Jack Windsor Lewis’ blog 151 mentions the fact that ‘ch’ is counted as a single letter when alphabetising Welsh, Spanish (but not Portuguese) and Czech. Double ‘ll’ is likewise a single ‘letter’ in both Welsh and Spanish (as an example, lomo comes before llegar in a list of Spanish words), and ‘aa’ (increasingly old-fashioned alternative to ‘Ś’) in Danish and Norwegian, where it is given the last place in the alphabet.
This leads me to ask: how are these letters treated in crosswords compiled in the relevant languages? Do the ‘ch’ ‘ll’ or ‘aa’ occupy a single box, or are they spread over two boxes as they would be in English crosswords?
Some years ago I had a dispute with a very reputable linguist on the question of whether Korean orthography was a syllabary or an alphabet. I maintained that it was an alphabet since each ‘block’ making up a syllable was transparently made up of individual strokes whose phonological value was constant. His counter argument was that in Korean crosswords, the whole syllable is necessarily placed within one box, and that therefore the writing system is a syllabary.
We agreed to disagree.