The 2013 Orca Awards

orcasThe Orcas are back! Budget cuts forced us to scrap the fancy-shmancy awards ceremony this year. (Now we’ll just have to imagine what Henry Hook would have worn on the black-and-white carpet.) We had a cute little magic show all planned and everything, but recent events led us to scrap it at the last minute. But, hey, we don’t need a splashy show to honor many of the great crossword puzzles from 2013. (Get it? “Splashy?” Orcas?)

As is tradition, the Orca Awards honor excellence in crossword construction and editing in several categories. This year, the Best Contest Crossword award joins the returning categories, and we’ll also confer both the Bob Klahn Award for Most Outstanding Clue and the Margaret Farrar Award for Constructor of the Year. The final award will be for Best Crossword of 2013.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NYT 3:57 (Amy)    (3.92 avg; 30 ratings)
Tausig untimed (Amy)    (4.10 avg; 10 ratings)
LAT 3:50 (Gareth)    (2.98 avg; 22 ratings)
CS 5:57 (Dave)    (3.13 avg; 8 ratings)

Still wondering what was up with the Tuesday NYT? Here’s the explanation. The first letters of all the clues spelled out various colors and animals, and those tied in with an illusion that constructor/magician David Kwong did at his TED Talk on Tuesday. So the primary audience for his puzzle would appear to be his amazed lecture attendees rather than us solvers.
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MGWCC #302

crossword 3:29
meta about 15 seconds    (3.83 avg; 9 ratings)
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Jonesin' 4:16 (Amy)    (3.75 avg; 6 ratings)
NYT 4:06 (Amy)    (2.16 avg; 56 ratings)
LAT 2:51 (Amy)    (3.50 avg; 12 ratings)
CS 5:15 (Dave)    (3.25 avg; 4 ratings)
Xword Nation untimed (Janie)    (3.86 avg; 7 ratings)
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Monday, March 17, 2014

NYT 3:16 (pannonica)    (3.29 avg; 24 ratings)
LAT 3:28 (pannonica)    (3.22 avg; 16 ratings)
BEQ 5:03 (Amy)    (4.00 avg; 9 ratings)
CS 5:56 (Dave)    (3.40 avg; 5 ratings)
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Posted in Daily Puzzles | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments

Sunday, March 16, 2014

NYT 9:58 (Amy)    (2.88 avg; 34 ratings)
Reagle 7:36 (Amy)    (3.50 avg; 11 ratings)
LAT 6:19 (Amy)    (3.77 avg; 11 ratings)
Hex/Hook untimed (pannonica)    (3.50 avg; 3 ratings)
WaPo 13:52 (Sam)    (4.38 avg; 12 ratings)
CS 8:17 (Dave)    (3.07 avg; 7 ratings)
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Posted in Daily Puzzles | Tagged , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Saturday, March 15, 2014

NYT 8:56 (Amy)    (4.08 avg; 36 ratings)
Newsday 8:33 (Amy)    (4.56 avg; 8 ratings)
LAT 3:34 (Andy)    (3.83 avg; 20 ratings)
CS 5:56 (Dave)    (3.50 avg; 6 ratings)
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Posted in Daily Puzzles | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments