I mentioned on Twitter that the next crossword I’m designing is a collection of Regency slang, including some Heyerisms. I’m still finetuning it to get the most density possible with the clues. It’s easy to throw a couple dozen clue-answer pairs into a crossword generator and come out with something, but making a puzzle that’s closer to what you see in a newspaper or crossword book is more work. I should have it posted by Saturday night.
In researching this, I’ve skimmed my collection of novels by Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen, Patricia Veryan, and a handful of “silver fork” writers who lived in Austen’s era and shortly afterward. One thing I’ve found striking is just how many terms there are for alcohol and drunkenness. That doesn’t necessarily mean upper class people of the Regency, men in particular, were actually that fixated on it — they may well have been — but certainly that’s the picture painted by these novelists. Similarly frequent subjects are courtesans or other women who might be DTF, gambling, and horses. Oh, and financial problems, probably the logical outcome of an excess of the others. 😉
For the puzzle after this one, I’ll focus on the middle and lower classes of the Regency and Dickensian eras, first with literature and then slang. I get a little bored and more than a little impatient with the tendency toward Regency Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, so that’ll be a nice change.