Oversized Crossworld News and Notes

It’s been a minute, but not for lack of news. We hope to be closer to our typical rhythm for the next one.

Boswords 2023 Summer Tournament will take place July 23 online and at the Roxbury Latin School in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. Registration opens June 24. We’re looking forward to puzzles created by Kate Chin Park & John Lieb, Sam Donaldson, Katie Hale, Andy Kravis, Jennifer Lee & Victor Galson, and Caitlin Reid.

Lollapuzzoola 2023 is August 19 in New York City, and the theme of the day is “Sweet 16”. Registration is open now. The tournament is in-person only, but there is a non-competitive solve-at-home option as well.

We’re so happy for the release of Tough as Nails Crosswords from Stella Zawistowski, a spiral-bound book of 72 “highly polished puzzles.”

Juliana Tringali Golden announced her book “Pause for Puzzles: Easy Crosswords for Relaxation,” a collection of 56 easy 10×10 puzzes.

Peter Gordon’s A-to-Z Crosswords Kickstarter met its goal. Puzzles will be delivered to subscribers beginning June 25.

Perhaps the biggest news in new sources lately is the coming puzzle at Apple News Plus, announced recently as a part of iOS 17. Apple’s newsroom shares that the puzzle with be “in partnership with [Andrews McMeel Universal’s] The Puzzle Society.”

Some sneak peek images can be seen in this article, where with some squinting we can see bylines from Kelsey Dixon, Erik Agard, and Rafa Musa, all Universal/Puzzle Society mainstays. At least one media source has named Ross Trudeau as part of the editing team for the new puzzle.

The Atlantic has made some changes to their crossword recently. The regular Sunday puzzles have ceased, at least for now, with a new feature titled “Caleb’s Inferno” featuring a “devilishly tricky” challenge that gets more difficult from top to bottom through the grid. The Atlantic recent solicited survey responses around their puzzle products, and we hear they are building a new closed roster of contributors. We look forward to what’s in store.

Puzzler Pride 2023 is a showcase of crosswords, variety puzzles, word games, and more from LGBTQ+ authors from the puzzle community curated by Jamie Hargrove and David Millar.

The New York Times has added another game to their daily lineup: Connections is similar to the popular quiz show Only Connect. Puzzles by associate puzzles editor Wyna Liu.

The Times has also announced the Easy Mode newsletter, in which subscribers will receive early access to that week’s Friday puzzle on Wednesday, but with easier clues, written by associate puzzle editor Christina Iverson. Begins June 28.

Puzzle Boat 10 from Foggy Brume of P&A Puzzle Magazine launches October 21. Teams can sign up now.

Congratulations and welcome to the new editor of the USA Today puzzle, Amanda Rafkin. Amanda has been a part of the Andrews McMeel Universal crew for a while now and we look forward to her continued leadership.

Congratulations to the team at These Puzzl3s Fund Abortion, who met their goal to raise more than $30,000 for abortion access. The puzzle pack was mentioned in the Mashable article “Abortion fund networks endure in fight against restricted access.”

The Bay Area Reporter ran a piece highlighting increasing LGBTQ+ representation in puzzles, with appearances from Rafa Musa, Amanda Rafkin, David Steinberg, and Anna Gundlach.

Juliana Pache of Black Crossword recently appeared on GMA3 to discuss her construction methods and efforts to increase diversity in crossword content. Black Crossword now has merch!

In an interview with The New York Review of Books, Anna Shechtman speaks (among other topics) about her coming book:

“My book The Riddles of The Sphinx, which comes out early next year, is partly about the history of the crossword puzzle as a form of women’s work. Crosswords were invented in 1913. For decades, they were written by and associated with women—with the New Woman (who was as inscrutable to patriarchy as the puzzle) and bored housewives (who had the time to “weave with language” and often had college degrees that they weren’t otherwise putting to work in the home). Now their production has been masculinized; the majority of crosswords are produced by men, and they’re associated with nerds, a male-coded stereotype.”

Roger Blitz, Financial Times crossword editor and Oliver Roeder, crossword constructor discuss “The American way of making crosswords” for the Financial Times.

A.J. Jacobs, author of “The Puzzler” shared his experience competing in a jigsaw puzzle competition on a story for The Moth Radio Hour.

T Campbell of Ubercross recently appeared on the podcast Butter No Parsnips

The folks behind Crossword Solver presented “What Types of People Do Newspapers Mention on Their Crosswords?,” a statistical analysis of trends within and between the crossword puzzles offered across the landscape.

Researchers from Stanford Intelligent and Interactive Autonomous Systems Group (ILIAD) are recruiting solvers to participate in their study on how people solve crosswords. Anyone can participate; sign up here.

Crucinova has come to an end. In an email to subscribers, Gavin tells us that previous puzzles will remain online on Crucinova’s site through at least the end of 2023.

This month we say goodbye to the Indie Puzzle Highlights by Will Nediger, who has posted his thoughtful roundups every month since January 2019. We are so grateful for Will’s commitment to this regular feature in which he often shared work from promising up-and-coming constructors alongside long-time constructors.

Autostraddle has also ceased its crossword, at least for the meantime.

We also bid farewell to invaluable Twitter resource Crossword Butler, lovingly maintained by Alex Boisvert since December 2015.

Creating Crossword Puzzles” is a course taught by Brooke Husic and Natan Last in cooperation with Atlas Obscura. The next offering of the course begins September 26 with four weekly sessions over Zoom. The content is intended for very new constructors and those who are interested in how crosswords are made. Reduced price tickets are available. Puzzles constructed by previous classes are available for solving from Atlas Obscura: “Cut Scene,” “Marvel, Extended Universe” and “Alpha and Omega.”

Constructor Matthew Stock has developed a page on resources for new constructors.

Congratulations to everyone who has recently made crossword debuts!

New York Times: Đặng Quang Thắng (5/22), Samuel Smalley (5/27), Daniel Jaret (6/6), Alice Liang (6/12), Jennifer Hoelzer (6/14), Jimmy Peniston (6/21), Michael Baker (6/22)

Los Angeles Times: Larry Snyder (6/3), Bart Gold (6/6), Natasha Erickson (6/9), Christopher Bolduc (6/17), Luke Schreiber (6/23), Jodi Davenport (6/28), Jasper Davidoff (6/29).

USA Today: Steve Marron (6/19)

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