Puzzle Predictions for the Indie 500 2019


Hey everyone!

So, it has been a while. In short, holding a full-time job decreases some puzzle making, but I promise you I’ve still been making puzzles. I’ll have things to announce soon, but hopefully during the summer, we’ll have some more puzzles on this site.

Tomorrow is the Indie 500 tournament, the indiest crossword tournament this nation has to offer, and I will be in DC later today! Very excited to see everyone once again, and I’m gearing to bringing home some more hardware.

So, for the last four years, it has been my solemn duty to predict every puzzle in the Indie 500, and to date, I have had a absolutely, 100% correct rate. About this ability, Will Shortz once said “Chris, I can’t believe you solved that Puzzle 5 in under 2 minutes”. It’s a gift.

So, once again, here are the puzzles we shall see in the Indie 505.

Look, this tournament has made it impossible to guess which constructors are paired up, so as tradition, I’ll use the organizers as the base.

Andy Kravis – Andy thinks because he’s crushing puzzles Downs-only on Twitch, Andy finally shakes it up and has a puzzle Acrosses-only. I mean, any puzzle can be Across-only if you make the thematic clues Downs, so Andy finally puts his hobby on its head, or more correctly, on its side.

Angela Olson Halsted – You know, we’ve been promised pie for half a decade now, and I have yet to see a pie puzzle, so Angela finally delivers the baked goods with a puzzle all about pie. Of course there is folly, as writing a pie puzzle will often result in a pie to the face, but Angela will weather the decadents with a puzzle FINALLY about pie, which will be rated tin out of tin.

Erik Agard – Erik is certainly a musically inclined person, who really tries to include many musicians and songs in his puzzles, especially highlighting R&B/rap musicians as well as current musicians. And keeping with this musical tradition and appealing to a mass audience, Erik’s puzzle will be a puzzle based on The Beatles. Especially with the new movie coming out, this puzzle will feature some of your favorite songs symmetrically placed.

Neville Fogarty – Like me, Neville spends a lot of time on Twitter. So, Neville finally put Twitter to good use by having a puzzle that includes Twitter (15)s. If you are active on crossword Twitter, you’ll know that people try to come up with new grid-spanning phrases, and most often, they never go into a puzzle. In the last year, Neville came up with the (15)s of BRAND AMBASSADOR, POOP TRANSPLANTS, YOU MAKE MY DREAMS, TWITCH GAMER LIFE, READ THE SYLLABUS, RNG MANIPULATION, SCROTATION MARKS, and I’LL SEE YOU IN HELL. Looking forward to some fun quadstacks this weekend.

Peter Broda – The most technological savvy of this crew, Peter sticks with his computer roots and writes a puzzle with words debated by the Cruciverb-L email list. Featuring the best constructors of the 90s, this email list debates the usability of words like OH BAH, WABI-SABI, ACHOOED, BESRA, II SAMUEL, WINGDAM, and HI SCORE. Peter wrangles all these together for a fantastic puzzle.

If you’ve been practicing other puzzles, please shred those posthaste, and start working with these prompts.

It’s going to be a good one. Looking forward to seeing you all out there!