Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cross Words

The Carmel Pine Cone does not mind being provocative. But on a July 4th weekend in 1992 it really got readers upset not for what was in the paper, but what wasn't. The New York Times crossword puzzle was accidentally left out and readers were indignant. "The switchboard operator had close to 100 calls before she had time to say, 'My God, where's the puzzle?'" recalled Ray March, the Pine Cone editor at the time. March and the staff talked it through and decided to trust the sophistication and humor of the readership. The missing puzzle became the front page of the next edition, with an apology in very large type. March also published an editorial for his staff stating, "We forget at times that The Carmel Pine Cone is many things to many people: that it's not just the latest 'scoop' or late-breaking story that our readers are looking for…." The event was reported in the New York Times and turned into a promotional tool by the syndicate that distributed the puzzles.

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