“Across and Down” is a CBC documentary that follows a set of constructors as they fight to improve representation in crosswords. Constructors featured are Tass and Lita Williams, Natan Last, Nancy Serrano-Wu, Soleil St-Cyr, Ross Trudeau, and Nate Cardin. While the documentary is currently not available outside Canada, the accompanying articles “Seven crossword constructors fighting for better representation in the beloved puzzle” and “Bias in crosswords: how women, people of colour and LGBTQIA+ communities are overlooked” provide a bit of a sneak peek. We’re happy to see Queer Qrosswords, Women of Letters, and The Inkubator mentioned.
In digging up more about “Across and Down” we found an old, but excellent, article from the Halifax Examiner featuring Tass and Lita Williams and the making of culturally significant crosswords.
Celia Mattison, writing for Catapult Magazine in “Why I Started Writing Crossword Puzzles” describes her experience in redefining what “common knowledge” can be in crosswords.
From cryptic streamer Hayley Gold: “This month’s cryptic stream (featuring guests Ryan McCarty, Derek Allen, and No-Feet McGee — plus the boring regulars: Will Nediger, Al Sanders, and Two-Feet Hayley —though technically one is broken) will be on Friday, November 18 at 9 pm Eastern. Come one, come all for a cornucopia of classic cryptics, because that’s the only thing I’m thankful for. Go to twitch.tv/bewilderingly to watch, or catch the VOD afterward for only 7 days (twitch lowered the number of days, so just come to the live show so ya don’t have to worry about it!)”
Congratulations to the new members of the Lil AVC X editing team for 2023: Derek Allen, Kavin Pawittranon, Kelsey Dixon, Ken Stern, No-Feet McGee, Olivia Mitra Framke, Rafael Musa, Rose Sloan, Sally Hoelscher, Sara Cantor, Steve Mossberg, and Will Eisenberg. We are so excited for the puzzles to come from this amazing lineup!
Lil AVC X is also recruiting constructors for the 2023 roster. Applications are due November 21.
Autostraddle, a progressive, feminist, LGBTQIA+ digital publication has begun offering crossword puzzles that center queer content. Puzzles so far are written by Brooke Husic and Rachel Fabi, with more constructors to come. Three mini puzzles each week are free to all, and a midi crossword is published Saturdays exclusively for Autostraddle’s A+ members.
A new crop of puzzle sources has come to our attention lately. We’re happy to share these in the Daily Links, but we also want to recommend them to our News and Notes readers. In standard crosswords we have learned of Completing the Square by Carter, Crossword Dilemmas by Emma Lawson, and Quid Pro by Andrew Anker; and in cryptics, Pix Puzzles by Pixlate and The Buzzle Blog by Celise. We have also started including The Chicago Maroon by University of Chicago students.
We’re also enjoying the work of Taylor Johnson and the ongoing suite of Lemonade Disco puzzles. Constructors of all experienced levels are encouraged to submit ideas. On the 17th of each month a new pack is released and the new prompt is announced.
Since the last News & Notes, Caryn L. Robbins (10/17), Rafael Musa (10/21), Joe Rodini (10/24), Nick Shephard (10/25), Ethan Zou (11/2), Juliet Corless (11/4), Jill Singer (11/6) made their NYT debuts! Congrats to everyone! Check out some of their other work we have enjoyed: Rafa’s AVCX+ “Can We Solve It? Yes We Can!” (with Kate Chin Park), Juliet’s work with The Daily Princetonian, Jill’s Spyscape “Inside Jobs“.
Thank you to our friends at the Fill Me In podcast, who in recent weeks have hosted a variety of guests to discuss topics in crossworld. Check out these episodes if you missed them: Rachel Fabi and Neville Fogarty talk about their work in making, solving, and streaming cryptic crosswords; Kate Chin Park and Will Eisenberg share their interesting origin stories; our own Matthew Gritzmacher discusses the history and future of Daily Crossword Links; and our own Shannon Rapp reviews some of her favorite indie puzzles over the last couple of months.
The New York Times is accepting applications for the second class of their Diverse Crossword Constructor Fellowship. Submissions open through December 1.
Beginning November 23 through January 3, 2023, The New York Times is accepting Sunday-size submissions only, directly by email to email@example.com. All other submissions are closed until after January 3.
Have a news tip for us? An idea to pitch? A puzzle or puzzle site to share? Let us know!