Available this weekend, Grids for Kids is a pack of 25 puzzles to raise money for kids’ charities. Written and edited by an all-star team of constructors who are parents, it includes 17 standard crosswords with family-friendly themes, 2 cryptic puzzles, and 6 puzzles for younger solvers. Try out the free sample puzzle, “Growth Chart” by Matt Forest and Sally Hoelscher. Make a donation of at least $10 USD to receive the puzzles. More details at gridsforkids.com.
It’s getting to be tournament time again: not too late to register for the online Boswords Winter Wondersolve tomorrow, 5 February, from 1:30-4:00 Eastern. Registration and hotel availability remain open for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford, CT, March 31-April 2.
As mentioned in our editorial last night addressing the New York Times’ decision to pull acrostics, cryptics, other variety puzzles, and their 20-plus year archives from online access, Alex Boisvert has started an acrostic subscription service on Patreon, promising two puzzles a month. A welcome post and a sample puzzle is available. Alex’s site, Crossword Nexus also offers a tool to help build acrostics and an online solver applet that can present most common puzzles directly in-browser.
Readers may or may not be familiar with T Campbell’s Ubercross projects: think massive grids with grid art. Whatever you’re thinking, you’re probably undershooting it. Over the course of this year, T is unveiling his latest project: Ubercross Abecedaria, a series of 26 Ubercross puzzles, one for each letter of the alphabet, that knit together into a single connected puzzle.
Due to their size, the Abecedaria tiles are .pdf only, but T is also releasing bite-sized puzzles for each letter. Alternating between the two, a new puzzle comes each Wednesday. We’re hoping to have more from T in his own words in a future edition of News & Notes.
Cryptic streamers Will Nediger, Al Saunders, and Hayley Gold’s next edition comes in two weeks, a “Post-Valentine’s Valentine episode full of LOVEly cryptics” on Friday, 17 February at 9:00 PM Eastern with setters Nathan Curtis, Saroota, and Joeadultman at twitch.tv/bewilderingly.
The New York Times announced the second cohort of the Diverse Crossword Constructor Fellowship. Congrats to Mary, Esha, Isabella, Alice, Manaal, and Gina!
Since the last News & Notes, Lindsay McBride (1/18), Robert S. Greenfield (1/20), Nancy Serrano-Wu (1/25), Quiara Vasquez (1/26), Rich Katz (1/29), and Elise Corbin (2/2) made their NYT debuts. Congratulations to everyone!
Quick hitting links: Another month, another post of puzzle recommendations from Will Nediger | 18 year old Garrett Chalfin has two New York Times puzzle bylines and this fun interview with Intelligencer | Juliana Pache’s new Black Crossword venture got some love in this interview | “The Arcane Pleasure of Cryptic Crosswords” | My Crossword Maker’s annual scholarship for undergraduate students is open now for submissions
We’ve built out our own site a bit recently: adding links to defunct and non-updating puzzles, a page pointing readers to blogs and places for general crossword discussion, and a calendar for events, podcasts, and Twitch streams (that is admittedly pretty thin). As always if there’s something you want to see on the the site or be included in our regular posts, we have a “Send Us Something” form here.