Rotational Symmetry

I've been away from blogging for a little while and appear to have lost most of small cadre of readers. Hopefully my return will bring them back. This post may be part of a new feature of this blog, called "Now You Know (in which I answer questions only I was wondering about). Actually, there are a couple of old posts in that style as well, but now that it has an official name, they'll much better. For this entry in the series, I was going to just post a question which I've been vaguely curious about for a couple of years: Why are all New York Times crossword puzzles, and every other puzzle I've checked, symmetrical over the the line Y=X? But I decided to go crazy and research the answer. So, according to a Straight Dope column from 1984 , the answer is that it's a tradition with no rational basis, but the Amateur Crossword Puzzle League adopted it as a rule in 1924, and it has been in force ever since. Cecil goes a little bit more in depth in to where the tradition came from (the word squares of ancient greek oracles, apparently), but I stand by my summary.