Natick Crossword Principle

A kerfluffle involving Natick, N.C. Wyeth, the NY Times Crossword Puzzle.

According to, Rex Parker (a pseudonym), the Natick Principle is as follows: "If you include a proper noun in your grid that you cannot reasonably expect more than 1/4 of the solving public to have heard of, you must cross that noun with reasonably common words and phrases or very common names." How this came to be was the clue - "1A: Town at the eighth mile of the Boston Marathon"

What's crazy about this particular clue is that it would be no different if it cited mile 9, 10, or 11 of the Boston Marathon as well. Back to mile 8 of the marathon, it can't be all that fun. Think about it, you've just come up the hill near Wendy's and you're smelling all of that french fry fast food goodness ... you have to be thinking, "Why am I running this race when I could be eating a spicy chicken sandwich?"

Anyway, that's all besides the point. The fact that "Natick" is adversely used with regard to crosswords leaves us a bit bothered. We should come up with the a new way to address Natick in crossword puzzles, one that much better represents the quality of our town. We may have to contact Michael Sharp, the well-known blogger and New York Times crossword puzzle solver who goes by Rex Parker, to air our grievances one of these days.

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