Project UpdateIt's been a slightly slower week on the proofreading front—I'm guessing that some people are still busy scoring Matt Ginsberg's word lists, since there's a lot of crossover between volunteers on these two projects! In any case, early Tuesday morning Todd Gross sent in 10 puzzles. Then Thursday afternoon an anonymous proofreader sent in 8 puzzles with 11 mistakes. And Friday Denny Baker sent in 32 puzzles. Thanks so much, everyone! We're still finishing up 1966 and will soon be into 1965, a year that had quite a few publication problems—mostly missing, duplicate, and incorrectly typeset puzzles. Definitely a challenge!
Blast! SolutionSpeaking of challenges, there were no correct answers to last week's Blast! from the Past. The clue, from the June 12, 1967, puzzle, was: "Guy, good or bad." The hint: "The answer is 3 letters (1 vowel, 2 consonants)." The answer was EGG! As usual, this week's Blast! challenge appears in the sidebar.
American Crossword Puzzle Academy and Hall of FameI recently came across an article in a 1992 CROSSW RD magazine about efforts to establish a crossword academy. The article, written by constructor and American Crossword Puzzle Tournament organizer Helene Hovanec, profiled Robert Guilbert, a marketing and communications executive and freelance writer who spent his final years trying to create a crossword academy. Guilbert's "vision was to recognize many levels of professional crossword people—constructors, editors, writers, publishers, contest winners—and house the Academy in a public institution in Washington, D.C."
|Photo of Robert Guilbert courtesy of CROSSW RD|
Intrigued, I Googled Guilbert and found a 1990 New York Times article by Randall Rothenberg, "Money Is the Word to Cruciverbalists." Apparently Guilbert had begun laying groundwork for the academy in 1988, which Rothenberg wrote about in his August 10, 1988, Times article, "Puzzle Makers Exchange Cross Words." The 170-member group, whose official name was the American Crossword Puzzle Academy and Hall of Fame, held its first—and seemingly only—meeting on Saturday, September 15, 1990, in New York and was attended by 28 constructors and editors. The meeting lasted for three hours and focused on "ways to improve contracts, fees and publishers' profits." This fascinating Times article, which you can read by clicking here, includes comments by Dorothy Davis, Maura Jacobson, William Lutwiniak, Eugene T. Maleska, Stan Newman, Lou Sabin, and John Samson. And another article on Guilbert and his academy appeared in a blog post on kolynychboss8, which you can see by clicking here; it includes comments by William Lutwiniak and Mel Rosen.
Unfortunately, as Helene Hovanec's article notes, Guilbert passed away shortly thereafter, and "the idea of the Academy seemed to die also." She adds, "No one in the puzzle field has expressed any interest in continuing the project as he envisioned it." I did find a listing for the academy on Bizopedia, which you can see by clicking here. It shows that the academy was registered as a Wisconsin Non-Stock Corporation on June 9, 1989.
I wonder whether there would be interest today in reviving the academy or creating something like it. If anyone has any thoughts about this, please feel free to comment or contact me directly. And if you attended this historic meeting and care to reminisce about how it went, I'd welcome any comments on that as well!