Man Pops Marriage Proposal — Via Newspaper Crossword Puzzle

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The clue was “Generic Proposal.” The answer: “Will you marry me?” For Jennie Bass, the marriage proposal contained in The Boston Globe Sunday magazine was “pure elation.” For her boyfriend, Aric Egmont, it meant months of planning.

Egmont, 29, of Cambridge, contacted the magazine this summer is ask if the people who create the crossword puzzles would write a special puzzle for him.

Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon, a married puzzle-writing team who have been writing Globe magazine crossword puzzles for years, agreed. Their puzzle was titled “Popping the question,” and each theme entry was a variation on proposals. For example, “Macrame artist’s proposal” was “Let’s tie the knot.”

The tricky part was writing an entire puzzle that would be clear to the happy couple, but not obscure to all the other readers who do the puzzles.

Egmont, who works in the communications department at Fidelity Investments, said Bass initially thought some of the clues – including her sister’s name and her best friend’s name – were just amazing coincidences.

Then they got to 111 across: “Generic proposal” (Jen + Aric generic).

“We get to the Will you marry me? clue, and I said, Will you marry me, Jenny? I got up, got the ring, and got down on one knee and she screamed, and hugged me. It took her a minute to say yes,” Egmont told the Globe.

Bass, 29, who is studying food policy and public health at Tufts School of Medicine, said there was no reason for her to suspect anything when they started doing the puzzle.

“Then he got up and came back with a box and it was pure elation,” she told the newspaper.

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