December 21, 2013 by manvspuzzle
Theme: FUN. As explained by 1-Across: “First word across in the first ever crossword (1913) and the first of a dozen appearances of the word in this puzzle’s grid, written word-search style (left, right, down, and diagonally) … Can you find all 12?
Theme Entries: Check the grid and see for yourself! Google isn’t releasing a solution as far as I know. Did I make any mistakes? Seriously, I might have.
I really loved this.
And it’s not just because it’s a good puzzle, which it is. It’s by far not the best puzzle I’ve ever solved, but the theme is cool and pretty well done, it’s a nice nod to Arthur Wynne’s original 1913 Word-Cross, and it’s, uh, FUN.
What *really* made this enjoyable, in my opinion, was that I knew I was sharing the experience with thousands and thousands of people around the U.S. (maybe other countries, too? I have no idea). I believe that’s really worth something — and that sharing aspect can often make up for a bland/clunky theme, crappy fill, etc. This is a feeling that you typically can only get with puzzles in a major publication, and most especially (again, in my opinion) the New York Times (yeah, you can “share” independent puzzles, but typically with a very small, specific demographic). But I definitely got it today, too. Google’s a pretty big deal, I guess.
I dunno. I just finished this puzzle feeling very positive about the state of this craft. The “bringing people together” aspect of it all is *so* important. 100 years later and that’s still happening, in ways never imagined by people like Mr. Wynne.
It’s been easy for some people over the last 5-10 years to focus heavily on a few very narrow aspects of puzzling, and then get real bitchy when those aspects aren’t “adequately” executed on a given day — often to the point of meanness. When I think about that, and then think about the extreme variety of people that this puzzle reached, people who have different abilities, different knowledge-bases, different concepts of what a puzzle can be and so on, my heart is warmed and my faith in humanity is restored.