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The Cruciverbalist


January 4, 2005

Invisible Ink

Linda Seebach, a fellow crossword lover and editorial writer for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado, wrote a wonderful article recently about her childhood on Long Island and curling up in her mother’s lap while her mother did crossword puzzles (  As she grew older, she says, “I began to suggest answers to my mother, which she didn't like, and then to finish the puzzle before she had time to sit down, which she didn't like at all. So I took to doing it in my head.” 

She referred to this as doing puzzles in “invisible ink”. 

Thankfully, I’ve never had to resort to the invisible ink method of doing crossword puzzles.  On the other hand, I’d probably be a much smarter person if I’d gotten that kind of brain work-out when I was young. 

I thanked Linda for her article and in reply she forwarded a question she had received from one of her readers…

I can usually solve the NEA puzzle without much difficulty. If there is an occasional word I am unfamiliar with, I can verify it in a dictionary. But I'm stumped by a clue in the 11/9 puzzle, although I solved the puzzle by completing all of the cross words. In 61 across, the clue is "decade" and the word is "mitt." I don't get it. I even Googled the two words together and only came up with something about a decade of Mitt Romney and some commemorative baseball mitts by great players of past decades. Please enlighten me, or refer me to your syndicator and I'll try there. Thanks

I’m stumped.  How about you?  Can you help us solve this question?

Paul Stynsberg, © 2004