Ed Driscoll

What's A Five Letter Word For Gleichschaltung?

David Levinson Wilk of Politico claims that “Crossword puzzles heavily favor Democrats”–and he should know:

I am partly to blame.

On Jan. 8, 2005, I purposefully and unapologetically became the first person to ever construct a crossword puzzle for The New York Times that featured this five-letter answer:

OBAMA.

Earlier this week, Steve Schmidt, John McCain’s senior campaign adviser, lambasted the Times for being “totally, 150 percent in the tank for the Democratic candidate.” The GOP, it seems, is finally catching on to a once-hidden truth:

Crossword puzzles heavily favor Democrats.

According to the puzzle database maintained by Cruciverb.com, ever since that game-changing day in 2005, OBAMA has appeared regularly as an answer in New York Times crossword puzzles. With its wonderfully convenient alternating series of commonly used vowels and consonants, OBAMA has been the answer to the clues “Senator who wrote ‘Dreams From My Father,'” “Future senator who delivered the 2004 Democratic convention keynote address” and “Presidential candidate born in Hawaii.”

But what about MCCAIN? Shockingly, not once has MCCAIN been an answer in a crossword in the New York Times, The Washington Post or the Los Angeles Times. No MCCAIN, no JOHNMCCAIN, no SENATORMCCAIN, not even his most recent sobriquet, the presidential-sounding JOHNSMCCAINIII.

Gee, now there’s a shock.