Readers offer thoughts on crossword puzzles


DEAR SUN SPOTS: Regarding the crossword puzzles, is there any way that you could mix them up in order to satisfy everyone? I find the more difficult ones more challenging; however, I can understand that some folks enjoy the less difficult ones. When they are too easy, there is no challenge and they become boring. Maybe, if we had a little of both, everyone would be happier. Thanks so much for Sun Spots; it’s a great resource. — Carol in Auburn.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I, too, have noticed that the daily crosswords have gotten more difficult. I think they are an improvement over the easier crosswords, and I enjoy doing the more difficult ones. I would suggest that the puzzles be alternated, i.e., an easy one on Monday, one of the newer ones on Tuesday and so forth. That way, there would be three easy puzzles and three not-so-easy ones. Please consider those of us who enjoy more difficult crossword puzzles when you make your decision. — Stuart Gross via e-mail

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I, too, noticed the change in the daily crossword and welcomed the change. The easy ones were beginning to be boring. My gripe is with the Sunday puzzle solution placement. When the Sunday puzzle was in the living section, if I folded the paper to do the puzzle the solution was in the right place to lift the page and check my answer. If the solution is left where it was last Sunday, March 7, but printed upside-down it would be easy to peek at when the puzzle page is folded. Thank you for anything you can do to help. — No Name, Waterford

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I was very happy to read Sun Spots this morning and wanted to say thank you for the puzzle becoming easier. Thanks. — Lucille, No Town

DEAR SUN SPOTS: As a senior, I, too, noticed the increase in difficulty of the crossword puzzles. However, I viewed them as a challenge and an opportunity to increase my skill level. In truth, it has helped me in my weekly Sunday struggle with the New York Times puzzle. I hope they don’t become too easy. Thanks for the enjoyable column. — No Name, Auburn

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Gee, I thought the small increase in difficulty for the crossword puzzle was fine. Made it more challenging, and isn’t that what it’s about? Gives the old gray cells a little more exercise. Too bad we couldn’t have two per day or what about increasing difficulty as the week went on like the Sudoku puzzle? No Name via e-mail

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have been enjoying the new, more challenging crosswords. Perhaps the Sun Journal could run two each day, one for those who do them with pens and one for those folks who use pencils. Big city papers do this. — No Name, Auburn

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Please keep the more difficult crossword puzzles. They are a challenge and good for the brain! — Cathy Case, Lisbon Falls

DEAR SUN SPOTS: In regards to the letters on Thursday, March 11, requesting easier crossword puzzles. I enjoy the harder ones as they are a challenge, and you learn a new word every day. They make you think. Maybe to keep everyone happy they can alternate a hard one with an easy one. I vote for the harder puzzles. — Jeanne, Lisbon Falls

ANSWER: Thank you for you all your thoughts on the puzzles. Hopefully the newly revised puzzles will be harder than they used to be but not too hard. The company that provides the puzzles does have other offerings, but Sun Spots does not think that it’s possible to rotate the puzzles. She is pretty sure that the New York Times puzzles will not get easier, so at least one challenge will remain each week.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Please let me know if anyone can repair a musical instrument. I have a marimba that needs a new bar and four tubes that are broken. Also the metal folds on the legs need to be replaced. If anyone can help, please call me at 783-9747. Thanks for all your help. — Sheila Patrick

ANSWER: There surely must be someone who does such repairs in Maine, but an online search was not too useful. There were places that fixed stringed instruments and drums, but a marimba was not mentioned. Perhaps readers can provide some assistance.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be e-mailed to [email protected]