Letter: An Ongoing Puzzlement

Yeah, getting old has its disadvantages. Failing eyesight is one of them. Seems like every time I put on my glasses I need a new prescription. I'm realistic about newspapers needing to decrease physical page size and type getting smaller becomes mandatory. That's why the great provider invented magnifying glasses and bifocals. I'm not complaining about any of that, really. Here is what I am asking you to consider...

I'm a retired graphic designer and I am familiar with the limitations of printing newsprint on web presses. And I know the less than exact tolerances possible when it comes to registration. So why, please tell me why, a 10 percent (?) screen of process blue is added to the black on the crossword puzzle? I don't see it shadowing the black elsewhere on the page. I know the blue is traditionally used to make the black richer, more vibrant, but is this really necessary where the crossword puzzle is concerned. The six-point type the clues are set in, even with my top-of-the-line Brookstone hand glass, is difficult (sometimes impossible) to decipher when the blue is out of register—which is the usual condition and not the exception. Seriously, it is so bad sometimes that I can't tell if the clue is prompting me to enter the three letters A- S- P or A- S- S.

Please check to determine if you are contractually obligated to use the extraneous blue in conjunction with the crossword puzzle. (Maybe Neely and/or Blackburn have something on somebody at MP blackmailing them to include it. I mean, REALLY, IT'S THE ONLY PROCESS BLUE ON THE ENTIRE PAGE!

Thank you for a great newspaper and the enjoyment I derive from reading it. I'm at the neighborhood newsstand every Wednesday waiting for it to be delivered. Sometimes I stand there waiting until Thursday. Did I mention I'm retired?

Neil Smith