PROGRAM: [Across Lite]
It's a shame that the author of the latest guest puzzle didn't follow in my footsteps and use all three of his given names for his byline. Because Lord knows that Justus Christian Livengood would certainly challenge Brendan Emmett Quigley for the most over the top byline to appear in the New York Times crossword section. Alas, Ian's more known for overstuffing Monday puzzles with theme than for having a batshit name. (It's not too late to change, brah. But I hear you if you think using just the last twelve letters will suffice.)
I met Ian this past year when we were both working for Will Shortz for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Since then Ian's gone on to edit over at Penny Press and he's taken over for Caleb Madison at the J.A.S.A. Crossword Class. He claims "between, solving, editing, constructing and teaching, I barely have enough time for anything else," which I know is complete bullshit. We talk sports (and puzzles) practically every day. In fact, just yesterday, Ian said, "I thoroughly enjoy fantasy football. And, shockingly, I also enjoy crosswords. So what if the two were combined?" I could mention this ACPT preview I did years ago, but, instead, I'll just let Mr. Livengood take it from here:
What are we judging?
Quality? Does one amazing puzzle in a calendar year equal five average puzzles?
Quantity? How many good puzzles in a calendar year are equal to one amazing puzzle?
Venue? Obviously having a published puzzle in, say, the NYT is harder than other venues. Should that matter?
Size? Should Sunday's count more than dailies?
Just use Amy's star system for each puzzle (5 stars being the highest). Since constructors are angels, I'm assuming people won't vote for their own puzzles. Then just keep a running average of puzzles through the calendar year.
Sample size matters. Constructors must publish three crosswords in a calendar year to become eligible. Any venue counts.
Furthermore, 21x's won't count more than 15x's. And all venues that are deemed revieable on Amy's site (CHE, NYT, WSJ, LAT etc.) are fair game.
Each roster could have two of the following slots:
- Early Week (Mon-Tue): 2 spots
- Mid Week (Wed-Thur): 2 spots
- Late Week (Fri-Sat): 2 spots
- Flex (Mon-Sat): 1 spot
- Sunday: 1 spot
Constructors would qualify in only one of the four positions. Determining which position each constructor was available would be easy. Just take whatever slot they've had the most puzzles published. For instance, I've had 15 total puzzles published in the LAT and NYT. 9 of those have been in the early week spot. Therefore I'm an early week constructor. BEQ? I haven't looked, but I'd guess he'd fill a late week slot.
Any non-Sunday constructor would qualify for the flex spot.
I dunno. I abnormally excited to do this. Does any of this make sense?
It makes total sense. And in fact, let's open the conversation to you, dear reader. Leave your roster picks for fantasy crossword construction in the comments section.