Saturday, December 31, 2016

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from December (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Tuesday.

Polite telemarketer's mantra............IDONTRECALL
Bad name for a chauffeur................REX
One who shortened Life sentences?.......EDITOR
City, that despite its name, is smaller 
than Little Rock........................BOULDER
Provider of limited coverage?...........THONG
Lab coat?...............................DOGHAIR

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Clever Clue of the Month


November 2016
Clue: Struggle with hopelessness?............LISP
Constructor/Editor: Brendan Emmett Quigley
brendanemmettquigley.com, Monday, November 14, 2016


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from November (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Saturday.

Professional boxer?.....................MOVER
Historic sewer..........................BETSYROSS
Struggle with hopelessness?.............LISP
Go over again, as one's writing?........BACKSPACE
Mitt with ten fingers...................ROMNEY
Inheritance that may be the start of 
something big?..........................FATGENE

Friday, November 11, 2016

Homage to a Crossword Lover

Even though this story first appeared about two weeks ago, it seems fitting to post it today - Veterans Day - in honor of a WWII veteran and fellow crossword lover.

The Washington Post failed to include it's crossword puzzle in it's October 26 newspaper. A faux pas like this of course brought a lot of angry letters, but to one reader it was a fitting homage to his great grandfather:


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Clever Clue of the Month


October 2016
Clue: Unhand or disarm?........................MAIM
Constructor: James Mulhern, Editor: Will Shortz
NYT, Saturday, October 22, 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from October (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Thursday.

Source of criminal charges?.............TASER
Jobs that involve taking notes?.........HEISTS
@!#?@!, e.g. ...........................SYMBOLS
It's bound to go to blazes?.............FIREENGINE
Subjects of savings accounts?...........RESCUERS
Unhand or disarm?.......................MAIM

Monday, October 3, 2016

Clever Clue of the Month


September 2016

Clue: Lemon aid?............................................TOW
Constructor/Editor: Elizabeth C Gorski
Crossword Nation, Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Friday, September 30, 2016

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from September (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Monday.

Directive that has some teeth to it?....OPENWIDE
Rear area?..............................PROCTOLOGY
Lemon aid?..............................TOW
Check for shots.........................BARTAB
Three-legged five footers...............BABYGRANDS
Explosion surrounding a star?...........MEDIAFRENZY

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Musical Life of Merl Reagle

Everyone knew Merl Reagle as the puzzle guy, the Tucsonan who made it big on a national stage as the constructor of puzzles published in newspapers around the country including the Arizona Daily Star. Read the article here


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Clever Clue of the Month


August 2016
Clue: Change out of an old pair of pants?......FOUNDMONEY
Constructor: Neville Fogarty, Editor: Will Shortz
NYT, Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from August (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Saturday.

Change out of an old pair of pants?.....FOUNDMONEY
Grape nuts?.............................WINOS
Item once popular in counter cultures?..ABACUS
People who barely move?.................STREAKERS
Crook in sports.........................DOGLEG
"Dude...your fly".......................XYZ

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Elderly Woman Solves Crossword Puzzle Artwork Then Claims to Own the Copyright


According to Glyn Moody of Ars Technica UK, a ninety-year-old German woman who filled out Fluxus artist Arthur K√∂pcke’s crossword puzzle work during her visit to Nuremberg’s Neues Museum is claiming that she is now a collaborator on the work and therefore holds the copyright. More...

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Clever Clue of the Month


July 2016
Clue: Boxing ring?...........................BLACKEYE
Constructors: Josh Knapp, Editor: Will Shortz
NYT, Saturday, July 9, 2016

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from July (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Thursday.

Stuck in the sea........................HARPOONED 
Boxing ring?............................BLACKEYE
Lose density............................SMARTENUP
Site of a big pile on the floor.........SHAGRUG
Chair alternative.......................NOOSE
Something hard to get off your chest?...TATTOO

Friday, July 15, 2016

91-year-old woman fills out crossword that turns out to be $116k artwork in German museum

A 91-year-old woman reportedly used a ballpoint pen to fill in the blank spaces on a $116,000 crossword artwork on display in a German museum.


The work, by avant garde Danish artist Arthur Koepcke was on loan to the Nueus Museum in Nuremberg from a private collector, the BBC reported.
More...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Clever Clue of the Month


June 2016
Clue: Tender towards one's exes?..................ALIMONIES
Constructors: Byron Walden & Brad Wilbur, Editor: Will Shortz
NYT, Saturday, June 4, 2016

Friday, July 1, 2016

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from June (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Tuesday.

Tender towards one's exes?..............ALIMONIES
Completely lost... unless you're a 
pirate, and if so, carry on.............ATSEA
Get the word out?.......................CENSOR
"I'm driving here!".....................FORE
Where many grunts may be heard?.........ARMYBASE
Dangerous activity with a safe goal?....BANKJOB

Friday, June 3, 2016

Clever Clue of the Month


May 2016
Clue: Support for a movement?......................TOILETSEAT
Constructor/Editor: Peter Gordon
Fireball Crossword, Thursday, May 12, 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from May (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Friday.

Labor pain..............................UNIONSTRIKE
Rectangle that may have more than four
sides?..................................MENU
Support for a movement?.................TOILETSEAT
What separates the gulls from the
buoys?..................................WEBBEDFEET
Front runner?...........................DESERTER
Kent state?.............................SUPERMAN

Thursday, May 12, 2016

USA Today Drops Timothy Parker


According to the New York Times, Timothy Parker, a crossword puzzle editor who was investigated over accusations of plagiarism will no longer have his work appear in USA Today, the newspaper’s parent company, Gannett, and a crossword puzzle vendor, Universal Uclick, said on Tuesday.

