Sunday, January 11, 2009

Top of the Squares 2008

Here are some results from my rather informal survey of answers used in the New York Times crosswords during 2008.

The Open
1=one 25 times

era 25 times
3=Erie 22 times

ear 22 times
5=are 20 times

ate 20 times
7=eel 18 times

ess 18 times
9=eat 17 times

oar 17 times

area 17 times
12=net 16 times

oat 16 times

ode 16 times

ape 16 times

eta 16 times

Appropriately one is the number one this year, but era (or is it ERA) has muscled in to be first equal.

Erie is close behind and is a clear winner in the proper noun stakes. I have to make the trip to visit Erie, PA soon as it seems to be a cruciverbal hotspot.
1Ali14 times
2Art13 times
3Eli11 times
4=Ezra10 times

Ike10 times

Lee10 times

Otto10 times
8=Ira9 times

Omar9 times
10=Ben8 times

Erin8 times

Les8 times

Otis8 times

Ali's presence at the top may be viewed with suspicion by some. Clearly Ike is a popular pres.
1=Eva14 times

Irene14 times
3=Ami13 times

Else13 times
5=Ina12 times

Rea12 times
7=Ann11 times

Asia11 times

Opal11 times
10=Lee10 times

Teri10 times

A bit of a surprise to see Eva at the top with that V. Compilers must find her a helpful gal.
Size Matters
3 lettersone
25 times each
4 lettersErie22 times
5 lettersIrene14 times
6 lettersstereo7 times
7 lettersno, siree!
at an end
4 times each
8 lettersone-liner4 times
9 letterssore loser
bald eagle
3 times each
10 lettersprescience
Quaker Oats
Adam and Eve
on a rampage
alpha tests
ocean liner
sleeper car
cargo pants
iron maiden
2 times each

Nice to see bald eagle heading the list for the nine-letter words. I nearly collided with one on I-84 the other day - is it a criminal offense to run over the national bird?

We enjoyed our visit to the Alaska Raptor Center, which patches up a lot of bald eagles that have flown into power lines or gotten hurt on the road.
lust2 times
sloth2 times
avarice1 time
envy1 time
gluttony0 times
pride0 times
wrath0 times

It looks to have been a rather virtuous year with lust and sloth the biggest offense. Ego te absolvo.

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