Category Archives: Callin’ Them Squares

A special section for the crossword-classifying “Callin’ Them Squares” feature, to make it easier on those who want to read several Saturday installments at once.

The Commemorative Fact-Finder (CTS, Pt. 7)

The fact-finders sneer at the anything-goes. In fact, they don’t have patience with a lot of other crossword forms. They’re not into dazzling wordplay. “More like frazzling nerd play,” harrumphs the Marian, and if it sees you chuckling at that, … Continue reading

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The Anything-Goes Crossword (CTS, Pt. 6)

What makes a niche become a genre? One artistic success in the niche is not enough. For every Black Sabbath, there’s at least one Weird Al Yankovic: a successful innovator who still fails to rally others behind his example. It’s … Continue reading

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The Pudding Crossword (CTS, Pt. 5)

Last time out, we asked: Is it possible to do a decent themeless “seedless?” Since we’re devoting an entire chapter to the answer, you’ve already guessed it’s not as simple as “no.” You know it, I know it. Why even … Continue reading

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The Seed Patch Crossword (CTS, Pt. 4)

Researching this piece, I asked Brendan Emmett Quigley how he built his themelesses. From the bottom, he told me– pick a neat bottom-right word, like HACK-A-SHAQ, then stack two more on top of it. Then do a similar stack from … Continue reading

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The Mies Crossword (CTS, Pt. 3)

Time for another installment of T Campbell‘s “Callin’ Them Squares,” or “More Fun Than Crossword Taxonomy Probably Should Be.” Last time out, we were talking themelesses, and rubbing the term “themeless” in Matt Gaffney’s face. Undignified, really. Thing is, just … Continue reading

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Themelesses (CTS, Pt. 2)

Hey, everybody. T Campbell here, picking up where we left off last week. “Callin’ Them Squares” is a Saturday series that tries to define the many different types of crosswords, and make some observations to help constructors along the way. … Continue reading

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Callin’ Them Squares!: A Crossword Taxonomy, Part 1

Note from Amy: T Campbell, the guy who constructed the Ubercross “Fiddy” 50×50 crossword, has been doing a lot of thinking about crossword themes, coming up with labels and definitions for all sorts of themes. T is breaking up his … Continue reading

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