Fifty puzzles! Never thought when I started this site last year that I would make it this far. But here we are. Just to clarify: I’ve never read the E. L. James book, never seen the movie, and don’t intend to do either — I’ve heard nothing but awful things about both. But the title works, so here’s hoping my puzzle’s better than the book.
In other news:
1. The Indie 500 Crossword Tournament came and went, and by most reports, it was a big success — at least I sure hope it was! We’re still keeping details about the tourney puzzles under wraps until June 15, so I won’t be writing about them just yet. But there was Pie, there were Puzzles, and there were People. Lots of People. More than 100 solvers registered and showed up to take on our puzzles in person, which is a pretty stunning turnout considering it was our inaugural tourney. Congrats to all of the winners and major thanks to everyone who came or supported us from afar.
As yet one more periodic reminder: you can purchase the puzzles for solving at home for just $10. But if you want to try on an easy warm-up Indie 500 puzzle for free, head on over to Neville Fogarty’s website and check out “Capital Letters.” It’s Neville’s first posting there in several months and has a fun pie-related video to boot, so you know it’ll be good.
2. As if the tourney wasn’t crazy enough, the next day Vicki and I joined a team of puzzlers for the Washington Post Hunt. Last year we struggled to finish and came away with terrible sunburns, but this year … hoo boy, this year was different. The two of us and our teammates Neville, Trip Payne, Erik Agard, Raina Zheng, Ken Levin, and Avram Gottschlich solved each of the five mini-puzzles, got the final clue, raced as fast as we could to the final destination ……. and finished in 2nd place! Out of several hundred teams, even! Here we are, simultaneously basking in the afterglow and celebrating with no sunburns.
3. Finally: you remember last week’s variety Checkered Flag puzzle? Well, fellow puzzler Alex Boisvert has done something truly awesome: he’s designed some code so that you can solve the easiest version on your computer! Follow the following steps:
Alternatively, if you’d rather solve it without downloading software, repeat step A, then just head on over here. Again, it’s just the easiest version of the Checkered Flag. The two harder versions aren’t supported in the program because their clues are listed alphabetically.
That’s all for now. Enjoy today’s puzzle. There will be a new one on June 13.