The Man has made it

In tomorrow’s Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle the

105 Across Clue reads: Writer Cecil of "The Straight Dope"

The answer contains 5 letters. Feel free to ask for help. :wally

(P.S. In case you wondered… Like many other subscribers, we get the NYT Sunday mag on Saturday.)

Is the first letter a z?

There doesn’t appear to be a question here, so I’ll move this thread to MPSIMS.

moderator GQ

I’m impressed. They could have gone with “John Quincy __________” :cool:

Who’s the puzzle constructor?

twicks, professionally curious

Sorry. :smack:

I’d intended to include the constructor’s name. His name is
Derrick Niederman**.

The theme is very clever. Check it out.

Hmm, not someone I know.

I don’t get the NYT – I won’t see this till next week, when they run it in Philly. Someone remind me to check it out, okay?

twickster: Do you ever get halfway through a puzzle and go “Wgfdah? #$%^!!!”

Or do you drag out a Welsh dictionary and palm off all those unworkable consonant clusters as foreign terms?

Seriously: It’s hard enough trying to solve the damned things, sometimes, and I wonder if crossword-makers have special tricks they use to keep sane.

I loathe crosswordese, and I’ll rip out and rewrite as much of the grid as I need to to get rid of it. Writing grids gets much, much easier with practice, and after a dozen years, I’m pretty good. It helps that I have a fairly substantial mental data base of, say, four-letter words ending in “u,” etc.

Where can we see some of your puzzles?

Creating themed puzzles has to be challenging. How do you approach them?

If you solve crossword puzzles (and I understand some Constructors don’t) who is your favorite Constructor(s)?

I was about to apologize for hijacking the thread – but then I realized whose thread it was, so I guess no apology is necessary. :smiley:

I’m an editor, not a constructor (primarily, though I have written a few over the years) – we do have a couple of construrctors on the board, perhaps they’ll pop in. As such, my handiwork is most visible in the cluing, not the grid – though I will rewrite grids as necessary to get rid of stuff I don’t like. I work for a magazine publisher, and since I’m a senior editor, I don’t really have any particular titles (other than the logic magazines, wheich just hit my desk again after a five-year hiatus – sigh) assigned to me, I just jump in where necessary. My main bailiwick is the variety (non-crossword, non-word-find) puzzles.

As far as solving is concerned – yeah, I don’t, anymore. I do like cryptic crosswords, though I don’t do many even of those. I’ll usually look at the Sunday NYT and solve it mentally till I can see what the theme is, and if I like the theme, I’ll pull out a pencil. I love Merl Reagle’s puzzles, and if I am in the mood to do a straight crossword, it will usually be one of his. Randy Ross is a solid constructor; so is Ray Hamel, though he’s doing fewer crosswords these days.

PS: Frank Longo is also a topnotch constructor – his specialty is incredibly “airy” grids (those with a minimum of black squares), where he’ll stack three or four ten-or twelve-letter words. These are really, really hard to construct – I don’t know what the layperson’s reaction to them is, but those of us in the biz just ooh and ah.

twickster snippet

**“I’ll usually look at the Sunday NYT and solve it mentally till I can see what the theme is, and if I like the theme, I’ll pull out a pencil.” **

Then, consider this a reminder to take a look at today’s Sunday NYT in Philly this week.

I expect you’ll be able to work out the theme mentally, as you described. But will you pull out the pencil? I wonder.

Today’s paper? i.e., last week’s puzzle? Will do.

So glad to see this thread, since I only just got to the Sunday puzzle today. One of the better puzzles of late - terrific theme, few sucky crossword-only words; Cecil should be proud, he got picked for a good one.

And pencil?


Pencils are for wimps. Ink forces you to live with your mistakes. Marvelous discipline, that.

I rarely make changes, but since I’m secure in my abilities, I have nothing to prove.

There is nothing more tiresome than someone who brags about doing the NYT crossword in ink!

I do the TV Guide crossword puzzle in pen. What? Those are pretty tricky. I mean come on “The A-____”, four letters? Jeez!

Unless it’s someone who brags about doing the TV Guide Crossword in pink crayon!

wow, there is actually a person arranging those?

i was under the impression it was done by computers…