This is an experiment, and may not last. But for now, here’s the most interesting crossword news of the week.
Top Story: The fifth Lollapuzzoola, unlike its namesake, continued in spite of inclement weather. Winners were Glen Ryan (who’s been racking up tourney wins this year) in the Local division and Joon Pahk in the “Express” division.
Already familiar to readers of this blog, Pahk gave some of his winnings, tickets to The 7th Monarch, an off-Broadway show featuring a crossword-obsessed would-be astronaut, to fellow finalist Francis Heaney. (Monarch invites attendees to bring solutions to its simple crossword puzzles to the show.)
The Lollapuzzoola puzzles are available for purchase online, but only until August 12.
Rising tenth-grader and published constructor David Steinberg‘s Pre-Shortzian Puzzle Project aims to digitize via Across Lite, or “litz,” every New York Times crossword from 1942 to 1993, when Shortz took over as editor. (XWordInfo already has the complete Shortz run.) It’s been announced here before, but what’s new is that longtime crossword-maker and mentor Vic Fleming is among those who’ve joined the effort. Among their recent discoveries: a puzzle where exclamation points are part of the grid.
A reminder: no matter how boring the road gets or how tempting it is to knock out just a few squares of the puzzle before you get where you’re going, don’t solve and drive.
If you think literature is dead, you haven’t met Don Manley, aka Pasquale, Quixote, Bradman, Duck and Giovanni. All five of his aliases are crossword-makers, a circumstance for which the former research scientist and publisher remains grateful (“I’m over 65 and with fairly modest state and occupational pensions. I need the money”). He is the all-time champion clue writer in the 40-year-old Azed competition, and his most recent win, this month, is a reference to a classic nonsense poem.
Shane Rogers has a new review of Shortyz Crosswords, but the real tech news this week comes from two new releases. The first is Crossword Buddies for the iOS, supplementing its existing incarnations. The second is Wordplay, Springy’s direct competitor to Words With Friends. Notably, both these games test speed as well as skill.