Someone recently asked me about my rejected 2003 cover for The New Yorker, so I figured I’d put it up here. Everything you need to solve the crossword is in the illustration.
A new post… about an old crossword puzzle. It appeared four years ago in the Los Angeles Times (June 8, 2004). It’s probably the most peculiar theme I’ve had for a puzzle, and one which has elements that might not all be entirely apparent at first. Download a pdf HERE or click on this LINK to download it in Across Lite from my website. I’ll include a few notes about the puzzle after the cut… Read the rest of this entry »
An Across Lite version of my Sports Illustrated Super Bowl crossword can be found here: SUPER BOWL. It’s an easy 13×13 puzzle that appeared the week prior to the event.
This additional trivia challenge can be solved when you look at the answer grid (link below) and unscramble the letters in the tan squares (WARNING! The 2-word answer is directly below the crossword answer grid — scroll down carefully):
What team with a winning Super Bowl record has been outscored by its opponents 148-107?
The crossword answer and two other, tougher Super Bowl puzzles (an acrostic and word search) can be found here: S.I. PUZZLES
For puzzle-solving sports fans, I’ve got a Super Bowl crossword in this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated (the Super Bowl XLII issue pictured here). I haven’t seen the final layout or the magazine itself, but I hear it will be on newsstands today, Thursday (no online version).
Monday afternoon, they also asked me to put together two bonus Super Bowl puzzles for their website (an acrostic and word search), and those went up Wednesday morning. They can be found here — BUT BE WARNED, the answer grid to the magazine’s crossword appears big as day right below the download link: Sports Illustrated bonus puzzles
• Friday, Christmas Eve ’04 from the LA Times (pdf)
• Wednesday, Christmas Day ’02 from The NY Times (pdf)
Or Across Lite versions of both: HERE
(Ashen is regifting a Christmas Eve present for Boxing Day.)
The December issue of Scientific American, with my annual two-page crossword puzzle, is on newsstands now.
PDF downloads of both the ORIGINAL and a HARDER version, as well as the answers, can be found here: In BOXeS.
The HARDER version lacks some visual elements that are present in the ORIGINAL (same as the magazine) version, but is the same otherwise.
Direct from the walls of the Overlook Lounge on Manhattan’s upper east side — a crossword puzzle! Two years ago this month, the promise of free food was all it took to lure members of the National Cartoonists Society into the restaurant to decorate their walls. My contribution was a crossword puzzle (being peed on by Dondi, I’m proud to point out). Click on the image to enlarge it. Mike Lynch has additional pictures of all three walls.
Another cartoon wall in the same restaurant, done in the ’60s, can be seen on the Chris “Hägar the Horrible” Browne’s site.
A sizeable flock of contestants braved the clammy weather Friday night to test their wits at the 11th annual crossword tournament in Will Shortz’s hometown of Pleasantville, NY. The room was filled with both individual and doubles team competitors, puzzlemaker types who hovered as judges, and enough baked goods to feed the town’s middle school. Next week’s Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday NY Times puzzles winnowed the field down to three finalists — Nancy Taubenslag, “Jeffurry” Schwartz, and the eventual champ at solving Thursday’s puzzle on the big easels, Bob Mackey!
Afterward, a small parade of the crossword faithful made their way over to Will’s house for more snacks. A fine spread of Doritos, Lay’s potato chips, dip, carrots, cookies, soda, and beer were laid out. I assume Will provided his traditional house and puzzle collection tour for the uninitiated, but since it’s so close to Halloween, I headed home before the witching hour. All in all, another highly successful installment of this very friendly and fun annual event, with proceeds benefiting the town’s Fund for Learning.
Sting is an avid solver of The New York Times and The Times of London crossword puzzles when not dabbling in music. Preceding and somewhat overlapping both those pursuits were brief stints as a bus conductor, construction worker, dump truck driver, tax officer, and Catholic school teacher in a small coal-mining village.
Sting’s memoir, Broken Music, is worth a try. Intelligently and evocatively written, it chronicles his journey toward becoming a professional musician. Also worth checking out is Michael Apted’s excellent documentary, Sting — Bring on the Night. (Picture: Sting in the sweater that earned him his nickname)
[PDF puzzle answer] including complete explanation
…about favorite clues. A couple of recent posts here got me thinking about my favorite crossword clue that I’ve written. Not the best or funniest or cleverest, just my favorite. This is the clue: Extinct Namibian shrub genus: Var.
Pretty bad, isn’t it? But there’s a reason for that. There are also a few interesting incidents surrounding the puzzle in which it appeared (NYT, January 15, 2004). You can try the puzzle if you’d like [CLICK HERE for a PDF] or just read on. Sorry, Across Lite won’t work for it. Read the rest of this entry »
This is a crossword I wrote several years ago for the judges at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (coming to Brooklyn February 29, 2008). It was adapted from a joke that Pete Barbutti told years ago on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The focus of Pete’s joke was a banjo player.
Download a PDF: utternonsense.pdf PDF answer: utteranswer.pdf
Across Lite download: [CLICK HERE]
The latest issue of Syracuse University Magazine features an article about fellow S.U. grad and crossworder David J. Kahn. A Sunday-size, Syracuse-themed Kahn crossword accompanies it.
Online article: [CLICK HERE] Download puzzle pdf: [CLICK HERE]
Puzzle answer: [CLICK HERE] Across Lite download: [CLICK HERE]