six down
adj. Describes a crossword puzzle fan or constructor who has passed away.
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You know, I discovered another piece of slang in the crossword puzzle. I just found myself drawn to this. "Six down" is something I had never heard before. It's a term of endearment for great crossword puzzle constructors who have passed away. So you write Eugene Moleska (ph) became six down on August 3, 1993.
—Liane Hansen, “Idiom Savant,” National Public Radio, October 12, 1997
1986 (earliest)
Re, H. G. Knapp's letter, Are crossword puzzles for Americans only? (June 10). I agree wholeheartedly with him, and if he wants to contact me and bring a shovel we can go down to the States and get the guy who makes these crosswords up for The Star and bury him 6 down and 3 across!
—Sid Smith, “How to take care of crossword creator,” The Toronto Star, June 21, 1986
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