Dearth of Crosswords

Remember in the early 90s how the Japanese were going to take over America? They bought a lot of prime real estate and a couple of sports teams, and war was soon to come.

It might be true, but it was 15 years too soon. I’ve been to an airport recently, and I have proof that the invasion has now truly begun: Su Doku.

Su Doku for Dummies (Sudoku)It’s not a new thing. It’s been happening for a year or so now. It’s that little Japanese numbers game played, most often, on a nine by nine grid. It’s a pleasant little time waster, but it requires a headache-inducing amount of logic and number memory for me.

Anyway, I was in the airport waiting for a plane – duh – when I hit the bookstore to pick up a magazine of crossword puzzles to work on during the flight. Numbers and logic hurt me, but trivia and word play make me happy. I went over the bookstore and found the appropriate section of the magazine rack. There were no crossword puzzle magazines. It’s been slim pickings for a couple of years now, but this was the first time I’ve ever been shut out. There were generic puzzle magazines that included a crossword or two, but no crossword-dedicated magazines. It used to be that you were stuck with the “E-Z Crossword” magazines which would take all of three minutes per puzzle to solve. (“ABC’s next three letters” or “___ Vigoda”) Nowadays, you can’t even get those.

You can, however, choose from a fine selection of Su Doku puzzle magazines.


I picked up an easy one and breezed through a half dozen of them on my flight.

But I missed my crosswords.


3 Responses to “Dearth of Crosswords”

  1. Soon
    28. January 2006 at 21:26

    Could do with the payment of the thing. Buy a sudoku generating program and crank those suckers endlessly until the next puzzle phenom comes along. Whereas with crosswords, you would normally pay someone to come up with them or have to deal with a library. And they’re not as super fast to crank as the sudokus.

  2. Scott Beeler
    29. January 2006 at 14:45

    I like both logic puzzles and word puzzles, probably logic more so because I’m more of the mathematical/analytical mindset, but I’ll do crosswords and such too.

    I think you must have hit an unlucky time, Augie, because I check bookstores (in airports and not) fairly often for puzzle magazines and never have trouble finding crossword mags (though Sudoku is clearly the new hotness). They must have just been sold out.

  3. Augie De Blieck Jr.
    30. January 2006 at 15:09

    Book stores generally have plenty of crossword puzzle books in stock, but the stores in airports don’t have the magazines anymore. There’s one exception in Newark Airport that I can think of, but that’s an oasis. Ah, well. Next time, I just need to remember to buy a book BEFORE flight day.