A Puzzle & Video from the Indie 500

Your hosts for the Indie 500! Photo by Penelope Harper.

Hey there! I just wanted to share a bit about a crossword tournament I helped run over the weekend. The Indie 500 took place on Saturday, May 30, 2015 at the Marvin Center, on the campus of George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

It’s not too late for you to get your own solve-at-home copy of the puzzles! Just click that Indie 500 link and navigate over to “register.” But for your solving enjoyment, I’ve included the warm-up puzzle called “Capital Letters” from the tournament as part of this post. Scroll back up and download it!

In the photo above (by competitor Penelope Harper), you’ll see all five tournament organizers. From left to right, they are: Peter Broda, Evan Birnholz, Andy Kravis, Vanna White, and Erik Agard. (Links are to the respective constructors’ websites.) I don’t want to spoil any of the puzzles for you, in case you’ve not already seen them. What I do want to show off is a video (taken by competitor Ian Livengood) of what we called “a dairy-related Indie 500 tradition.” Competitor Joe Cabrera was randomly chosen to have the opportunity to pie any of the above puzzle constructors in the face. And despite my own certainty that I’d written the most difficult puzzle of the tournament (aside from the final), I didn’t get pied. Instead, Peter Broda did. Take a look:

Congratulations go to the Outside Track finalists: Josh Himmelsbach, Christine Quinones, and Andrew Miller for their awesome performances. Congratulations also go to the Inside Track finalists: Joon Pahk, Amy Reynaldo, and Eric Maddy. And one more set of congratulations to everyone else who competed or helped out with the tournament in some way. The fact that you aren’t listed here by name by no means diminishes your performance or contribution!

Postscript: On Sunday, a team of 8 of us (three tournament organizers, two volunteers, and three competitors) managed to come in second place at the Post Hunt, also in Washington, D.C.! What a weekend!

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Off the Grid

Thanks for sticking with me over the past two years. 104 (and a few bonus) puzzles later, it’s time for me to bring this site to a close. I’m primarily leaving to spend more time focusing on my studies.

I will continue to write puzzles, just not as regularly. I’m hoping that will help me improve the quality of my crosswords. You’ll start seeing some new puzzles (of many shapes and sizes) from me in the next issue of WordPlay, which should be out later this month. I may post the occasional puzzle here in the future for special events; you can follow me on the Facebook if you want to be alerted about such things.

I appreciate the support I’ve gotten from so many puzzlers over the years, and I’d like to pay it forward. Please visit the folks you see listed on the right if you’re looking to get your puzzle fix. A special nod goes to newcomer Chris King, who only just launched his site. It’s a lot of hard work putting out a new, well-written, interesting puzzle on a regular basis. If you enjoy solving these crosswords, do let the constructors know. It means a lot to them, just like your support has meant a lot to me. Thank you!

Peace, love & crosswords,

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THROWBACK: Puzzle #73 – Just a Few More Things

You’ve got less than eleven hours to solve the latest contest puzzle from Andy Kravis. I have a clue what’s going on, but haven’t been able to piece it all together. Go be smart and figure it out.

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