Mini Crossword in a Haystack


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Rachel Fabi

Rachel is a queer crossword constructor, writer, and bioethicist.

Rachel has written 9 articles for us.

15 Comments

    • thank you for taking a minute to bring this up! while it definitely isn’t a great or even necessarily sensible practice (given that they are indeed two different letters!), conventional crossword construction doesn’t distinguish between N and Ñ, which means constructors can either make sure the crossing word also includes a(n understood, since it can’t be entered into the grid digitally) diacritic, or they can drop it, and the standard practice is to drop it in the cross. but even if both words included the diacritic, a digital solver still couldn’t enter it into the grid that way because digital platforms don’t allow for it. but having said that! i think constructors would be happy to take a stab at treating diacritical letters as distinct and static when they’re building out their word lists in the future!

      • Thanks for responding! I totally understand it as convention, but also I think there is so much tired convention in crosswords. Not conflating diacritics is a fairly simple way for AS to break away from mainstream crosswords and the tradition of white elitism that they often entrench. That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited about xwords at AS – I don’t have to get into white boomer brain or imagine how Paul Hollywood might pronounce a word to solve them. I know making crosswords is hard, and I believe in the team to take this one on! Thank you all again!

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