Project UpdateThis week was jump-started last Friday afternoon by Todd Gross, who sent in 9 puzzles with 58 mistakes. Then less than an hour later Denny Baker sent in 14 more. On Sunday afternoon Mark Diehl sent 13, which were followed by another 14 from Denny that night. And Wednesday night Denny sent 13 more. Great job, everyone, and thanks again! I'm now sending out puzzles from 1943—the end is definitely in sight, and by early next week I should have the 1955 puzzles ready to send to XWord Info!
Denny Baker's C. E. Noel Discovery
As Denny was proofreading this past week, he made a great discovery: The December 24, 1944, puzzle was by C. E. Noel, which he pointed out was an obvious pseudonym. I hadn't noticed that before, and when Denny wondered who it could have been, my guess was Charles Erlenkotter. Charles published five puzzles in the Times in 1942, including the first one ever on February 15, 1942; three in 1943; and one—if this was indeed his—in 1944. According to my records, this puzzle was his last for the Times, and Ancestry.com lists a Charles Erlenkotter who passed away in 1948 in White Plains, New York. Thanks so much again, Denny, for noticing this pseudonym!
Mark Diehl Five-Time Blast! WinnerLitzer, proofreader, and now Blast! solver extraordinaire Mark Diehl is on a winning streak! On Monday at 10:30 a.m., after three letters had been revealed, he was the first to solve last week's super-hard Blast! challenge and is now the first five-time Blast! winner—congratulations again, Mark! The clue, which was from the June 16, 1952, puzzle, was "Legal status for oleo in New York, July 1, 1952." The answer: PRECOLORED. Sounds appetizing . . . not!
|Image courtesy of beachpackagingdesign.com.|
This week's Blast! challenge is up in the sidebar, as usual—good luck!
Margaret Farrar in CROSS WORD Magazine
|Photo copyright 1992, 2015, Megalo Media, Inc. Re-|
printed by permission of Stan Chess and CROSSW-RD
I've been continuing to make my way through the old issues of CROSSW RD Magazine, and this week I've posted Helene Hovanec's wonderful portrait of Margaret Farrar on Scribd. "A Crossword Hall-of-Famer: Margaret Farrar" was originally published in the November/December 1992 issue of CROSSW RD Magazine; to read it, click here. The article was introduced by Helene's short piece "Robert Guilbert's Crossword Academy," which you can read here. Guilbert spent the final years of his life trying to establish a crossword academy; I wrote about him and his American Crossword Puzzle Academy and Hall of Fame in posts on November 21, 2014; December 5, 2014; and December 19, 2014. Although Guilbert's vision was never realized, Helene pointed out that "the raison d'etre behind his Academy—honoring the people who have contributed most to the profession—will continue in another format—through CROSSW RD magazine's establishment of a Crossword Hall of Fame." Margaret Farrar was the first inductee.