Welcome to Week 33!
1) Please keep Portland-native puzzle person Tom Gazzola in your thoughts this week. Tom was struck by a drunk driver while jogging on Wednesday, and has been in a coma from head injuries since. Tom is a member of NPL, and was my roommate in Cambridge during the MIT Mystery Hunt in January. I know many in the puzzling community already know much of this, but please, keep Tom and his family in your thoughts this week.
2) For many of you Indie 500 participants, the questions was asked how I was able to beat joon pahk in worse handwriting? This was a question I asked myself, and I thought I’d ask Evan Birnholz, who said that he had no say in who won that award.
Well, I made him involved this week.
On Tuesday or so this week, I printed out two puzzles from Devil Cross, specifically two medium-difficulty ones (#37 and #41), and solved them as quickly as I can.
Here are those results (click for larger):
First of all, I’m pleased with my performances on both puzzles. Perfect solve on one, one mistake on the other one. Technically, I had seen these puzzles before, as I do solve all of Evan’s puzzles (as well as the rest of the indie puzzles out there), but I’ve forgotten both theme and when I solved them. So, the times were still fair.
I’ve been solving in the same “crossword handwriting” for about a decade now. I’m consistent in my “star formation” As, my “reverse N” Hs, and my curvy Ls. I don’t actually write papers with this handwriting, but I certainly solve puzzles this way. I kind of forget what my crossword handwriting looks like, because to use the same joke I used at the event “My Helvetica has been consistent for years now”, since Across Lite does make handwriting a little more uniform.
I would say the puzzles I turned in while in DC were similar to this style of handwriting. So, was it that bad? Let me know if I truly did deserve my handwriting award.
3) A couple of projects in the works for the blog:
-Thanks to a nice suggestion by Sam Ezersky while in DC, I will publish a meta suite sometime this summer. Mind you, this will be a “puzzle hunt” type meta suite as opposed to a crossword meta suite, but it will still fill your puzzle needs. So, if you like Panda Magazine, this will be up your alley. I’ve written four puzzle hunts to date, so it’ll be nice to have some non-event puzzle hunt puzzles out there.
-I’ve been contacting people to update the X-word Files series, so I hope to have a new one sometime in the next month or so (because it both gives me a week off, and because I use it as a site traffic booster). Is there any crosswordese you’d like to see covered on here? Feel free to send me any suggestions by either comment or by email at cking.gow(at)gmail.com, but please refrain from any genus names. Because who cares about those, am I right?