THE INDIE 500 CROSSWORD TOURNAMENT IS IN ONE WEEK! SIGN UP NOW. MY GOD, YOU GUYS, THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING.
Two other things related to the best crossword tournament in Washington DC on May 30: first, we will be releasing our meta suite soon, so stay on the lookout if you’ve purchased yourself a copy (and if you haven’t gotten it yet, just head right to that link above; we’re offering it on a pay-what-you-want basis, but with a minimum request of $1). You don’t need to be a tourney competitor to solve the suite, but it’ll be a fun challenge regardless. Second, if you’re coming to DC next weekend for the Indie 500, be sure and stick around the area for the annual Post Hunt on Sunday, May 31. It’s a team puzzle-meets-scavenger-hunt event around the city with some very tough riddles. I did it last year with Vicki, Erik Agard, and Andy Kravis, and had quite a good time despite getting a nasty-as-all-hell sunburn.
About today’s puzzle: I’ve been waiting for three years to drop the clue for 1-Down. I’m not kidding. My first crossword ever accepted for publication in Ben Tausig‘s Twenty Under Thirty originally had that answer and clue, but they got left on the cutting room floor when I needed to revise the grid. The answer has not appeared in any of my puzzles since, and because it’s a short entry, I never went out of my way to drop it into a new puzzle — but I resolved to use that clue at the first chance I got. Then, the answer showed up in my first draft of last week’s puzzle! Better yet, despite the three-year gap between my submission to Twenty Under Thirty and now, I still couldn’t find anyone who had used that clue previously. I was all pumped to go ahead and show it to the world and then…..I had to cut it again. I had a disastrous repeat of a separate answer in the grid, which forced me to get rid of it. So, enough was enough: I made 1-Down a seed entry today. Yeah, it’s an easy-ish clue relative to the rest of the puzzle, but I don’t care. Totally worth it!
Enjoy today’s puzzle. I’ll see you next week at the Indie 500, and yes, I will be publishing a new puzzle on that day.
Two weeks until the Indie 500 Crossword Tournament arrives! Sign up now!
Some mini- and vague-as-possible spoilers about today’s puzzle approaching: we’ve got ourselves a 70-word themeless, and while I didn’t originally plan for the similar clue angles at 1- and 62-Across, I thought it was funny how that sorta worked out. I built this grid around the seed entry at 17-Across, which my brother Justin did last weekend and which my oldest brother Matt completed several years prior. That leaves me as the only Birnholz child left to give it my all. And let’s just say I’m definitely planning on giving it my 0%. So this is my way of saying, Good show, Other Birnholzes! I doff my out-of-shape hat to you. But I won’t be forgiving either of you for this sponsored Facebook ad. Yeah, that’s a real ad, and it cuts me and my wussy unfit ass right to the quick.
So they can scratch that off their Bucket Lists. But I had a Bucket List moment this week, too! And for that, I have to give a major, major round of thanks to Sam Ezersky and his gem of a puzzle here. Never thought I’d see the day. And if that weren’t enough, Erik Agard then went ahead and dropped in this clue for 1-Down the very next day! Y’all are too kind, fellas. And all of you out in Solver Land should be checking out their weekly puzzles.
Enjoy today’s puzzle. There will be a new one on May 23.