Project UpdateThis week we hit another milestone when I sent the proofread 1954 puzzles to XWord Info—there are now 40 years of puzzles up for everyone to enjoy! Thanks again to Jim Horne for hosting them and making sure they're displayed as well as they can be!
The proofread puzzles have been coming in at a more relaxed pace over the past two weeks, in part because there's not much proofreading left! The evening of Saturday, May 30, Denny Baker sent in 13 puzzles, after which I e-mailed him the very last batch for proofreading—all the way back to February 15, 1942! Sunday morning he sent in those 11 puzzles, and then Monday afternoon Dave Phillips sent 6 more. Tuesday afternoon, May 2, Mark Diehl sent in 13 puzzles from a ship on his way to Tallinn, and then about an hour later another 9. There are only a few more puzzles out there, and I'm hoping to have those back within the next two weeks. After that, there won't be any more litzing or proofreading until we're able to track down some of those missing puzzles! Great job, everyone—thanks so much again!
Alan DerKazarian's Missing Puzzles ResearchA couple of months ago I received an e-mail from Alan DerKazarian, a librarian at the Cambridge [Massachusetts] Public Library. Since there's a New England edition of The New York Times, Alan wondered whether the Boston Public Library might have microfilms of the missing puzzles and volunteered to check. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to find anything there; he did discover, though, that in 1948 the Times introduced an international edition, which was produced in New York and airmailed to Paris for publication a day later. "Starting in 1960," Alan reported, "it was set by teletype for same-day publication." Apparently in 1967 the Times discontinued its international edition and joined with the owners of the defunct Herald Tribune and The Washington Post to publish The International Herald Tribune in Paris.
|Image courtesy of andrewcusack.com.|
"So the international edition of the Times was never produced in Europe," he concluded, "meaning the paper strikes likely affected production of these issues as well." Alan recommended contacting either the New York Public Library or the Times (which, I told him, someone else had already tried). Alan had originally suggested I try traveling to Europe—a suggestion I liked a lot, by the way! But since it will be a while before I'm able to do that, if any readers in Great Britain or France would like to look into this some more, I'd be most grateful!
Despite Alan's discouraging findings, I still do have hope that we'll locate at least some of the puzzles. Margaret Farrar wrote the following in her introduction to Crosswords from the Daily Times–Series 9:
The crosswords that appear daily on the book page of The New York Times have been published concurrently in Paris and in Los Angeles since the inauguration of the International and the Western editions, in 1960 and 1962, respectively. When newspaper publication in New York was suspended, in December 1962, the crosswords kept on going, flying east and west, until the twain met again in New York on April 1, 1963.
Mark Diehl Six-Time Blast! WinnerOn Monday, June 1 at 2:28 p.m.—just three days after I posted the May 29 Blast! challenge, with only three letters revealed, and while traveling between Copenhagen and Tallinn—Mark Diehl sent in the correct answer and became the first six-time winner! Congratulations again, Mark! The clue from the March 20, 1952, puzzle was "Reluctant new taxpayer." The answer: BOOKMAKER. I'll bet there were plenty of objections to that change!
|Image courtesy of sportsbookreview.com.|
The new Blast! challenge is up in the sidebar, and it's a doozy—good luck!