Now searchable: the New York Times crosswords

Zachary M. Seward takes a lookaol at the appearance of “AOL” in the vaunted crossword puzzle over the years:

There are many ways to tell the story of AOL and its numerous reinventions, so here’s just one: The New York Times Crossword. With just a few letters, most of which are vowels, AOL is a common crutch of cruciverbalists. (See also: APE, EPEE, and BRIO.)

Below, I’ve compiled nearly every appearance of AOL in the Times crossword from 1997 to 2011, taking the company on a journey from “Prodigy competitor” (Jan. 14, 1997) to “Netcom competitor” (Mar. 29, 1998) to ”Juno rival” (Apr. 6, 2003) to “Gmail alternative” (June 5, 2007) to “Yahoo! competitor” (May 10, 2010)—oh, and finally, “Huffington Post buyer” (Apr. 17, 2011) and ”Company with Patch Media” (Oct. 9, 2011). There are many other gems in between.

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