Astute readers will have noticed we’ve been dropping a few new charts into XWord Info. Some are hidden in obscure corners, like this one showing the relative proportion of NYT crosswords constructed by women collaborating with other women, but we also have new charts on two of our most popular pages.
Every NYT answer word has its own page, where you can see every clue ever used by that publisher; now you get a visual representation of a word’s popularity over time. Some examples:
Everyone’s favorite arrow poison, INEE, was a killer answer until Will Shortz found an antidote.
EGGO is a delicious word, but it’s a brand name, and they weren’t allowed pre-Shortz.
OREO is another brand name but look at this! It got plenty of pre-Shortz action thanks to its common household meaning of “Mountain: Comb. form.”
At XWord Info, every NYT constructor gets their own page too, and similar charts show their contributions over time.
Bernice Gordon had a career that stretched over six decades!
Nancy Salomon had a shorter career but look at all those (green) collaborations. She taught many people how to make sellable crosswords.
Every word and every author has a chart. Explore on your own. You’ll find some surprising results.