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A crossword without the letter 'e'? It wasn't easy

April 28, 2011 |  1:25 pm

The April 23 crossword puzzle in Calendar carried a note: "Can you spot the unusual feature in today's clues and answers?"

The answer was not in what the puzzle contained, but what it didn't. As crossword editor Rich Norris explained on the TribNation blog, the entire puzzle was created without the letter "e."

Norris wrote:

If you were to ask crossword writers (called "constructors") what letters they think are the most fun to put into a puzzle grid, most of them would mention the high-scoring Scrabble letters X, Z, J and Q. However, rarely does the opposite happen. That is, we don't often ask ourselves what letters would be the most fun to avoid putting in a crossword puzzle. Yet longtime constructor Michael Wiesenberg of Calgary, Alberta, did just that. A few months ago, he proposed a puzzle devoid of the letter E. Such puzzle grids had been constructed before, but Wiesenberg went one step further: Not only would the answer grid lack E's, so would the clues.

TribNation has the full story.

The puzzle is online here.

--Deirdre Edgar