The web-site Five-Thirty-Eight added, USA Today will still get its crossword puzzles from Universal, as it has for years, but neither it nor Gannett will publish any that are edited by Parker.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Clever Clue of the Month


April 2016
Clue: Earthling who grew up near Venus?.....SERENA
Constructor/Editor: Evan Birnholz
Evan Birnholz's Washington Post Crossword, Sunday, April 10, 2016


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from April (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Tuesday.

You might put stock in it...............SOUP
Remote possibilities....................CHANNELS
Lousy sausages?.........................WURSTS
Earthling who grew up near Venus?.......SERENA
Major scale figure?.....................FAHRENHEIT
Hillary aides...........................SHERPAS

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Clever Clue of the Month


March 2016
Clue: Lures for anglers...................................LAKES
Constructor: CC Burnikel, Editor: Rich Norris
LA Times, Thursday, March 10, 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from March (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Sunday.

Lures for anglers?......................LAKES
Denoting the style in which one might 
consider this clue to be written........VERBOSE
Trying to avert a strike, perhaps.......ATBAT
"V.I.A.G.R.a 4 FR33!", perhaps..........SPAM
Dead centers?...........................CRYPTS
Mass distribution?......................WAFERS

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Embattled Crossword Editor Stepping Away - For Now


The saga continues:
The longtime editor of two major crossword puzzle series is temporarily stepping away from his editorial role, the puzzles’ publishers announced Monday, three days after FiveThirtyEight published an investigation into accusations of plagiarism against him. 
The subject of the investigation, Timothy Parker, edits both the USA Today Crossword and the syndicated Universal Crossword. The copyright for both puzzles is owned by Universal Uclick (formerly the Universal Press Syndicate). According to an analysis of a newly completed database, 65 puzzles edited by Parker perfectly replicated themes and theme answers that were originally published in New York Times puzzles, with some using the same clues and grids. Hundreds more USA Today and Universal puzzles, edited by Parker, were re-published in those same two outlets with extremely minor changes and often under fake author names.
More of article here.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

A Crossword Plagiarism Scandal


It appears that plagiarism has hit the crossword world! Oliver Roeder reports in the online publication, FiveThirtyEight.com:

A group of eagle-eyed puzzlers, using digital tools, has uncovered a pattern of copying in the professional crossword-puzzle world that has led to accusations of plagiarism and false identity.
Since 1999, Timothy Parker, editor of one of the nation’s most widely syndicated crosswords, has edited more than 60 individual puzzles that copy elements from New York Times puzzles, often with pseudonyms for bylines, a new database has helped reveal. The puzzles in question repeated themes, answers, grids and clues from Times puzzles published years earlier. Hundreds more of the puzzles edited by Parker are nearly verbatim copies of previous puzzles that Parker also edited. Most of those have been republished under fake author names. 
See more of article here.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Clever Clue of the Month


February 2016
Clue: Carrier for bum wraps.................DIAPERBAG
Constructor/Editor: Elizabeth C Gorski
Crossword Nation, Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Monday, February 29, 2016

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from February (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Thursday.

Defensive line?.........................IMJUSTSAYING
Secret behind the shed?.................DIETPILL
Carrier for bum wraps...................DIAPERBAG
School in which ideally there are no
classes?................................MARXISM
Activity in which love means nothing....TENNIS
They're drunk at socials................TEAS

Sunday, February 7, 2016

What 74 Years of Crossword History Says About the Language We Use

Article by

EDUCATED Americans consider themselves a cosmopolitan bunch. We follow the conflict in Ukraine between Donetsk and Kiev, and can probably point to them on a map. We enjoy bibimbap and paella, which we try to pronounce with an appropriate accent. Some of us can identify the work of Igor Stravinsky, Youssou N’Dour and Ai Weiwei. The rest of us are going to go look them up on Wikipedia now.
But we are more parochial than our grandparents’ generation, according to one indicator: the New York Times crossword puzzle.
With the permission of Will Shortz, the Times’s crossword puzzle editor, I recently downloaded all of the newspaper’s crosswords from February 1942, when the puzzle began, through the end of 2015...



Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Clever Clue of the Month


January 2016
Clue: Mating situation..........................CHESSTOURNAMENT
Constructors: Doug Peterson & Patti Varol, Editor: Rich Norris
LA Times, Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from January (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Wednesday.

Wraps around the subcontinent?..........SARIS
Market not to be bullish in?............CHINASHOP
Encryption sites?.......................TOMBS
Worry, about how a slow-cooked dish of 
meat and vegetables will turn out, 
perhaps.................................STEW
Mating situation........................CHESSTOURNAMENT
It comes after 49.......................ERS

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Spelling Bee

Try your hand at the actual 2015 Preliminaries Test and see if you could have qualified for the Semifinals at the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee. (I didn't qualify.)


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Why everyone over 40 forgets their PIN number but oldies are better at crosswords than their children


Losing your keys, popping upstairs to get something, then forgetting what it was - we all have memory lapses, but are our 'senior moments' really due to advancing age? Here Tanith Carey reveals the fascinating truth about how your memory changes through life...

Monday, January 4, 2016

Clever Clue of the Month


December 2015
Clue: Canniest, for instance...........................ANAGRAM
Constructor/Editor: Matt Jones
Jonesin' Crossword, Tuesday, December 15, 2015