Saturday, February 2, 2008

SF and the Crossword

As a faithful doer of the New York Times crossword, I've noticed an encouraging trend. In the last month, two clues have read "Sci-fi writer McIntyre" and "Sci-fi writer LeGuin." Now, "Asimov" has been a crossword answer for years, but "Vonda" and "Ursula" are new to Will Shortz's domain, and I regard this as an encouraging sign. Now if only we could get the puzzle to:

--stop saying "sci-fi"

--use writers who don't live in the Pacific Northwest

--include a clue that said "SF writer Kress,"

I would be very happy as I sit with my coffee and blue pen each morning. But I'm not holding my breath.


Carmen Webster Buxton said...

Nancy-- I also love it when they have science fiction clues on Jeopardy. But I think the field went astray when it tried to make SF the acronym of choice for science fiction (or speculative fiction). In the public mind, that acronym was already taken. If the crossword said "SF writer Kress," no one would get it because you don't live in San Francisco!

Personally, I prefer the all encompassing term speculative fiction, which I tend to abbreviate spec fic. But that's just me. I really don't care what people call it so long as they read it.

sdn said...

karen's right. solvers would definitely take "SF" to mean San Francisco.

on the other hand, are there any other writers whose last name is kress?

sdn, fellow solver

Alex Wilson said...

Nancy, it's cool you do both crosswords and chess. In the last few years (after playing you at Clarion, actually) my wife and I sort of chose mental exercises for ourselves. She chose crosswords, I chose chess.


Nancy Kress said...

I couldn't get anyone to play me at Clarion West last year! Your class was more intrepid.

Andrew M Greene said...

You're better off hanging your hopes on "Sci-fi author Nancy", since Nancy is a fairly common name. Not only is
"Kress" less common (and thus presents less competition, as it were), it has a very nice group of letters for constructing a bottom row.

bluesman miike Lindner said...

Blast my meteor-riddled hide, but I'm blanking on when the term "science fiction" was invented. Can John Campbell take credit?