Saturday, April 29, 2006

Mark Your Calendars

The 30th Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament is scheduled for March 23-25, 2007. Our calendar is already marked in ink.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

"Wordplay" Set To Rock Tribeca

Patrick Creadon's incredible documentary "Wordplay" is a selection for this year's Tribeca Film Festival, set to begin next week in New York City. The film will be screened on Wednesday, May 3 at 5:30 and Thursday, May 4 at 1:30 at AMC Loews Lincoln Square, and on Saturday, May 6 at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 7 at 1:30 p.m. at AMC Loews Village VII. All tickets are $12.00.

There is a great poster out for the film. It has a crossword grid in the background, random letters morphing into a Benday rendition of Will Shortz's giant head, and a group of puzzlers standing with New York Times puzzles - namely, Al Sanders, Ellen Ripstein, Tyler Hinman, Merl Reagle, Trip Payne and Jon Delfin.

On a related subject, Nancy Shack has completed the DVD of the goings-on at Stamford this year. You can watch the Friday night Sudoku and Ken Jennings Quiz Bowl games, as well as all three finals and the awards ceremony. Plus, letters to Will Shortz. The video runs 2 hours, 22 minutes, and costs $3.50 for a DVD and $5 for a VHS. I've already got mine on order, and the price makes it a great bargain. You may order if you've got a PayPal account by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Word Of The Day: SURI

We start a new feature here after a week or so off for vacation, and that's the "Add of the Day", where we take a word that isn't in Crossword Compiler yet and recommend you add it, because in a few weeks the word will be everywhere.

Today's word is SURI. Why should you add this word? Because it's the name that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes gave their illegitimate hellspawn -- err, new baby daughter, born just yesterday. And if you've read the news, it was supposedly a "quiet birth", performed without painkilling drugs, and with barely any conversation in the room.

We had hoped Tom would more fully subscribe to this, as far as boasting of eating the mom's placenta. Which makes him no better than a cat. How's that cord tasting right about now, Tom?

Anyway, the new word for the day is SURI...learn it, live it, love it!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Other Starbucks Griping....

Amy Reynaldo and Trip Payne didn't win this thing, either. And they're as hacked off as we are.

Starbucks Contest: It's Over

Don't even bother. They have their winner, and I am guessing that the winner probably figured out what would be the most cutesy-pie correct answer possibility and called in at 5:00 p.m. with the correct answer WITHOUT benefit of solving the crossword.

Playing "Games" In July

The Puzzle Brothers will be represented in the July Games after a bit of while off, with my first appearance in the magazine. The puzzle will be a 21x21 offering called "Career Day". Still to come in Games (or World of Puzzles) will be a smaller puzzle called "Something Smells". We'll keep you posted on that one.

Coffee Clash: Starbucks Contest To Continue

It appears that there is no clear winner yet in the Starbucks Coffehouse Crossword Challenge, with reports from several bloggers and their teams noting good numbers of entrants who were able to get in under the wire. According to one report, Starbucks and contest runner Marden-Kane had their 750 "tied" first-responsers within fifteen minutes of the phones being open.

It will continue today for myself, and the many others in the x-wording blogosphere, with a phone call slated to come sometime after 11AM EDT with the location of the tiebreaking puzzle #1, edited by Will Shortz.

As is our policy here, we will not be the clearinghouse for any information regarding the puzzle unless it is clear that there are final winners announced (or they step forward and basically crow). But we must thank one of our favorite puzzlesmiths, Patrick Berry, for putting together a dazzling array of puzzles within puzzles for this contest.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Monday 4/3 NYT (spoiler if you haven't done it yet)

The most salient feature in the Monday Times puzzle is the use of the word SCUMBAG as one of the longer Down entries. There's been a lot of talk about it on several blogs, including a posting to the NYT forum by puzzle editor Will Shortz that reads in part:
...When I accepted [Lynn Lempel's] puzzle, the thought never crossed my mind this word could be controversial.

Merriam-Webster's 11th Collegiate and the American Heritage Dictionary both define "scumbag" only in the "scoundrel" sense. Random House does give both meanings, labeling the [used condom] one "vulgar" but the second one merely "slang."

In light of the above dictionary citations, I still think the word is acceptable for crossword purposes. Given the reaction to it, tho, I doubt I'll use it again.

Lynn Lempel also authored today's USA Today puzzle; the word SCUMBAG is nowhere to be found there.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Fresh Reagle Ink

Here's a little article about Merl Reagle, from whom I still have a fresh, undone AARP puzzle sitting on my desk to do. I doubt I would have finished as well as I did in Stamford if that Sunday puzzle were not a Reagle.

Read about Merl

(Thanks to Ennie for pointing out the link)