Project UpdateAnother year is done: The 1958 puzzles, which you can see here, are now up on XWord Info—thanks again to Jim Horne for hosting them! And we're well on our way with more—Friday night Mark Diehl sent in 31 proofread puzzles, then another 22 Saturday night, and 18 more later on! Sunday morning he sent in 13 puzzles, which were followed by 21 more late that afternoon. Early Monday morning Todd Gross sent 10 puzzles with 50 mistakes (and a grand total of 403, if you count all the missing periods!). Then Tuesday morning Mark sent another 14 puzzles, with 19 more appearing that night. Wednesday morning Todd sent in 10, which were followed by 15 from Denny Baker and then 31 more from Mark and another 7 from him just after noon—a banner morning for proofreading if there ever was one! Thursday morning Todd sent 11 more, then that afternoon Mark sent another 28, which were followed by 28 more that evening from Denny. And Friday morning Mark sent another 31 puzzles. Thanks so much again, everyone—we've made tremendous progress this week!
I'll be attending an admitted students event at Stanford (not Stamford!) for several days next week, so the next blog post will be in two weeks, when I hope to be finished with the 1957 puzzles! As always, you can continue to send in proofread puzzles while I'm gone, though I may not be able to send out any new ones until my return.
Mark Diehl First to Solve Blast! ChallengeMark Diehl was the first person to solve last week's Blast! challenge—he sent in his answer late Saturday night, after only one letter (the E) had been revealed! Congratulations, Mark! The clue from the July 12, 1956, puzzle was "Quest of the modern 'forty-niner.'" The answer: URANIUM ORE. This clue certainly enriched my understanding of the 1950s!
As usual, you'll find the next Blast! challenge in the sidebar—the name of the first person to solve it correctly will be announced in two weeks!
Frances Hansen in CROSSW RD MagazineI've been going through a few more issues of CROSSW RD Magazine, and this week I've posted Helene Hovanec's wonderful profile, "The Limerick Lady," of the legendary Frances Hansen on Scribd—to read it, click here. Although Frances was perhaps most famous for her limericks, she can also be credited with popularizing the rebus puzzle: She was among the first constructors to regularly use this then-novel gimmick. Another interesting thing about Frances is that although her first Times puzzle on record dates back to 1964, she didn't publish any daily-sized crosswords until 1983! She was truly a master of Sunday grids.
|Photo copyright 1992, 2015, Megalo Media, Inc. Reprinted|
by permission of Stan Chess and CROSSW-RD Magazine.
The article mentions that one of Frances's puzzles inspired humorist Russell Baker to write "Crashing into Crosswordland," a hilarious column that appeared in the January 19, 1975, New York Times and that can be accessed for free through many libraries on ProQuest.