I saw Wordplay over the weekend, so like presumably many others before me, I’m interested in trying out the vaunted New York Times crosswords.
Some background: I pick up the occasional issue of GAMES Magazine; I like the variety of puzzles. So I’ve had some experience with crosswords, although I’m not very good at them. I can complete maybe half of their two-star puzzles, but even then I usually end up a blank or two due to unfortunate proper-name/foreign-word crossings and the like. GAMES’s one-star puzzles are relaxing, but a bit too easy to fully satisfy me.
So my many questions begin: What’s the correspondence like between NYT daily difficulty levels and GAMES’s star ratings? Which days would be best suitable for me, given my current skill level? And what would be the best legal method of getting crosswords from those days (besides an actual subscription to the NYT)? I see they have a premium subscription service for past crosswords on their site. Checking a local bookstore, I saw that they offer Monday, daily, and Sunday collections, in addition to smaller, themed books. The dailies looked a bit daunting, though, with no difficulty metric that I could see, and it strikes me that a good half of the book would probably end up being useless to me. So I picked up a Monday collection, but those are definitely too easy. I understand why they don’t offer collections of the other days, but given that, what are my options? Are Sundays more difficult than Saturdays? Fridays? (I didn’t catch the answer from the film.)
Also, are the NYT crosswords really the cream of the crop, as portrayed in the film? What are some other highly-regarded sources by enthusiasts?