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Strange Maps

341 – Hungariform Crossword For Magyarophone Cartophiles


Here’s a treat for all you cruciverbally obsessed Hungarian cartophiles out there: a Magyarophone crossword in the shape of Old Hungary, i.e. the other half of the Austrian-led Double Monarchy that ruled much of Central Europe until its defeat in World War I.

The Austro-Hungarian Empire was dissolved after the war, and Hungary descended into chaos. At the Treaty of Trianon (1920), Hungary lost an astonishing 72% of its territory – including its access to the sea – to literally all of its neighbours: the newly formed states of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, Romania, Austria itself and even bits to Poland. Most of these lands were majoritarily non-Hungarian, but the loss was (and to some extent still is) experienced as an unfair humiliation.

So ‘Old Hungary’ lives on, albeit here in the form of an irredentism-flavoured crossword puzzle. It’s hard to tell whether the nostalgic theme extends to the content of the puzzle. Hungarian is a non-Indo-European language, rendering it virtually unintelligible to most other Europeans. The only words I recognise are ‘Mahatma Ghandi’ and (I think) ‘gratulátunk!’

So gratulátunk (I hope) to Pál Szabó for sending in this map.


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