Let’s put a merciful end to the email war over crossword puzzles: Starting Oct. 18, you’ll find both the old crossword puzzle we’ve run for years in the TV book, in addition to the New York Times crossword puzzle we recently added.
First, I’m happy that dozens of you care enough to take the time to write and advocate for one puzzle or the other. Some of you really care.
I can’t answer all of your emails individually, but I can address a few points some of you brought up:
* I recognize that the Times puzzle is more difficult than the puzzle that we’ve traditionally run in the Sunday TV section. Both puzzles take up a significant amount of space, and we initially determined there would not be enough space to run both crosswords plus the movie listings. Enough people asked for both puzzles — and readers lobbied hard on either side for either the old crossword or the Times crossword — that we shifted advertising space to make room for both.
* When you prefer one type of puzzle, I think it’s hard to understand sometimes why someone would want anything else. A few readers said they simply don’t believe that anyone could enjoy doing the Times crossword puzzle. But fans of the Times puzzle — some of whom have corresponded with me for several years asking for the puzzle — circled the wagons quickly when they started seeing criticisms of it in the Opinion Line. I got a steady stream of emails that insulted people who wanted the easier crossword back. Peace now?
* Best laugh: Two readers suggested we switched to the Times puzzle as a cost-cutting move. First, I can assure you that the NY Times crossword is not a less-expensive puzzle option. Also, we added four pages to the TV section to get new puzzles and movie listings in.
* Most honest email: One reader said that, frankly, she wants an easy crossword so she can do it quickly, but still feel smart because she did a crossword puzzle.
Bear with us another week. The old puzzle will be back on the 18th.