Crossworld News & Notes: February

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

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

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.

A jam-packed Crossworld News and Notes

Boswords 2023 Winter Wondersolve takes place February 5 beginning at 1:00pm ET. Registration opens January 21. We are excited about the event’s roster of constructors: Rebecca Goldstein, Damon Gulczynski, Enrique Henestroza Anguiano, and Joanne Sullivan.

Boswords has also released the roster for the 2023 Spring Themeless League, to take place in March and April: Ashton Anderson & James Mulhern, Kate Hawkins, Jenna LaFleur, Adrian Johnson, Hemant Mehta, Rafael Musa, Carly Schuna, Nancy Serrano-Wu, and one constructor to be chosen from an open submission process.

We’re looking forward to the smaller (and free!) second annual St. Louis Crossword Puzzle Tournament on March 4 with puzzles by Shannon Rapp and Patrick Blindauer.

The 45th Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford, CT is March 31 – April 2. Registration and hotel reservations are open now.

We hear word of two charity packs coming soon for our solving pleasure. Grids For Kids is a pack of 25 family-friendly puzzles launching in February. Shortly to follow will be the third round of These Puzzles Fund Abortion in March.

Among the changes at Crucinova under new management is the addition of a free monthly midi by editor Quiara Vasquez. The first one, “Good Housekeeping” (which actually verges on full-sized) we found delightful. Quiara is eager to entertain new queries from constructors of all levels of experience. Submit your ideas by email.

Secret Snowflake is an indie project coordinated by Rose Sloan and David Glasser in which constructors were randomly matched with each other to create custom puzzles. Not all of the thirty puzzles were released publicly, but here are a some that were: Litter Boxes by Lyle Broughton, January Stumper by Ada Nicolle, Costume Party by jseakle, Season’s Greetings by Rose Sloan, A PUZZLE FOR @TlMBERWOLVES by Paolo Pasco , Secret Snowflake Themeless by Max, Secret Snowflake by Christopher Adams, and Santa Puzzle 2022 by Xylo. (If we missed any, please drop them in the comments!)

In books, “Will Must Send Regrets: 101 Rejected Crossword Puzzles and the Stories Behind Them” by Damon Gulczynski is a new take on puzzle books; the puzzles are all past submissions to the New York Times, rejected. With “constructor notes and loosely tangential anecdotes, the puzzles tell a humorous, two-decade tale of repeated but endearing failure.” I’ve already gotten a copy, and while I haven’t solved the puzzles, I’m already hoping this is the first of a genre in the crossword scene.

Have we mentioned Stella Zawistowski’s coming book? I thought we must have, but maybe not (apologies if we have!) Bearing the title of her themeless-focused blog, “Tough As Nails Crosswords” features 72 “extra-challenging” grids from Stella. Preorders are open now, for a release on 28 March – just in time for ACPT.

P&A Magazine Issue 98 titled “X” is out now.

Congratulations to Hoang-Kim Vu, who has joined the editing team at AVCX+.

Congratulations to Jeff Chen, who as joined the team at Andrews McMeel Universal and will be the editor of Universal Sunday Crossword. Along with this news, Universal has announced they are now accepting submissions with a wider range of features. As always, we recommend constructors consult Matthew Stock’s spec sheet sheet for the most up-to-date submission specifications.

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 March 28 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. The last session’s co-constructed puzzle, “Marvel, Extended Universe” is solvable online.

Hayley Gold’s next monthly cryptic stream is set for 9pm eastern on Wed., Jan. 18th. Hayley, Will and Al will be joined by special guests from the cryptic outlet The Rackenfracker.

New York Times Associate puzzle editor and Wordle editor Tracy Bennett appeared on the TODAY show to discuss her work with Wordle.

We enjoyed reading “Yesterday and tomorrow in puzzles“, a 2022 round up in “Puzzle Buzz”, the newsletter from amuselabs. Some of our favorite outlets across the community, new and old, got nice callouts for their work.

We mentioned “Outside the Blocks: A Puzzle Podcast” from Emma Oxford and Will Pfadenhauer of Pandora’s Blocks Weekly Meta Crossword when they launched in 2022. The newest episode includes an interview with Mike Dirolf, aka “mike d” aka “The Crosshare Guy.” (Sneak peek: we get a definitive answer as to how “crosshare” is pronounced.)

And some updates from the inside: We are pleased to welcome Rich Iurilli to the DCL team! You can expect to see him contribute to some daily emails and News and Notes. We’ve also been continuing to add new features to the site: More Puzzles, a listing of sites that have been dormant long enough that we don’t keep an eye on them anymore but are still full of puzzling entertainment; the beginnings of a community calendar, and a bit About Us. We also want to hear from you – if you have an idea about something you’d like to see us offer or have feedback about any of our features, please let us know.

