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The Cruciverbalist


January 29, 2005

Video Google

Surprise, surprise – Google’s got a new feature.  This time it’s searching TV shows.  It began archiving closed caption text in December. 

I went to it ( and did a search on “crossword”.  It came back with 13 responses from December 26th – January 22nd

The first response was an old MASH episode that I’ve never seen called “38 Across”.  Apparently, the episode is about the whole camp working to solve a crossword puzzle.  They're stumped on a five letter word for “Yiddish bedbug”. This reminds me of my office.  We don’t have the whole office working to solve a single crossword puzzle, but it’s amazing how many we do have involved.  I call myself the facilitator of the crossword puzzle team.  I provide the puzzles (see links) for everyone.  A new puzzle usually starts out with me.  I take the puzzle on break where five or six of us team up to devour the clues.  Most of the time we’re able to finish the puzzle…

Sometimes, however, we’re stumped by a few words.  When this happens, it’s time to bring the puzzle to the A-team – that would be a 60-year-old guy who’s been working on crossword puzzles about twice as long as I have.  Since I’m the delivery boy, I’m always the recipient of his snide remarks about the ignorance of the B-team.  He’s usually able to finish them up.

Occasionally, the A-team even falters.  Yes, there are rare occasions when there are still one or two blank spaces.  It’s now time for The Terminator.  The Terminator is a 50-ish voracious reader who has no resemblance to Arnold Schwarzenegger.  She’s amazing.  In the years we’ve been doing this I could count the number of times she’s failed us on one hand.

If you notice that MASH episode coming up again sometime, please let me know, I want to watch it.  By the way, the word they were looking for - a five letter word for “Yiddish bedbug” - Vonce.

Paul Stynsberg, © 2004