March 30, 2015
The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Almost Victory
The scene: the onstage battle at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament between five-times-in-a-row winners Dan Feyer and Tyler Hinman. Howard Barkin added a wild card to the mix, making his fifth trip to the big boards (once as a C finalist).
Tyler radiated a renewed hunger to take back the title, racing to fill in letters. In contrast, Dan solved with methodical speed. In the end, the result was the same. Within less than eight minutes, they both had just a few letters to go. And I honestly wondered if we’d see the first tie in tournament history. Read the rest of this entry »
November 12, 2014
Compliments of Time Home Entertainment, here’s a free “Jumbo” crossword from their latest People Puzzler book, Holiday Funfest!
CLICK HERE to download a PDF
The crossword’s theme is female singers of the ’80s, with an added quirk — it’s 100 percent man-free!
More about the book in an earlier post, on Amazon, or take a look inside at Barnes & Noble.
Theme idea & puzzle edit: Lisa Russell • puzzle & art direction: Patrick Merrell • photo editor: Linda Pacheco • book editor: Cutler Durkee
November 5, 2014
Space Puzzlefest: The multi-talented Patrick Blindauer has another one of his super-entertaining puzzlefests available for purchase. This time around the theme is outer space, with an interconnected set of crosswords leading to a final answer. I’ve already signed up! Just go HERE to join the fun.
Twice a Week Puzzles: The only thing better than a Brendan Emmett Quigley crossword is two of them! And that’s just what you’ll find every week (Monday and Thursday) on his site, HERE. Brendan possesses one of the great crossword minds on the planet, crafting sparkling grids, unique themes, and clever clues with seeming ease. He’s also known for putting things in his puzzles you won’t find anywhere else. Brendan’s puzzles vary from easy to medium to hard (always labeled) in both themed and unthemed varieties.
Weekly Crossword Contest: Crossword great Matt Gaffney has been running a weekly crossword contest since 2008, to rave reviews. That’s 336 contest puzzles! (How’s that even possible?) Each involves not only a top-flight crossword, but an ingenious meta puzzle that awaits once the grid is filled in. Check it out HERE every Friday.
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).
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.
If you don’t like it, demand a refund!
Click to download:
• PDF • PDF solution
• Solve online (super smooth)
• Across Lite
April 11, 2013
BLAST 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.
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.