John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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Ten random things: November 15

I composed this yesterday, then forgot to post it. Oops.

Ten crossword constructors:

  1. Cathy Millhauser
  2. Brendan Emmett Quigley
  3. Trip Payne
  4. Jean Rossat
  5. Maura Jacobson
  6. Ogden Porter
  7. Jeremiah Farrell
  8. Fred Piscop
  9. Frank Longo
  10. Merl Reagle

Farrell is the odd man out in this group; the other nine are working constructors and/or editors (Piscop edits the Sunday Washington Postcrossword, and Porter is the nom de verbicruciste of New York Sun crossword editor Peter Gordon) whose work can be seen regularly; Farrell hasn't had a puzzle published since 1996. It was a doozy, though; it ran in the New York Times on Election Day, and contained the clue "Tomorrow's headline?" The clever bit was that it was clued so that either CLINTON ELECTED or BOBDOLE ELECTED would fit in the grid. The first letter, for example, was clued "Black Halloween animal," which could be BAT or CAT; the second was clued "French 101 word," OUI or LUI; and so on. It prompted dozens of angry phone calls and letters from solvers who solved it one way and voted the other; Peter Jennings reported on it during World News Tonight that evening; and Times crossword editor Will Shortz cites it as the greatest crossword ever constructed. So I guess Farrell sees no need to make another one.


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