Earlier this year, before the pandemic changed everything, my friend Joe Cabrera proposed that I get more involved in the American crossword solving enthusiasts’ scene, by sponsoring a crossword puzzle to be printed and distributed at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. I thought it was a great idea, and agreed to find a skilled crossword maker to do the job.
The very first person I contacted was Brendan Emmett Quigley, an accomplished Boston-area puzzler whose work has appeared in a huge variety of publications including The New York Times, AV Club, LA Times, and many, many others. To my delight, he agreed to construct a puzzle, and to do it in time for the tournament, to be held in March, in Stamford, CT.
Although Brendan followed through and created a fabulous puzzle, the Covid-19 pandemic soon put an end to our dreams of printing and distributing the puzzles at the tournament. At first, the event was postponed to September, so I thought I’d hold on to the puzzle in the vain hope I’d be able to share it then. But of course the postponed dates didn’t end up working out either.
At this point the tournament will not occur until next April, at the earliest, and I’m tired of sitting on this puzzle! I’m delighted to share it with you all in Across Light format, which can be solved with a variety of apps on many platforms. Of course, if you’re using a Mac, I’d tend to think you should use Black Ink, which is free to use indefinitely, and comes with a 14 day trial for all its premium features.
Thanks so much to Joe for the idea of doing this, and to Brendan for helping me out with the puzzle! I hope you all enjoy solving it.