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Aug. 17 2009 - 3:04 pm | 9,843 views | 0 recommendations | 4 comments

Best Crossword Clue Ever

Ever since the L.A. Times put crossword puzzler Sylvia Bursztyn on indefinite layaway, I’ve been scanning the media world for a new favorite to bring with me to the park. Someone with a rapier-like wit to match my own sophisticated sensibility. It hasn’t been easy.

I took an undergraduate level Chaucer course in college, (I’m pretty sure I studied Milton too) but I’m no match for the unholy New York Times puzzle. A month of those things and I’d wind up locked in my room Howard Hughes-style, surrounded by jars of my own urine.

On the flip side, I’m capable of counting all my fingers and toes, so USA Today isn’t going to work.

The Wall Street Journal has a decent crossword puzzle, but perhaps too conservative for my tastes. Ever since I figured out the answer to “What Obama wants to do to old people” 24 letters — Burn their bodies for energy — I’ve been a little turned off.

And so it was with great joy today that I stumbled across the work of Leonard Gravis in the Boston Globe. It only took one clue for Mr. Gravis to reel me in. “The ___ mightier than the sword.”

Think about that one for a moment and then consider that this clue fell on space number 69 across.

Yes, the answer to 69 across in today’s Boston Globe is “Penis.” (Come on, click the links. It’s funny.)

Old media is stodgy and out of touch, huh? When’s the last time you read a dick joke on Talking Points Memo?

Dick jokes in the Boston Globe

Dick jokes in the Boston Globe

That the puzzle is called “Hide and Seek” just makes the whole thing even better.

Why do I get the feeling Gravis just pulled off the ultimate in crossword puzzle dares. Like the time journalists Malcom Gladwell and William Booth tried to sneak the ridiculous phrase “perverse and often baffling” past their editors at the Washington Post. (Gladwell eventually succeeded.)

Something tells me Gravis won himself quite a bit money today from one of his fellow puzzlers.

Good show sir, good show. You have earned my crossword fealty.


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    About Me

    'Nobody walks in Los Angeles' you may have heard or read or said to yourself absentmindedly. This is entirely untrue. Plenty of crackheads walk in Los Angeles. Any number of schizophrenics too. And so do I. I'm a journalist who came up through the alternative weekly world, first as a staff writer with the LA Weekly and then as a senior editor of the LA City Beat. I currently write for the Los Angeles Times Magazine among other publications. When I'm not writing I wander, usually by foot.

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    Contributor Since: August 2009
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