(a) in response to your thread-hijacking complaint:
Knowing big words does, however, indicate that one has an education, or else hangs with those who do. If you think of 'the orc' in terms of peoples class expectations, you can see why he surprises people. Looks low-caste, talks high-caste. None of it is about intelligence. It's about class. Some people only worry about their own circle, not about the 'big questions'. Whereas Wm DeWorde, for example, wonders about broader issues. It's not a question of moral superiority, either, although some suggestion exists in the books that such people are superior, simply because of the way these people are the focus of the books. But Lord DeWorde (the elder) was interested in the 'big picture' as much as his son was. He also happened to be a ruthless reactionary pig. (With apologies to any pigs who are offended by the comparison.)
(b) back on topic
As far as the crossword lady goes, she uses more than big words. HV notes some of her tricks. Besides, it's not about intelligence. It's about her ability to get a rise out of Vetenari. Usually the man is a sphinx.
(c) re: UA written by a ghost -- What bothers me about the last two boooks will be the topic of a new thread.
"Your daughter is so multi-talented! ... Is she adopted?" - overheard @ church