1. Lollapuzzoola 5 is this Saturday
For details on Crosswordland’s most whimsical tournament, click here. Red-hot list of puzzlemakers: “In reverse alphabetical order by the last letter of their first name, this year’s constructors are Tony Orbach, Matt Gaffney, Karen M. Tracey, Patrick Blindauer, Elizabeth C. Gorski, Doug Peterson, and Mike Nothnagel.” I can’t make it to NYC this time, but will feast on the puzzles in the At Home division.
B. Another Merl Reagle crossword contest
Last year, I was locked out of Merl’s contest (which raises money for a worthy cause, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America) by dint of having won the B finals at the ACPT. Good news! This year’s contest is also open to crossword “professionals” (anyone who’s raked in at least $200 of crossword tournament winnings or crossword construction paychecks), in a separate division from “the public.” The grand prize is $2,500 in each division. So clear your calendar for the afternoon of Sunday, September 30. Details here.
III. Neville is ready to entertain you
Did you know Fiend blogger Neville Fogarty has a new puzzle blog? That’s right. He’s serving up a tasty new crossword every Friday.
Four. The Pre-Shortzian Puzzle Project
If you weren’t old enough to read and write before the New York Times’ Will Shortz era, if you weren’t obsessive about crosswords back then, or if you’d love to relive your solving adventures from, oh, 20 to 60 years ago, check this out. Teen constructor David Steinberg is heading up a project to “litz,” or convert into a solvable electronic form, all the pre-Shortzian NYTs and archive them at Jim Horne’s XWord Info site. David’s writing a blog about his mission. If you’d like to toss some financial support to the project, all XWord Info donations in August will be allocated to David and the Pre-Shortzian Puzzle Project; details at the JimHBlog.
Fünf. Marbles announces its 24th games/puzzles store
The newest Marbles store has its grand opening this Saturday, August 4, at Fashion Island (main level, atrium court, near Barnes and Noble) in Newport Beach, CA. Two other stores opened earlier this year in Southern California, at Topanga Mall and Santa Monica Place.