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.