What crossword puzzles teach us about information

Miles Efron

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This paper studies crossword puzzles as a vehicle for analyzing information in a rigorous yet meaningful fashion. The paper asks, how does information operate in the context of crossword puzzles? A model is proposed that quantifies the difficulty of a puzzle P with respect to its clues. Given a clue-answer pair (c,a), we model the difficulty of guessing a based on c using the conditional probability Pr(a | c); easier mappings should enjoy a higher conditional probability. The model is tested on a corpus of puzzles taken from The New York Times. Additionally, we discuss how the notion of information implicit in our model relates to more easily quantifiable types of information that figure into crossword puzzles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASIST 2007 Proceedings of the 70th ASIS and T Annual Meeting - Joining Research and Practice
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Computing and Information Science
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Inc.
Volume44
ISBN (Print)0877155399, 9780877155393
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007
Event3rd Electronic edition of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology - Milwaukee, WI, United States
Duration: Oct 19 2007Oct 24 2007

Other

Other3rd Electronic edition of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
CountryUnited States
CityMilwaukee, WI
Period10/19/0710/24/07

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences

Cite this