Saturday, March 1, 2008
Hello, patient readers,
We are currently on our lunch break at the tournament, with puzzles 1, 2, and 3 in our rear view mirrors, and 4, 5, and 6 looming just ahead. Our lunch break is not long, so I have only about ten minutes to describe to you what the hell has happened already. First, last night, there was a large, multi-part, puzzle by Eric Berlin, which we solved in teams of 3 (it's possible that a fourth person might have dropped by and helped out our team, but I won't say). My team was me and wife Sandy, and then a very nice man named Russell Brown from Picton, Ontario. He has crossword-themed jewelry on hand, which he made himself, but that's another story. Anyway, all I can say about the puzzle was that we finished, and the answer was FUHGITABOUTIT or however you spell that "word." Brooklynese, apparently.
This morning I took Dave Sullivan to IHOP (pictures to follow). Emily Cureton is here selling her wares - tshirts and notecards, mainly - and people are snapping them up, so good for her. She is adorable and cool and charming and shmoozed the whole room like nobody's business, putting wallflowers like me to shame. She even got an audience with His Shortzness. Anyway, she's a lovely woman, tons of fun.
The first three puzzles were brutal. Well, puzzle 1 was easy (a fun puzzle by Andrea Carla Michaels, who is a riot), but 2 was a disaster for most of the room (it seemed that more than half the room was still working on it when the clock ran out). Mike Shenk wrote that one, I think, but I don't remember. It involved a word ladder ... the purpose of which was not clear to some even after the puzzle was over. There were also some tough, tough crosses, and a couple of words/phrases I'd never heard of. Ditto the easier but still rough third puzzle (a Merl Reagle construction). I stared at one blank square for over a minute, wondering what the hell letter could go in. In despair, I threw in the least ridiculous-seeming letter (though the resulting two words were unknown to me). And ... I was right. Total, hail mary guess, and I nailed it. Dumb dumb luck. If I am perfect so far (and unless I made stupid mistakes, I should be), then it's only because I dodged some serious bullets.
But perfection may be short-lived. I'm off for my second dose of puzzle action now. More write-up and pictures tonight, I hope.
PS Almost forgot - was totally taken aback when Will publicly introduced all the bloggers (!) who were there: Amy, me, and JimH (whom I still haven't met - there are over 700 people here). Very cool to see so many of my readers in person. OK, bye.