Apparently, one does not nave to be extremely well-read or broad-minded to solve crossword puzzles efficiently. According to Noah Veltman, a web developer from UK, in every language there is a certain set of words that show up particularly often in crossword puzzles.
The object of Veltman’s study is the so-called ‘crosswordiness’ of word
s – the frequency of their appearance in crosswords, and the ratio between their occurrence in crosswords and in everyday speech.
In the crossword puzzle
s used for the analysis
– the American variant, notable for the relatively small filled area - there are a lot of short words and words beginning with a vowel. To analzse the frequency of occurrence of words in crosswords, Veltman used a set of New York Times crossword puzzles issued between 1996 and 2012. He also used Google books Ngram Viewer for the same period to calculate the same parameter in fiction texts.
The word `era` has proved to be the most frequent, and the word `asea` is the crosswordiest.
Noah Veltman advises young parents to give their children short names with a lot of vowels so they could become famous through crossword puzzles.