So, Howard Barkin won the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament this weekend. Yeah, that's not a typo. I didn't believe it myself when I read about it on Twitter. But thanks to Ben Zimmer's video above, I can see it's true. Seeing really is believing. It was the noise-cancelling headphones slam heard round the world.
So yeah, Howard Barkin was the guy who eventually beat the seemingly-unbeatable Dan Feyer. Who would have guessed that? I mean, after Dan won his second title (on the way to a record six in a row), I said:
I cannot imagine what the person who will eventually beat Dan will look like. Cuz right now it looks like the only way it's happening is (a) someone is going to have to take on an even more insane training regimen, say solving something like 60,000 puzzles a year or (b) assassination. Though I'm pretty sure Feyer would win even if he took a bullet and started bleeding all over the place Mr. Orange in "Reservoir Dogs"-style. He's that good.
But little did I know, I knew damned well what that person was going to look like. Because I saw Howard standing next to Dan up on the big boards nearly every fucking time. Amazing. Congrats to all.
If you haven't solved the puzzles yet, get yourselves a copy, will ya? I took a look at them last night and it's no surprise that there's one tour de force from Patrick Berry that needs to be solved, uh, now. Honestly, though, they're all great. Get 'em while they're still hot.
PROGRAMMING NOTE! Today's puzzle originally ran in Fast Company in their December 2015 issue. Enjoy.
Share the puzzle. New one on Thursday.