Since you asked

Here's the deal: I enjoy crossword puzzles, especially the Sunday New York Times Puzzle. No pencil ' the only true commitment is with ink.

For the last four Sundays you have placed the solution to the puzzle on the facing page. This pretty much takes care of any puzzle factor. It appears nobody is even looking at what the public finally receives.

Could you please rectify this situation? Thank You.

' Puzzled in Cyberspace

Dear Puzzled: The best way to answer this question is with a story.
— When the staff members here at Since You Asked World Headquarters were just little smart-alecs-in-training, our caretakers used to hide the cookies in various household objects ' shoeboxes, Victrolas, footlockers. And, of course, we would always find them.

Then they got smart and bought this big jar with the word Cookies printed across it; and we were all so guilt-ridden to put our hand in the cookie jar that none of us dared go near it.

The same rule applies with the Sunday crossword. The page with the solution is always posted at the top of the page. Any nefarious puzzler could easily just flip back and forth, no matter where the answers are.

BUT!!! ... With the temptation of the answers right there on the opposite page, guilt will set in and force the puzzle-doer to fold over the page and hide it beneath the crossword as it's being done ' thereby preventing the solver from reaching for the forbidden fruit!

An ingenious solution, don't you agree?

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