Friday, June 23, 2006

Here's Another Wordplay Review

This time from MAXIM Magazine. (I haven't actually gotten the issue with the review in print yet, but I'll be otherwise distracted when that issue comes to my house.)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Constructor Kendall Twigg dies

Sad news to pass along this morning: constructor Kendall Twigg, who took up the craft of puzzlemaking just a few years ago in his mid-80's, has passed away three weeks after being hospitalized after a fall.

Like so many nascent constructors, Mr. Twigg received much guidance and inspiration from Nancy Salomon, and then eventually branched out from under her tutelage and produced a number of puzzles on his own. Most recently, Mr. Twigg was producing later-week difficulty pizzles.

A quick guide to when Kendall Twigg was published in the LA Times and NY Times, based on Barry Haldiman's databases...

NYT Mon 07/19/04 (with Nancy S.)
NYT Mon 11/01/04 (with Nancy S.)
LAT Fri 11/19/04 (with Nancy S.)
NYT Mon 11/29/04 (with Nancy S.)
LAT Tue 12/28/04
LAT Fri 03/11/05 (with Nancy S.)
LAT Fri 06/03/05
NYT Mon 08/01/05
LAT Sat 08/27/05
LAT Sat 01/07/06

Thank you, and rest in peace, Kendall.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Another Modest Proposal...

Today's Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle by the always reliable Nancy Salomon is - you guessed it - another marriage proposal puzzle.

As in a puzzle that appeared several years ago in the New York Times (January 7, 1998, by Bob Klahn - here's the background info and here's the puzzle, if you're a registered user), one of the bottom theme clues is WILLYOUMARRYME, and one of the crossers is YES, clued appropriately (with the same exact clue from the Klahn puzzle, in fact).

E-mails to puzzle editor Rich Norris asking for more information were not returned, but I would assume the intended result was achieved.

If you want to do today's puzzle, either download the .PUZ file at Cruciverb or do it at the LA Times website.

Quote Of The Day #2

From the "Wordplay" review in the Newark Star Ledger (a fine newspaper that carries the Los Angeles Times puzzle):
And then, finally, it concentrates on a crossword-puzzle tournament which Shortz hosts every weekend in Stamford, Conn.

This Just In: Tyler Hinman has won Stamford for the 36th week in a row, eclipsing Trip Payne's old record of 35.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Quote Of The Day

Scanning a lot of the coverage of the "Wordplay" movie, opening today in NYC, I found this interesting quote from Patrick Creadon.... obviously he's spent a lot of time in our world, but how he can fit this answer into 12 squares is a little beyond my ken...
Will mentioned a really great clue the other day, which was, "It turns into a different story." It was a like a 12-letter word, and the answer was, "Spiral Staircase." Isn't that great?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Crosswords 101

Thou Shalt Not Repeat Theme Answer Words Elsewhere In The Diagram, Particularly In The Same Section Of The Puzzle.

Will at Borders: a brief report

Well, thanks to the Lincoln Tunnel being clogged (forgot you only have one tube going into New York at that hour), Bob and I pulled into NYC just a tad late to hear Will's opening remarks at Borders on Tuesday night. For about thirty minutes Will fielded questions from the crowd, the usual sort of questions Will gets about his job.

Then, a contest! (Oooh!) Will distributed copies of the New York Times puzzle for June 14, 2006 and offered prizes for the fastest solvers, and two bonus drawings for passes for the "Wordplay" movie when it starts its run in NYC.

Suffice it to say that one Puzzle Brother won his passes to the film legitimately, finishing first in just over 4 minutes to the gasps of the crowd, and the other (who wasn't quite so fast) lucked out in the drawing. (So now you know why we're not on the NYT applet today.)

Will then signed copies of the companion book to the "Wordplay" movie (published by St. Martin's Press), a neat little paperback that actually includes crosswords you can solve from the NYT and the entire brace of puzzles from both the 2001 (Ellen Ripstein's year) and 2005 ACPT's. The book pretty much follows the contour of the movie and even includes information on how you can make your own crosswords.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Will Shortz at Borders Next Tuesday

In conjunction with a tie-in book to the movie "Wordplay", Will Shortz will be doing an in-store at Borders, 10 Columbus Circle, on Tuesday, June 13 at 6:00 p.m. The Puzzle Brothers, both somehow omitted from the movie, will also be in attendance.

UPDATE: As part of the promotion of the film, Will Shortz will be appearing on "Late Show with David Letterman", Monday, June 12, at 11:37 p.m. EDT on CBS. Paris Hilton will also be on the show... wonder how long it would take her to do a NYT themeless? (Speaking of, congrats to Robair for finishing in an utterly blazing 4:46 on this past Saturday's NYT puzzle, making my 15:02 look absolutely sick by comparison!)