Halfway There, Livin' On A Prayer
Well, I wasn't lucky!
The Ubercross C-Spot grid is more than half completed. Currently it contains about 2400 words out of a total 4208. However, I've realized there's no way I can keep track of "near-repeaters" like FOG and FOGS. These can't make it to the final draft, so all the fill I'm doing right now has to be considered a first run. Once I'm done, I'll use the "word information" feature to hunt all the near-repeaters down, and change as much as I have to change.
Thankfully, the design I've picked allows lots of interlock for solvers but is still fairly friendly to changes in the shorter words, especially 4-letter words and 3-letter words. It has more 4-letter words than 3-letter words and more 5s than 4s. Thank Robert Stilgenbauer for THAT design idea! I feel guilty for picking on him in the original promotions-- the man may have used his era's now-outdated standards of vocabulary, but he sure could design a crossword "staircase."
There are "staircases" of 5-letter words, 6-letter words, alternating 7s and 3s, alternating 8s, 4s, and 3s, alternating 9s and 4s, and alternating 10s, 5s and 4s. (Rounding things out are a smattering of 11s, 12s, 13s, 14s, 15s, 16s, 18s and 22s.) It's the staircased 6s that are the real killers: it takes HOURS to build one of those that doesn't rely on too much obscura. And I'm sure that mountain will get tougher to scale in the final stretch!
Still, I'm hoping to have a first-draft grid done by next Saturday. And I definitely *will* be sending out copies of the Ubercross Fiddy to $20-and-up contributors. If you qualify for that and I don't have your mailing address, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks!
seconds to go
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
You'll get digital copies of the Ubercross C-Spot for Web, Crossword Solver, and iPad use! Note that this crossword will not be released in print versions (it's just too freakin' big)!
Pledge $20 or moreYou selected
You'll get the above, plus a printed copy of its predecessor, the widely praised 50x50 Ubercross Fiddy (an independent sales value of $15)! Also solvable as a free sample at http://www.ubercross.com/fiddy.html!
Pledge $30 or moreYou selected
You'll get the above, plus digital copies of Crossworlds: 50 Crosswords For The Sci-Fi Lover (an independent sales value of $20)! If you're someone who knows more about Star Trek than about baseball stars from the 1950s, or if you'd like to give a gift to such a person, these are the puzzles for you! This 50% discount will never be offered again, anywhere!
Pledge $40 or moreYou selected
You'll get the above, plus a special e-book edition of "Callin' Them Squares," the guide to crossword types now running at http://www.crosswordfiend.com. No expert solver or expert constructor should be without this resource, cross-referenced, updated and improved from its Web edition! Independent sales value of $15-- meaning that if you pledge for all this, you're getting a $60 value for $40, and the honor of helping to set a new world record!
- (31 days)