June 18, 2009

More crosswords!

Cathy Allis (who used to use the Millhauser name) has a new gig at National Geographic. Her first "Geopuzzle," for the July 2009 issue, is right here (you can print out a PDF). I haven't done the puzzle yet—the theme entries relate to a NatGeo article about telescopes but I don't get the magazine, so I'll be working the crossings big time. (Or I could read the article online.) Cathy is known for her light touch, so it should be a fun puzzle—and I'm delighted we'll be seeing her byline on a monthly basis. Cathy and the crossword feature are introduced at this National Geographic blog; feel free to share your reactions to the puzzle with the NatGeo folks.

Todd McClary has posted a new puzzle here. I just did the one called "Minitheme 1," and it's themeless-with-a-minitheme. (That means two long entries form a minitheme, but don't take up enough real estate to count as a full theme.) This puppy took me 7:19, so I'd call it Saturday-NYT/Stumper-tough. I'd never heard of the song in the minitheme clues, and the northwest corner took me the longest to unravel. Great fill, great clues, good balance between erudition and pop-culture fun. Keep 'em coming, Todd.

Starting in July, Trip Payne and Patrick Berry will take turns constructing crosswords with politics/current affairs/history themes for the new digital magazine put out by the U.S. News and World Report folks. You'll have to subscribe to U.S. News Weekly ($19.95 a year—or free if you subscribe to the print magazine) to get the puzzles. If you're a news junkie, these puzzles'll probably be right up your alley, and for twice the cost of a book of crosswords, you'll get a year of news too.

Trip also has free* puzzles at Triple Play Puzzles. (*You're welcome to donate via his PayPal link. But don't get me started on PayPal, which I loathe with the heat of a thousand suns.)

And speaking of Patrick Berry, I just got an interview request from an Athens, Georgia, journalism student who's writing an article on Patrick for a local arts paper. Hmm, I think I can come up with a few salient things to say about him.