Thursday, February 01, 2007

Crossord Report: January '07

Did I mention my intent to solve every New York Times crossword puzzle published this year?

So far I've solved all 31 January puzzles but three (a couple nasty Fridays and a Saturday that I haven't made much headway on). On top of that, I've also solved various late-'06 NYT syndicated puzzles and USA Today puzzles, as well as Robert Wayne Williams's syndicated puzzles in The Seattle Times, the super-easy syndicated Sheffer Crossword Puzzle in the Seattle P-I, and the first 22 puzzles in this book. I've only solved about three-quarters of Frank Longo's World's Largest Crossword Puzzle -- the puzzle gets tougher as it progresses, so the final quarter looks to be a fucking nightmare.

Other than the weekly, online-only A.V. Club puzzle, I only solve crosswords on paper, and then only in ink (not 'cause I'm a showoff, but because I can't abide that pencil-on-newsprint, fingernails-on- chalkboards-type sensation). However, I can’t say I always finish them without help -- I estimate that for about 15% of ‘em, I need to consult Wikipedia or an online dictionary or some other source to, uh, git-r-done. Alright, so maybe I'm a bit obsessive -- go figure -- but this guy's just plain nuts.

Programming note: On today's Oprah, guests include NYT crossword editor Will Shortz and constructor extraordinaire Merle Regle. Also, breast cancer survivors give us their Oscar predictions!

Total crosswords solved in January 2007: 72
Total crosswords solved in 2007: 72
On pace to solve in 2007: 848


At 1:37 AM, February 05, 2007 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve, I never got your obsession with crossword puzzles. The few times I bothered to pick them up, I could never (6 letters, "end it")them in the time it took me to finish my slices of pizza, and I would usually toss the section back into the used paper pile by the door on the way out with my one or two scrawled entries added to the page. During her pregnancy, Jen decided to pick up a beginner's crossword puzzle book--the 'Monday' installment of the series--to keep her wits and mind, y'know, sharp as a (4 letters, "attaches calendar to wall"). I scoffed as she plugged away scribbling letter by letter down and across the pages, "I hate those damn things." Sure enough, the questions came: 3 letter word with a clever hint; 6 letters, starts with an A; 12 letters, common phrase. It went on like this for (4 letters, "seven in a week"), but I found that occasionally I was able to contribute. Finally, one day, when the Internet was down, I reached over and grabbed the book off the table and started in, all by myself. You can (7 letters, "former Beatle's hit song") what happened next. "I thought you hated those damn things! Well, help me finish the last one before you start a new one!" Things are progressing nicely. We hope to start the Tuesday installment of the series when Jonas starts school.

-Poppa jeep

At 6:09 PM, March 15, 2007 , Blogger Orange said...

You think that guy's nuts, you should see my blog. I finish about 150 crosswords a month.

At 8:56 PM, March 15, 2007 , Blogger Steve said...

Okay, Orange, I guess that makes you double-nuts... Nice work!


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