Meet one of the creators of the New York Times crossword puzzle

Magician David Kwong moonlights (er, daylights?) as a crossword puzzle creator for the New York Times. In the parlance of the craft, he is a "cruciverbalist," one who is adept at making, or solving, crossword puzzles. (Wired) Read the rest

Weird Al Yankovic co-authored today's New York Times crowssword puzzle

Weird Al Yankovic co-authored today's New York Times crossword puzzle. His collaborator was crossword constructor Eric Berlin who writes in the puzzle notes:

We batted around a few theme ideas, some of which seemed worth developing but none of which made it to the finish line. I suggested “The ____ Film Festival,” with that blank to be filled in with whatever struck Al’s fancy. He replied with a long list of cheese/movie puns, and I had no doubt that we had a winner. My very first attempt at the grid included one of my favorites from his list, QUESOBLANCA. I was under the misapprehension that queso is not just the Spanish word for cheese but also a specific kind of cheese. Whoops, not quite. (This was entirely on me, I should note — Al, not knowing during his brainstorming that the end result would be restricted to specific cheeses, had several cheese-adjacent puns in his list, including FONDUE THE RIGHT THING and CHEESY RIDER.)

Download a PDF of the puzzle here. Read the rest

Photos & Recaps from the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

 I start the New York Times Crossword every day (I can't always finish) and have often fantasized about throwing down with the real puzzle masters at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Photographer Rufus Mangrove was there last weekend, and his artful shots of the event make it look like a blast. Read the rest