March 21, 2009

Good news for L.A. Times constructors

In about a month (starting May 1), the rate paid for a daily L.A. Times crossword will increase from $60 to $85. Granted, the payment isn't competitive with the New York Times' $200, but (1) bear in mind the money is coming from Tribune Media Services, and the Trib is in dire financial straits, and (2) it's more generous than what USA Today, Games, and Universal pay.

The T.M.S. Daily Crossword (Monday through Saturday) is being discontinued, and the papers that ran the syndicated T.M.S. puzzle will now air the L.A. Times crossword edited by Rich Norris. So L.A. Times constructors will have a larger national audience for their work.

The L.A. Times crossword will also receive more focused attention in the blogosphere, as Rex Parker, PuzzleGirl, and I are launching a Rex-type (multimedia!) team blog dedicated to it. We plan to cover the 15x15 puzzles published Monday through Saturday, the syndicated Sunday puzzle edited by Rich Norris (syndicated nationwide but not printed in the L.A. Times newspaper), and Sylvia Bursztyn's Sunday Calendar puzzle (printed in the L.A. Times). URL to come when we start up, which may be as soon as Monday, March 23.