- Just because there was a pattern going for a while wherein I posted Themeless Monday puzzles seemingly weekly, doesn't mean that every single damnfool Monday will be a themeless puzzle. You know what they say about assuming. Having said that, I swear there will be at the very least one themeless puzzle a week on the blog. So, bear with me. This blog's as much entertainment as it is a journey. Anyway, hope you like this one. I tried to make it especially tough.
- Which segues nicely into my next point: After last week's resounding success with the as-Hard-as-advertised puzzle last Monday as well as the as-Easy-as-advertised puzzle last Wednesday, we (my test solvers and me) will be clamping down on accurately grading the puzzles. That is to say, the ratings will reflect more to the Times level of difficulty, not the previous BEQ-level difficulty. (Until recently, "Easy" meant probably a Wednesday level, and "Hard" was a crap shoot based on what trivia you knew. At least we got "Medium" right.)
- Adding onto the last point: there will be an effort of at least two dead-easy, true Monday-level puzzles each month. Feel free to either practice your speed solving, attempt them using downs-only, or as a diagramless on those days. Also: be sure to share those easy ones with the uninitiated. I mean it when I say this site really will offer something for everybody.
- I changed the titling of blog posts to reflect "CROSSWORD" in the header, as opposed to the ambiguous "PUZZLE." Are crosswords not puzzles? Yes. But Lord knows I could have been offering metas, cryptograms, jigsaws, "What Character from 'The Wire'?" quizzes, or other such brainteasers. Best be more specific, no?
- Speaking of other types of puzzles, thanks for all the e-mail wondering when the next cryptic is coming. I can't say when, but I can say I have begun making it. So, the answer is "definitely eventually."
- And finally, an item to filed under the "scene points" category. I just made a custom puzzle for the band The Decemberists. For those who are going to see them this fall, you can check out the puzzle in their tour book. In what may be funny only to me: though they were impressed that I've made puzzles for the New York Times since 1996, they were more impressed that I made a crossword for Paste Magazine. (FTW!)
Share the puzzle. New one on Friday.