Crossworld News and Notes: December

A little straightforward this time, but it’s news all the same.

We’d previously noted Lisa Bunker’s announcement of Crucinova‘s wind-down, and are thrilled to instead see the innovative venture continue under new editorship, as Lisa has announced Quiara Vasquez will take the helm with behind-the-scenes assistance from Gavin Byrnes. In an email to subscribers, Lisa shared, “I am deeply impressed by Quiara’s constructing and editing chops, and excited to see where she takes the site.”

Quiara has already begun her work at Crucinova, including constructing this week’s puzzle. Our congratulations and gratitude to her for taking this on.

It’s Puzzle Mania season from The New York Times – this Sunday’s (12/18) paper will include a special print-edition-only puzzle-themed bonus section in what has become an annual tradition for puzzle lovers. In the NYT Games team’s weekly email newsletter, Sam Ezersky shared that this year’s Super Mega was constructed by Joel Fagliano and is “the largest crossword you’ll ever see.” (Frank Longo might have something to say about that, Sam.)

The Puzzle Mania section will be in all Sunday editions of the paper, for both print subscribers and at newsstands. If you’re unable to locate a copy, some will be available beginning Monday from the Times online store.

From Hayley Gold: Calling all cryptic lovers and the crypt-curious: Me, Al Sanders and Will Nediger will be doing a special holiday cryptic stream on Friday December 16 at 9 pm eastern at We’ll be featuring an all new puzzle by NPL legend Kevin Wald, and wait there’s more— Kevin will be with us! Plus, 2nd special guest Steve Mossberg, whose upcoming 8-night Hanukkah cryptic suite is bound to be a real latke-fest. Plus more variety cryptics full of season’s solvings! 
Pretend I figured out how to embed this tweet from Erik Agard. Erik is sharing two 13×13 puzzles with folks who donate to a GoFundMe for Khorry Ramey, whose father Kevin Johnson was killed by lethal injection in Missouri in late November. I (Matt) encourage you to read some of the news coverage Kevin, Khorry, and the barbarism of our state from that time. It’s easy to look away but I hope you won’t.


Keep an eye out for ACPT 2023 Registration, expected to open around the first of the year. Room block information for the Marriott will be available then, as well. We hope to see you there!


Bacon (Erdős?) Numbers for crosswords? Bacon (Erdős?) Numbers for crosswords. And who else to name it after than Nancy Salomon, one of the great crossword mentors and collaborators of the 90s and 00s? In the New York Times alone, 116 of Nancy’s 186 puzzles between 1995 and 2012 were collaborations. After the original idea from Quiara here, Alex Boisvert is on the case, with help from Saul Pwanson’s data set, which you might know from a certain past plagiarism scandal.

An initial tool to determine Salomon numbers is available at The Wisdom of Salomon (the DCL team are all at 4, currently), and Alex shared initial analysis at the Nexus Blog. Excited to see where this goes!

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