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VOL. 35 | NO. 33 | Friday, August 19, 2011




Clever readers crack puzzle’s code

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“Ask and ye shall receive.” I’ve heard that for years. May even have read it somewhere. But I certainly have proved it to be true. Repeatedly, over time.

For instance, five years ago I started writing a monthly crossword for the Rotarian, the magazine of Rotary International. Rotary is the service club started by Paul Harris in 1905. I bet you’ve heard of it.

Rotarian puzzles have Rotary-related themes. The incoming president, the annual convention, the famous Rotary Four-Way Test, famous Rotarians, etc.

In the years that I’ve written the crossword, I’d received one note from a solver (he corrected a clue). So it was with some degree of trepidation that I titled the August puzzle “Drop Me a Line.” The theme clues and answers were:

“Let me hear from you”: Part 1 FANS OF THESE

“Let me hear from you”: Part 2 CROSSWORDS

“Let me hear from you”: Part 3 PLEASE WRITE

“Let me hear from you”: Part 4 VIC FLEMING

“Let me hear from you”: Part 5 AT ATT DOT NET

In other words, I asked. What do you think happened?

From Mike in Cleveland, Tenn.: “Got your message. This month’s puzzle was a little trickier than most. … I enjoy your crosswords very much. Keep them coming.”

From Janet of who-knows-where: “That was fun. Thank you.”

Tom from Oshkosh, Wis., wrote, “Loved the puzzle in the Rotarian this month.”

Woody of Simsbury, Conn.: “Thanks for the interesting invite to write. … I love doing word puzzles and find this one to be about my speed, so I look forward to it.”

Dennis of Council Grove, Kan.: “Thanks for the puzzle in Rotary’s magazine. I do it every month and enjoy it.”

Sam of Oriental, N.C.: “Please count me among the fans of your crosswords. While I greatly enjoy the magazine, I usually have to do the crossword first.”

Jerry of Burleson, Texas: “I received my Rotary magazine in today’s mail, and, as usual, I worked the crossword right away. Thanks, and keep ’em coming.”

Tom of Vacaville, Calif.: “[A]llow me to tell you how much I appreciate and enjoy the monthly themed puzzles you are doing for the Rotarian. … Keep up the good work.”

Bonnie of New Milford, Conn.: “I’m a fan.”

Glenn of Yakima, Wash.: “I just completed your crossword in the August edition ….Very clever! … I appreciate your puzzles in the magazine. Keep up the good work!”

Christine of Steubenville, Ohio: “The Rotarian is an excellent publication, but for me it reached a new level when they added the crossword puzzle. …[U]sing your name and address as the gimmick was clever. Thank you for your efforts. It is much appreciated.”

Kim of Shenandoah, Iowa: “It is because of your crosswords that I learn about Rotary!”

Jim Miller of North Baltimore, Ohio: “Thank you for the pleasure you have given me in working your entertaining crosswords.”

I think there might be a puzzle theme in those emails. Plus the nine others that I received the first week.

Vic Fleming is a district court judge in Little Rock, Ark., where he also teaches at the William H. Bowen School of Law. Contact him at vicfleming@att.net.

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