meta 3 days and some googling (4.06 avg; 8 ratings)
puzzle — untimed; meta — about 2 hours (Matt) (4.54 avg; 13 ratings)
Can it be a roundup if there are just two links? Better include three to be on the safe side.
I have been sniffling and coughing ever since returning from the Indie 500 and thus feeling undermotivated to do extra things like write up the tournament experience. Luckily, Michael Sharp took the time today to put together a lovely summation illustrated by photos taken by his terrific wife, Penelope. The write-up is spoiler-free, so don’t hesitate to click through if you haven’t solved the puzzles yet.
Me, sporting the FireballCrosswords.com Indie 500 Indie Spirit Award. (Photo by Penelope Harper. Hat styling by me.)
If you haven’t solved the Indie 500 puzzles but you do have $10, you owe it to yourself to click the “order” link and buy a solve-at-home puzzle pack. Be sure to try the tough Inside Track clues for the themeless finals puzzle before peeking at the more reasonable Outside Track clues, and imagine yourself on stage, wielding a dry-erase marker, spending painful minutes with no more than about 5 or 6 letters filled in (I had one gimme, a 3-letter bit of pop culture, blanked on all the other trivia clues, and filled in some plural S squares). A hundred people watching me act like I really don’t know how to work a crossword puzzle. It was a triumph to finish the puzzle clean before time was up … but a 16-minute themeless puzzle for me is like the most hostile Newsday “Saturday Stumper” of the year. (And I was clean on the five tournament puzzles! Yay, me! I keep making dumb mistakes at ACPT so it was nice to get my accuracy mojo back.) Hey, look, I did an Indie 500 write-up after all. One whole paragraph. Buy the puzzles. They are marvelous.
Matt Gaffney scopes out the month’s best puzzles, settles on his list of five finalists, and makes his choice for the month’s best. Here’s his May 2015 post. Matt showed great restraint in nominating only two of the Indie 500 puzzles. In a May top 10, they might all have made the cut.