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!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Crosshare Community: Daily Mini and Featured Puzzles.
Crossword Dilemmas: nov 23 2022 by Emma Lawson. .pdf, online.
Good Clues For People Who Love Bad Clues: Grid I Made In Math Class While Everyone Else Was Taking The Test Because I Took It On Friday by Frisco17. .puz, .pdf, online.
Grid Therapy: Free Association 76 by Trent H. Evans. .puz, .pdf, online.
Jeff’s Puzzles: Puny but Punny 2 by Jeff Linder. .puz, .pdf
Jonesin’: Free Throw by Matt Jones. .puz, .pdf, online.
Lexicon Devil: Reality Check by Richard D. Allen. .puz, .pdf, online.
M & M Crosswords: “Dinner is Served!” by Martina Waluk. .pdf, online.

Aries Puzzles: ($) Aries Freestyle #5.47 by Andrew J. Ries. Subscribe at link.
ClassiCanadian Crosswords: ($) A Man of the Cloth by Barb Olson. Subscribe at link.
Crossword Club: Daily Crossword: November 24, 2022 by Erica Hsiung Wojcik. .pdf, online.
Planet Crossword: Royal Themeless by Andrew Ries. Online.

The Atlantic Mini: by Caleb Madison. .pdf, online.
Crosswords with Friends: by Todd McClary. App Store | Google Play
Daily Beast: Casting Call, Thur, Nov 24, 2024 by Matt Gaffney. .pdf, online.
Daily POP Crosswords: by Janice Luttrell. App Store | Google Playonline.
Los Angeles Times: by Samantha Podos Nowak. Online, pdf. Free Cruciverb account for .puz.
LA Times Mini: by Elizabeth Gorski. Online.
New York Sun: ($) Moving In by Randall J. Hartman. Reissues from 2003.
New York Times: ($) by Pao Roy. Online, .pdf, app.
New York Times Mini: by Tracy Bennett. Online, app.
The New Yorker: The Crossword by Elizabeth C. Gorski. .pdf, online.
Newsday: Essay Test by Stan Newman. Online, .pdfbackup online.
The Telegraph: Cross Atlantic No. 4 by John Halpern. Online.
Universal: Secret Plan by Laura Dershewitz and Katherine Baicker. Online, pdf. .puz.
USA Today: Half-Hearted by Zhouqin Burnikel. Online, .pdf, app.
Vox: by Will Nediger. .pdf, online.
Vulture 10×10: The Cannibal Puzzle by Stella Zawistowski. .pdf, online.
The Wall Street Journal: Thanksgiving Spread by Mike Shenk. Online, .pdf. .puz.
Washington Post Daily Mini Meta: by Andrew White & Pete Muller. Online, .pdf.

Aries Puzzles: Twists & Turns #7 by Andrew J. Ries. .jpz, .pdf
A Cleverly-Titled Logic Puzzle Blog: Crypticrostic 18 by Grant Fikes .pdf
Bewilderingly: Puzzle #192: Parade Float (cryptic) by Will Nediger and Hayley Gold. .pdf.

Financial Times: FT Crossword: Number 17,260 by BASILISK. .pdf.
The Globe and Mail: The Daily Cryptic Crossword. .pdf, online.
The Guardian: Cryptic crossword No 28,923 by Picaroon. .pdf, online.
The Independent: Cryptic Crossword by Bluth. .pdf, online.
New Scientist: ($) Cryptic Crossword #97 by Wingding. Subscribe at link.
The Spectator: ($) Out of Place by Doc. Subscribe at link.

Other American-style crosswords:

Reviews and Discussion at Diary of a Crossword Fiend | Boatload Puzzles/AARP | Crosshare | CrosswordsBackwards | Cruciverbalista (en español) | Dictionaries6 | Easy Crossword | FreeDailyCrosswords | GameLab | Hard Crossword | r/crossword | | YourPuzzleSource | XWord-Muggles Meta Calendar

Other Cryptic/Variety crosswords:

A Frame Games | Links Library | Harper’s ($) | Lovatts | Magpie ($) | Mokelfish Links Library | MyCrossword | NPL | Panda Magazine ($) | Private Eye | PuzzleCrypt archives | Puzzling StackExchange | r/crosswords | Split Decisions | Sydney Morning Herald ($) | The Telegraph | The Times (UK) ($), includes The Listener

Crossworld News and Notes, September 2022

Don’t forget, we’re moving! For now we are still simulcasting via Substack and WordPress, but we will soon transition to only WordPress. Make sure you’re subscribed to the new site:

And we’re growing! We’ve added pages for Construction Resources and our entire list of puzzle sources. We also want to hear from you – is there a feature you want to see? Have an idea to pitch, a guest essay to submit, or a tip about some exciting puzzle news? Something else? Let us know!

