The Arizona Desert Lamp

Crossword Nation is not amused.

Posted in Campus by Evan Lisull on 1 April 2009

Crossword, April FoolsSomehow, we’re supposed to appreciate the the paper’s April Fools’ prank of filling in today’s crossword, putting “April Fools” in place of “Crime Rate” (8-down) and “Prime Rate” (19-down).

And what, pray tell, are the thousands of students, mildly bored in another seventy-minute lecture, supposed to do? You can’t really expect a Sudoku to carry them through the entire Powerpoint. How can you justify butchering 18-down, turning “Irene” into “Iaene,” and spelling 30-down’s “Brazil river” as “Amazan”? Are these errors supposed to be some subset of this sick little game?  Have you no sense of decency, at long last?

This is not the first time that the Wildcat has dared to meddle with this daily ritual. Copy-editor heads had better be rolling across the Mall by high noon tomorrow.

7 Responses

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  1. Laura Donovan said, on 1 April 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Now they can actually read the Wildcat content instead of just mess around on the crossword!

  2. Ben Harper said, on 1 April 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Ms. Donovan is correct in saying that, bereft of my crossword, I was eventually (the ten minute distraction that is Sudoku notwithstanding) forced to delve deep into the interior of the Daily Wildcat.

    That said, I failed to stumble upon any “content”. I read what I could, but experienced for my trouble only a profound sense of what, according to today’s issue, might be best called “tediui” (15 Across).

    Leave it to the Daily Wildcat to eviscerate the only part of the paper that guarantees its continued circulation.

  3. Laura Donovan said, on 1 April 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Ben Harper:

    That’s an unfair thing to say. I’ll agree that the news department is lacking in good UA-related news, but I’d hardly say the paper is free of content. You’ll always find news (student-oriented or not) on the first few pages of the newspaper, the Editor-in-Chief and a student abroad write weekly columns, and there are a dozen talented columnists who write well-researched articles every day. Maybe if you were “forced to delve deep into the interior of the Wildcat” more often, you’d actually see that there’s more to it than you assume.

    If you’re going to disagree, give me a list of reasons why there is a lack of Wildcat content.

  4. Jimi Alexander said, on 1 April 2009 at 11:27 pm


    Really, now? The Crossword is the only reason people pick up the Wildcat? Huh, that’s interesting. My significant other and I weren’t even aware a crossword existed in the Wildcat until this post. Most people I see at the Student Union with the paper are busy reading the Sports or the classifieds. I myself read the articles, especially pertaining to important matters like tuition and student services that would escape print from other sources like the Daily Star.

    To claim that the Wildcat is content-free speaks more of your attention-span than the quality of the paper, IMO.

  5. Ben Harper said, on 2 April 2009 at 12:22 am

    Well, if there’s one thing I love, it’s a good firestorm.

    I figure the first step I ought to make is to bravely, in the face of opposition, recant everything I said. It’s true that my comment was somewhat unfair, and somewhat untrue. But my utter rage at having the crossword, one of the few joys in my misanthropic life, snatched away from me, was more than I could bear. And, well, the internet has a way of bringing out the troll in all of us. For this I am sorry.

    But this is not to say that I often find reading the Wildcat a rewarding experience. Any paper in which the sports section is generally thicker than the news section is not a good newspaper. You can tell because “news” is in the word “newspaper” (but harder to find in our newspaper).

    Part of the reason I hesitate to specify what I dislike about the paper is that I have very little interest in slinging insults at specific columnists. Let me, then, restrict myself to this: ideas which occur to the majority of students on a daily basis (e.g., frat boys are sometimes assholes, maybe it’s best to ignore psychotic street-preachers) are, by definition, not original ideas, and are probably not good fodder for a column. Believe me, as someone passionate about writing, I know how difficult it can be to conjure up a good topic for an article. But that is no excuse for half-assing it.

    True, the classifieds provide a useful service. But they hardly speak to the quality of the paper. An ability to sell ad space does not a journalist make.

    Incidentally, assuming that I don’t read the paper because I made some negative comments about it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Like you, I’d love to live in a world in which all the people who disagreed with me were tragically misinformed, but this is simply not the case.

    I know that the Wildcat is a student newspaper, and part of its purpose is to provide learning experiences for its staff. But one of the best ways to learn is through criticism. This does not excuse the fact that I was a total asshole about providing said criticism, but if students find little of interest in the paper except the puzzles (and believe me Jimi, you and your “significant other” notwithstanding, there are many like me), something needs to change.

    Well, it’s been fun – and I feel like we’ve all grown closer as a family! Thanks for the ad hominem attacks. I’ll hold them close to my heart always.

    Oh, and one more thing – don’t fuck with my goddamn crossword.

  6. Laura Donovan said, on 2 April 2009 at 12:54 am

    Hi Ben:

    Good input, but we didn’t direct any ad hominem attacks toward you, for the record. At least I didn’t.

    If you think the columnists are unoriginal, you should consider writing for the paper. Daniel Sotelo’s article wasn’t cliche. If he wanted to write an unoriginal column, he could have sided against Brother Jed like the majority of students. He took an unpopular stance by saying the Jed haters can be really immature. Bottom line-The columnists will not always write about extremely controversial issues just for the sake of being different and shocking. But if you think you can do a better job, I truly encourage you to apply next semester. I say this in all seriousness because the Wildcat can always use strong writers, and if you think you can outdo all the current writers, you should prove that to everyone.

    Are you -only- bothered by the columnists? What about everything else? That’s the message I got from your post, but maybe it’s just me. If you don’t like specific writers, you’re free to list names (myself included) because we’re already putting ourselves out there. We can handle honesty.

    I’m sorry about your crossword, by the way.

  7. Ben Harper said, on 2 April 2009 at 8:48 am

    Thanks. They’re not very good crosswords anyway. I’d suggest that you license a better one, but I’m almost positive that cost is the only reason you haven’t.

    Like everything I get involved in on the internet, this got way out of hand. But I will seriously consider your offer to, as it were, “put up or shut up.” I take it I have your vote! And you’re right, you never did attack me (which, considering that I’ve been incredibly abrasive, is quite a feat). That honor rests with another. (I’m amazed my attention span was long enough to finish this discussion!)


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