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Cross-eyed over Crossword

I don't know it for a fact, but I believe the crossword puzzle that appears every day in the Austin American-Statesman has a new author.

Others around Wimberley, among them some of the ladies at Hair Magic beauty salon where my wife gets her weekly do-update, have come to the same conclusion.

We know someone new is producing the puzzle, not because there has been any change in appearance, but because this new creator thinks very differently than the one she/he has replaced.

People who do the puzzle every day come to understand the way the puzzler thinks. The previous author, for example, often used the term "oater" for a cowboy movie, something I've never heard in real life.

I bring this up, not to berate the Statesman, but because the timing is kind of weird.

Turns out that on Dec. 21, the crossword puzzle turned 100 years of age. That's according to Publishers Weekly. Arthur Wynne worked for the New York World when he put together the first puzzler, and it was not square as it is today. It was a diamon-shaped grid.

Wynne was unsure of what the reaction would be, and was pleasantly surprised to receive what PW calls bags of fan mail.

I'm a fan, so I'll adapt to the Statesman's new creation.

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