Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"Crosswords" Is Great Fun!

Hey, we caught the first couple episodes of "Merv Griffin's Crosswords" and we think it's off to a fine start. It's airing in good time slots in many markets (including New York) and has a lot of the old, traditional game show trappings that have gotten lost in recent shows, like announcer (Edd Hall), neat-looking set (by Bob Rang, who's worked on Merv's shows for over 30 years), and catchy theme music (actually an old stock theme of Griffin's which he wrote for a busted pilot called "Buzzword").

The contestants are apparently crossword-savvy, knowing to match case and tense in answering the definitions (even if the puzzle makers don't - we've already been hearing reports of inaccuracies in the puzzles) and understanding some answers are two words. The producers are expecting the audience to be, too, as a lot of this background information isn't really explained. Puzzles are pretty good so far; haven't seen any "writing" credits so I don't know exactly who the constructors are, other than "puzzle producer" Timothy Parker.

The one tricky part of the show is the introduction of "spoilers" into the second round of the game. These are people who can steal one of the two playing positions if the two active players can't come up with the correct answer.

We're hopeful of a nice run for this show, so please watch it and tell your friends to. This is a great advertisement for our hobby and profession.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Washington Post Crossword To Be Discontinued

The editor of the Washington Post Sunday crossword, Fred Piscop, has announced that the feature is being discontinued as of March 31, 2008.

In a statement to cruciverb-l, Piscop cites financial reasons for the discontinuance of the crossword.

Piscop has enough puzzles to cover the remaining time period so he is no longer soliciting contributions. Meanwhile, the Post will begin carrying Merl Reagle's puzzle on April 7.

EDIT: Talked to Robert about this today and his response was, "Sudoku has claimed its first victim."

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

"The Puzzle Sister" Breaks Into Print

Regular followers of The Puzzle Brothers will no doubt have noticed the name Tracy Meyer bandied about here. Today, Tracy has another reason to be proud (besides that diamond on her left-hand ring finger that's been there since last Saturday). She will soon be receiving her first credit on a published crossword and it's going to be for The New York Times! Tracy helped me with the theme for this puzzle (coming up with the majority of the theme entries, in fact), and I'm afraid I can't tell you much more about it until it's published. So congratulations to Tracy on her first puzzle!

What's even more fun is that Tracy's getting her two daughters involved in the puzzle world! So you might be seeing more Meyers (or more Mackeys, if they happen) at the big tournaments before too long!