We’re very happy to share our first essay, “On Trust,” by Will Eisenberg, exploring the relationship between a constructor and solver. A snippet: “A puzzlemaker can strive to evoke many things: happiness, nostalgia, the feeling of being ‘seen,’ the joy of an “aha!” moment, and even frustration. But the ability to evoke these emotions from the solver is built upon a base of trust. This is because a puzzle offers the solver one fundamental proposition: It is going to take you some time to work out the solution, but it will be worth it.”

We’re excited to add a home for guest essays here on our new site, and will build out public submission guidelines in time.

Congratulations to Kelsey Dixon, whose puzzle was chosen from an open call to round out the Boswords Fall Themeless League. She joins Derek Allen, Kate Chin Park & Chandi Deitmer, Malaika Handa, Natan Last, Barbara Lin, Portia Lundie, Brendan Emmett Quigley, and Brad Wilber. What a fantastic lineup! Registration is open now, and the League starts with the preseason puzzle on September 26.

New to Boswords? Check out the introductory video from organizer John Lieb:

Registration is open now for The Tenth Annual Finger Lakes Crossword Competition on September 24. After a Zoom-based kick off event moderated by Anna Shechtman, the puzzles are presented in a laid-back, self-timed, all-pdf format. The event is open to individuals and teams of up to four people with three levels of difficulty. The fee is pay-what-you-want and proceeds support adult literacy programs in the Finger Lakes area.

Final reminder that the Lollapuzzoola 15 puzzles are available for purchase through September 24. There’s so much good content here; get it while you still can!

My Jewish Learning, a site with resources to empower Jewish discovery for anyone interested in learning more, has launched a weekly Jewish themed mini crossword puzzle written by Rebecca Goldstein. They will also run larger Jewish holiday-themed puzzles throughout the year.

The first edition of Lemonade Disco has arrived! The theme of the 5-puzzle pack hosted on Taylor Made Crosswords is “Cocktail Mixer” and includes puzzles by Matt Forest, Emma Getman, George Ho, Seth Bisen-Hersh, and Glenn Cook. Puzzles are curated and edited by Taylor Johnson with help on this edition from guest editor Steve Mossberg. Constructors of any experience level may participate. Submissions for the third edition, “Rising Signs” are due on October 17. Submissions details here.

Crucinova has announced it will be drawing to a close by June 2023. We’ve enjoyed many of the innovative puzzles that Crucinova has made possible and we thank Lisa Bunker and all of the constructors for their work.

A hearty welcome back to Cursewords Live! After an extended summer hiatus, Parker Higgins and Ross Trudeau will be live solving and live creating puzzles once more starting tonight (September 18) at 8pm eastern.

AVCX Cryptics has re-opened for submissions during the month of September. Details here.

The Inkubator is open for submissions for the month of September for themed puzzles from women and nonbinary constructors. Details here.

Congratulations to Katie Hale, who has joined the L.A. Times team as Assistant Editor.

Since the last News & Notes, Adam Simpson (9/5) and Ekua Ewool (9/7) made their NYT debuts and Bonnie Eisenman (9/12) made her USAT debut! Congrats to everyone!

Hayley Gold, along with Will Nediger and Al Sanders, have issued a contest to write a full set of new cryptic clues for the grid “Un-American” by Stephen Sondheim. The filled grid is here and the original puzzle and clues are here. Submit contest entries to Hayley via Twitter dm. Hayley, Will, and Al are co-streaming cryptics on Will’s Twitch channel; next streams are October 6 and October 21 at 9pm eastern.

Hayley also wrote a in-depth rundown of Lollapuzzoola 15 for Beyond Wordplay and she was a guest on the podcast “Because Language” to discuss the state and history of cryptic crosswords and crossworld in general.

Champion speed solver Stella Zawistowski recently appeared on the YouTube show “Game On,” in which she raced viewers to solve a series of crosswords.

Thanks in preparing this issue to: Kate Chin Park, Hayley Gold, Rebecca Goldstein, and Taylor Johnson.

Have a news tip for us? An idea to pitch? A puzzle or puzzle site to share? Let us know!