On Tuesday afternoon, I get an e-mail from Jared Hersh of Santa Barbara, CA, notifying me that I'm to check out his latest Facebook picture which I've reposted above. Right on, another fan for the photo essay. Who doesn't love the neverending support for the BEQ? That's right, BEQ doesn't get tired of it! For Jared's bravado, he'll get a copy of "Diagramless" (get yours in the shoppe to the right).
Shortly after I saw the picture, this exchange happens:
Well, you know the drill: I'll run that pic on the site if you would be so kind as to throw [out] a couple words, silly stories, self-deprecating humor and/or assassination of my character. Thx.
Jared's response was brief:
Christ, you guys will never let me forget that damnfool clue, will you? (For those needing a refresher, it was the puzzle I did with El Blindito posted here.) Whatever. Every single damn one of you who bitches and complains about that clue has a worn out copy of "Brain Salad Surgery," and don't you deny it!
Anyway, I just want to let you know, Jared, that my feelings are hurt. Yeah, I gave you permission to assassinate my character, but you could have done it in a nicer way. You know what this means, don't you? That's right, this means war. You, Mr. Jared Hersh of Santa Barbara, CA, are now my sworn mortal enemy. And do you know where we will conduct our battle to the death? I see you will be in Queens on August 14th. Funny, I will be there, too. That's right, Jared, our battle to the death shall be at Lollapuzzoola.
I've recently come to grips that I cannot possibly compete with über-solvers like Dan Feyer and Howard Barkin, but I've since found out they aren't competing this year, this point is rendered moot. And yeah, "Wordplay" stars and perennial ass-kickers like Jon Delfin and Ellen Ripstein are going to be there, but frankly, I stand no chance against them. I could challenge Francis Heaney, but he's an editor I work for, and I typically employ the strategy "let the person who cuts you checks win." Amy Reynaldo and Rex Parker are going to be there, but honestly, the only competition I'd pose for them is over blog supremacy.
But I need an enemy. I need a focus. I need a purpose. And for purposes of my story of coming out of crossword solving retirement, I need someone that I have to beat at this contest. And my goal is to humiliate you, Jared. Prepare to place lower than me at Lollapuzzoola. Consider yourself warned.
My Visual Thesaurus puzzle is here
will go live tomorrow, and I'll link to it later. I also have this Sunday's New York Times puzzle: [Across Lite] [PDF] which I'll post when that goes live too. Yikes. All BEQ puzzles, all the time.
Finally, thanks to all who have been able to tip this week. It's still not too late to give $10, $20, or even $50. Every penny helps, and frankly, with a tip like any of the above, each puzzle costs you pennies. Even if you can't contribute, telling people about me, my site, or convincing them to become my Facebook/Twitter follower would help immensely. And as always, I will send a t-shirt of your choice from the Gift Shoppe to one randomly selected donor. Thanks again.
Share the puzzle. New one on Monday.