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July 2nd, 2007

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05:03 am - bilingual curiosity
This is kind of a long shot, but has anyone out there tried to solve crossword puzzles in their non-native tongue?

Actually, I don't even know if there are such things in German or French or other languages - which all seem more prone to diacritical marks, which I would imagine increases the difficulty of both construction and solution.

I was doing the Sunday New York Times crossword yesterday, and for some reason happened to think of a friend of mine from Chile whose grasp of English is excellent but for whom the occasional turn of phrase remains a mystery. Yet so much of crossword clues rely on familiarity with just those sorts of idiom, that it occurred to me to wonder how she would do with the NYT crossword; or how I would do with one from the Santiago La Nación, should such a thing exist.

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Date:July 2nd, 2007 02:29 pm (UTC)
Aha, and thank you! I was hoping you would be able to respond to this. :)

Now that you remind me, I remember coming across some British cryptic crosswords (maybe in Games Magazine, even) and being really stumped. I had trouble figuring out how exactly the puzzle worked, even - although this was at least a decade ago, so I might have a better chance with one now.

I almost find that at this point I have overspecialized - I am really good at the Will Shortz edited/chosen New York Times puzzles, but not nearly so deft at, say, the LA Times, or the harder pieces in the Penny Press-type omnibuses (omnibi? gak, save me from pseudolatinate (spell check offers 'pestilent' here) plurals.).

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