Having enjoyed solving the crossword puzzles in The Post for many years , I have finally decided to speak up about the number of clues that seem to make fun of mental illness. In the Nov. 8 puzzle , for instance, the answer for the clue “Crazy as a loon” was “nutso.”

It is insensitive to refer to people suffering from mental illness with derogatory terms such as wacko, bonkers and loco. I cringe just writing these words. I have a good sense of humor but not when people make fun of those who are ill. Would it be humorous to make fun of those with cancer or diabetes?

Perhaps the puzzle makers can show some compassion for those who are suffering.

Joanne Doyle, Salisbury, Md.

I enjoyed Kenneth Woods’s Free for All letter on The Post’s daily crossword puzzles [“Answers, across and down,” Nov. 9]. Perhaps one day my mien will allow me to also ink an ode to the puzzle while I sip java dispensed from an ewer or urn, eat Edy’s ice cream and listen to Etta James on the hi-fi.

Kim Hemphill , South Riding