We heard from many of our readers last week who enjoy the newspaper’s crossword puzzles.
Boy, did we hear from them.
Among the changes The Lima News initiated last Monday was eliminating one of the two crossword puzzles we published. Few newspapers carry more than one puzzle and we were going to join their ranks. The question was which puzzle was going to get the adios? A survey had been published months prior in the newspaper and on LimaOhio.com, our web site. It was close, but more people told us they liked the Hearst/King Features Syndicate crossword done by Thomas Joseph. Thus, last Monday’s newspaper arrived on front porches across the region minus the Los Angeles Times crossword.
And the phones began ringing at The Lima News.
They continued to ring through Wednesday.
Mrs. Thomas Meyer of Columbus Grove told us she was a 50-year subscriber and Susan Richardson of Lima noted she had been receiving The Lima News for 40 years. Both agreed their mornings would not be the same with the loss of the Times crossword.
Leona Hunsinger of Minster said we should just leave things alone. “I’ve lived with change all my life … that’s the world we live in. But the crossword puzzle … was that really necessary?” the 74-year-old grandmother asked.
Robert Cox of Lima, Ruth Herndon of Waynesfield and Robert Wagner of Ada were among those saying we kept the “easy puzzle.”
“You left us with the kids’ puzzle” said Dan Valentine, of Lima.
“I really enjoyed exercising my mind with the LA Times puzzle,” Shirley Hoehn of Delphos added.
Robert Fisher of Wapakoneta tried some sweet talk. “Not sure if this will help my cause, but I used to be a Lima News carrier in the mid-70s,” he wrote, also noting he was a retired U.S. Navy veteran.
We heard enough.
On Thursday, it was out with the Thomas Joseph puzzle and in with The LA Times.
We heard more.
The calls came from people who said the LA Times puzzle was too difficult and took too long to work. Others liked the fact the Thomas Joseph puzzle provided the answers to the puzzle the same day. “I don’t want to wait an entire day to find out what I don’t know” was the way Margaret Shaw, of Van Wert, put it.
Keith Cheney, the head of the Republican Party in Allen County, even weighed in. He poured his morning cup of coffee, sat down at the kitchen table and opened the paper to the crossword puzzle, only to find it had changed. Cheney didn’t say it, but his first thought was probably some Left Coast Democrat had taken over the newspaper.
It was five words by Kathrine Mikkelsen, a “100-year-old and eight months” woman from Bluffton that moved mountains.
“You took my joy away,” she scolded us.
That’s just plain wrong to do to a 100-year-old woman.
On Saturday, both puzzles were back in The Lima News. The LA Times puzzle is staying as part of the comics page and the Thomas Joseph puzzle is being placed on a nearby page.
And for all the trouble to you puzzlers, here’s a little challenge to begin your week. Below are two of the favorite cryptic clues from Sylvia Bursztyn, who created the Los Angeles Times Crossword in 1980. The first person to provide a correct answer gets a Kewpee on me:
• Trapp family dog? (Answer: 15 spaces)
• Proof the cat ate the canary? (Answer: 14 spaces)
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 567-242-0391. Look for the winner and answers next week.
ROSES AND THORNS: It’s off to the movies this week in the rose garden.
Rose: To Nick Kellis, a 1984 graduate of Shawnee High School, who had a sneak preview Wednesday of a movie he shot in Lima and hopes to sell to Hollywood; and to Thomas Flynn, a 1973 graduate of Lima Central Catholic, who returned Thursday to Lima to talk about “Gifted,” the Hollywood movie that came out this year in which he was the screenwriter.
Rose: To anyone who attended a high school athletic event during last week’s cold, wind, rain and snow. That’s hard-core fandom.
Rose: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited Amherst Greenhouse near Harrod and met with the public in Lima during a tour of Ohio.
Rose: Sheriffs in Allen, Auglaize and Hardin counties are reporting a downward trend in opiate deaths.
Thorn: Five years have passed since a pregnant Tara Cutlip was murdered in Lima and no killer has been found.
PARTING SHOT: A pessimist counting his blessings: 10 … 9 … 8 … 7 …
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.