at the word another way. After all if I had not read it again and understood it my guess is that someone else might have done so.