Something pretty magical happened yesterday.
As many of you know, I was hoping to make my first attendance at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT), but I and about 650 other hopefuls found out on March 11th that it had been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic and the attendant state of emergency declared in the event's host state of Connecticut. Disappointing, but necessary -- in the days since then, much of the field has lived under mandatory or government-imposed social distancing measures.
That didn't stop an intrepid team of puzzlers from proposing, constructing, coding up, and hosting Crossword Tournament From Your Couch! In just nine days, a team put together a mini-tournament to occur online in lieu of the now-impossible in-person gathering. And it was a smashing success, with over 1,600 people logged on to take part (many in their first competitive crossword event ever). I was excited to see several personal friends of mine take part at my encouragement, and even more excited to see new bonds of community forming on Facebook Live as the event went on.
The tournament live-stream had a pretty long discussion of hard themeless puzzles toward the end, with finals puzzle constructor (and "ZOLAESQUE" legend) Byron Walden. As it happens, I'm coming to enjoy themeless puzzles more as a constructor and solver...
So here's another one, courtesy of me! Why let the couch-solving end now? This one should be about the same difficulty as an NYT Friday or Saturday.
Download as PDF
Download as .puz