August 30, 2005

Tools of the Trade

A couple days ago, two people in the NYT forum posted their hand-filled grids after they finished Byron Walden's Saturday monster, demonstrating large numbers of inky scribbled-over corrections. People, I love using a pen as much as anyone, but it doesn't have to be this way. Seriously. The Erasermate pen people have improved their product over the years. Once you wipe off the little glob of blue goo at the very beginning, you basically have a standard medium-point ballpoint pen, but with the delicious magic of erasability. And the eraser crumbs are far less noxious than pencil eraser crumbs. The down sides are that I haven't found Erasermates with a fine point, and I generally prefer the smoother feel of rollerball pens. And after doing several puzzles with an Erasermate, you can end up with an ink smudge on the pinkie.

If anyone has a contact with the Papermate company, you go ahead and tell them I'm available for celebrity endorsements. I used Erasermate pens at Stamford, after all, along with Tums for the finals—and yet not a single corporation has sought my paid endorsement. Do you believe that? It's a travesty.