208. Dead Tree Version

February 2, 2014

The work of Randall Rosenthal is pretty darn amazing. The photo shown below (click to enlarge) isn’t a stack of real newspapers. It’s a sculpture carved from a single piece of wood, then painted in exacting detail.

I got an added surprise when I realized the crossword lying atop the pile is one of mine, appearing in The New York Times on December, 18, 2011. CLICK HERE for an article showing how Rosenthal works, and to see more of his sculptures.

And CLICK HERE to see another Rosenthal sculpture that features Randy Ross’s October 2, 2005 NYT crossword (thanks to Jeff Chen for identifying the puzzle).

205. Up, Up and (when I catch my breath) Away

December 20, 2013

Free. An original 15×15 crossword puzzle of mediumish difficulty.

If you like it, consider it a Christmas or belated Hanukkah gift, even though the theme has nothing to do with either holiday.
geezerbowIf you don’t like it, demand a refund!

Click to download:
PDF  • PDF solution
Solve online (super smooth)
Across Lite

193. Ambigram Crossword

April 11, 2013

settheoryBLAST FROM THE PAST DEPT.: This recent talk of ambigrams dredged up memories of a crossword I put together for Scientific American in 2006. It was written before I dabbled in ambigrams, so I hadn’t thought of it in those terms, but that’s what it is.

Sciam‘s website still has it up [CLICK HERE]. Since the crossword appeared on two pages, the grid (“blank puzzle” is how its described) and clues are on separate PDFs.

TIP: Download the PDFs (using the arrow icon in the upper right) rather than printing directly from the site. When I printed directly, the image didn’t rotate and ended up getting cropped.

190. Crossword Clue of the Day: April 1

March 31, 2013

Female buffoon? (6 letters): [ A S S E S S ]

• Click the clue to see a (completely unhelpful) visual hint.
• Highlight the bracketed space with your cursor to reveal the answer.

189. Crossword Clue of the Day: March 31

March 31, 2013

Nor’s partner (6 letters): [ E A S T E R ]

Click the clue to see a visual hint.
Highlight the bracketed space with your cursor to reveal the answer.

185. The ACPT in 11 Objects

March 13, 2013

11objects1. Contestant sticker. 2. Marriott pen. 3. The contestants’ most-dreaded pen (used by the judges to mark incorrect answers). 4. No, wait, this is the contestants’ most-dreaded pen (used to mark correct answers when only a few letters have been entered in the grid). 5. Name tag. 6. Marriott room key. 7. Ophira Eisenberg, from NPR’s Ask Me Another, was in the house (and unofficial best-shod attendee). 8. Dr. Fill returned. 9. Freebie pencil from The New York Times. 10. Freebie pencil sharpener from crosswordtracker.com. 11. And wherever you turned, a circle of people were yelling out answers to Peter Gordon’s Celebrity: Get a Clue iPhone app. (Do you know who Uggie is?)

182. pArtiCiPaTe

February 19, 2013

The American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT) is fast approaching and promises to be another epic event with games, guest speakers, wine and cheese, a talent competition, puzzling camaraderie, stuff to buy, and some of the year’s best puzzles. It takes place March 8-10 in beautiful downtown Brooklyn. ALL THE INFO IS HERE.

puzzle2The tournament crosswords vary from easy, breezy puzzles (#1, 4, and usually 6) to the infamous puzzle #5 that ferrets out the top contenders.

If you’d like to try a sample, here’s puzzle #2 I wrote for last year’s tournament. It’s tricky, but not a real killer. One thing to remember is that all of the tournament puzzles have titles and subtitles, which can sometimes be very helpful. This one is called “Boustrophedon.”

Download a pdf: PUZZLE #2
Download the answer pdf: ANSWER


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