The Confounding Contraption of Crummy Crosswords

I am not much for playing video games – my favorite gaming system is still the Nintendo NES. The types of games I prefer to play are board games (yay Scrabble) and card games. I used to be a die-hard Spades addict, but I have since been reformed. I also played a lot of Solitaire. My current favorite “games” are crosswords. I am a big word nerd, so I enjoy just about anything that has to do with words.

A few months ago, I purchased a couple of cheap crossword books from a dollar store. Since I go through crossword books pretty quickly, the cheaper the better. Or so I thought. My first inkling that these crosswords were not the best quality came while working through the second puzzle. My clue was “Japanese dress”, but the answer was only four spaces. After filling in other answers around this one, I was finally shown the answer = sari.

Since then, I have run across many other questionable answers:
Basketball player Abdul Jabaar = Akeem
Wisdom = Wiseness (the actual answer)
On Top = Atop
Asian Nation = Israel (I kid you not)

Sometimes words are misspelled in the puzzle, and sometimes the same clues are used for different answers. For instance, the abbreviation for “association” is ASSN in one puzzle and ASSC on another page. Crown, tiara, and diadem all take turns answering for “jeweled headdress.”

At first, I was a little offended by this obviously shoddy crossword book. But once my righteous ire died down, I saw the humor in it and had a good laugh. All of the errors in these crosswords seem to be from someone(s) who failed to properly edit the puzzle, and/or just did not care. It is a cheap crossword book that probably cost the publisher only a few cents to make, and was not worth the effort to proofread. Those responsible for putting the puzzles together misspelled words, twisted meanings, and outright lied to make everything fit. And sure, all the answers “fit”, but was the book correct? Should a job be considered “done” if the result is full of errors and shoddy workmanship?

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17)

As Christians, everything we do should be done with a spirit of excellence. It will not always be easy, nor will it always be fast. How we do our job is a reflection of who we are. My grandfather always taught me that the only thing I would always have with me was my name and my reputation – the two are synonymous, and not exclusive of one another. In whatever you do, be the person who cares that the job/project/etc. is good and reflects the best of your ability. Do not be the shoddy crossword that calls a sari a Japanese dress and thinks Israel is in Asia. Be better than a cheap knock-off.


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