Saturday, January 19, 2008

ACPT Registration Open, Programs Announced

"41 Days and Counting!" says the banner atop the home page of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. And with that, Will Shortz has announced the evening events and opened registration.

The Friday games will feature Eric Berlin's "Brooklyn Crossword Extravaganza" brainteasers.

Saturday will be Game Show Night, and also featured will be a film by Ed Stein called "Wordploy". (Hmmm...)

For Sunday, Grant Barrett, co-host of the radio program "A Way with Words", will be taking over from Neil Conan as co-commentator of the Sunday B and A finals along with the ever-stalwart Merl Reagle. Barrett and his radio co-host Martha Barnette will hand out the prizes at the awards luncheon.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"The Cross-Wits" Rides Again

An incredible find over on YouTube: someone has posted a nearly-complete episode of the final season of the original version of "The Cross-Wits". This episode looks to be from 1979 or 1980 and boasts celebrity guests including Elaine Joyce and Nipsey Russell. Jack Clark hosts, and Jerri Fiala points at things with a stick. If you've never seen the original, it's worth a look, and if it's been awhile, have fun.

Here is the link to the first part, and from there you can access the other three parts.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Important Medical News!

Well, that's what they say in commercials, but this may hold some water. It's been long thought that mental exercises such as crossword puzzles help keep the brain active and may help ward off later-life dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Now, the author of "The Memory Cure", Dr. Majid Fotuhi, has teamed up with Will Shortz to present "The New York Times Crosswords to Keep Your Brain Young: The 6-Step Age-Defying Program".

This was one of two new NYT books issued by St. Martin's Griffin last week. The other, "Crosswords for Two", compiles 200 puzzles (including, I hear, one by yours truly) designed to be shared.

Friday, January 04, 2008

It's MEGA-Tastic!

Just got my copy of the new Simon & Schuster MEGA Crossword Puzzle Book, Volume 1. This just came out in bookstores today. Wow! This is enough to keep me busy for weeks on end. For the list price of $13.95, you get 300 original crosswords, including a healthy selection of 75 15x's, 75 mixed 17x's and 19x's, and 150 21x's. Many of your favorite authors in the old Crossword Puzzle Book series are represented here, and there are some new names too (including - and correct me if I'm wrong - the construction debut of Amy Reynaldo).

John Samson still continues as editor, now with three times the workload, as there will now be 900 puzzles used per year - approximately three times the amount required by a New York Times or Los Angeles Times Syndicate.

While I'm plugging things, I must put in a word for the 2008 New York Times Sunday Puzzle Appointment Book, from Pomegranate Press. It's a neat compilation of all the Sundays from October 2003 to October 2004, including a neat Leap Day puzzle by Patrick Merrell. One puzzle is misattributed to Kyle Mahowald instead of Joe DiPietro, but that's just a minor quibble. Neat package, nice paper that takes my favorite gel pen quite well. Got it for a gift in '07, bought it for myself in '08.