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Twenty current events crosswords that will be sent out over the course of a year. Many puzzle answers will be taken from current news.
Twenty current events crosswords that will be sent out over the course of a year. Many puzzle answers will be taken from current news.
395 backers pledged $8,015 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

2017-18 Fireball Newsflash Crosswords project video thumbnail
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$8,015

395

“All the News That Fits Symmetrically”

This is a follow-up to my four previous Kickstarter projects from July to December 2013, from July 2014 to May 2015, from June 2015 to April 2016, and from May 2016 to March 2017. The puzzles will come once every two or three weeks, over the course of about a year.

Try a Sample Puzzle

Here is a sample puzzle from 2013. To try it, right-click on it and open it in a new tab, and then print it.

Sample puzzle from October 11, 2013
Sample puzzle from October 11, 2013

(For the answer grid, click here.)

The Backstory

From January 2009 to March 2013, I wrote a crossword for every issue of The Week magazine. Each puzzle was based on the events from the previous week, and I put as many news-related items into the grid as I could.

My big problem with writing for The Week was that I wrote the puzzle on Fridays, but the solvers didn’t get the magazine delivered to them until seven days later. That made the newsworthiness of the crossword less than ideal. By using email, I can send the puzzle to solvers the second it’s finished. Back this project and you can be part of the forefront for how crosswords are delivered to solvers in the digital age.

About the Puzzles

These puzzles will be delivered to your email inbox in two forms: Across Lite, which can be solved on your computer, and pdf, which can be printed and solved on paper. They will generally come every other week, but there will be occasional exceptions. It will finish around March 2018.

Note that unlike the superhard Fireball Crosswords, Fireball Newsflash Crosswords are aimed at a general audience. The difficulty level will be like that of a typical Tuesday or Wednesday newspaper crossword.

Go to www.FireballCrosswords.com to sign up after the deadline.

The Cap

Fireball Crosswords baseball cap
Fireball Crosswords baseball cap

Previous Years

If 20 puzzles aren’t enough for you, you can get the puzzles from previous years. Each year is $5. Note that the older the puzzles are, the harder they get, since many of the topics were newsworthy at the time but are now possibly forgotten. These are the dates:
Year 1 = 7/15/13 to 12/13/13
Year 2 = 7/18/14 to 5/1/15
Year 3 = 6/12/15 to 4/8/16
Year 4 = 5/13/16 to 3/3/17

About Me

I started Fireball Crosswords in 2010 as the first online-only pay-to-play direct-to-the-solver crossword. I have written or edited more than 50 puzzle books, with combined sales of over a million copies. I was the editor of the Post Puzzler, a tough themeless crossword that appeared in every Sunday Washington Post from April 2010 to March 2015. From 2002 to 2008, I was the crossword editor for The New York Sun. I am the editorial director for Puzzlewright Press, an imprint of Sterling Publishing, where I have worked for the last 20 years. I am also the creator of the iPhone app Celebrity: Get a Clue. And since 2012 I have been a member of the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel.

Available Books

New York Sun Crosswords #7
New York Sun Crosswords #8
New York Sun Crosswords #9
New York Sun Crosswords #10
New York Sun Crosswords #11
New York Sun Crosswords #12
New York Sun Crosswords #13
New York Sun Crosswords #14
New York Sun Crosswords #15
New York Sun Crosswords #17
New York Sun Crosswords #18
New York Sun Crosswords #19
New York Sun Crosswords #20
New York Sun Crosswords #21
New York Sun Crosswords #22
New York Sun Crosswords #23
Sizzlingly Hard Fireball Crosswords
Blazingly Hard Fireball Crosswords
Infernally Hard Fireball Crosswords
Hellaciously Hard Fireball Crosswords
Diabolically Hard Fireball Crosswords
Scorchingly Hard Fireball Crosswords

Risks and challenges

As newspapers and magazines struggle to survive in the current economy, more and more are cutting back on extras like crossword puzzles. Professional puzzle writers are losing opportunities left and right. There has to be a better way than going through magazines and newspapers to get puzzles to the solvers. By supporting this campaign, you are providing direct support to the writer, allowing me to continue to write the news puzzles that I so enjoy doing.

As for the deadlines, I wrote more than 200 crosswords for The Week without missing any. This is the fifth year I’m doing this through Kickstarter, and the first four years went very smoothly. Solvers will get the puzzles before the ink dries on the news.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $7 or more About $7

    REGULAR SUBSCRIBER

    You get all 20 crosswords delivered to you by email starting in April 2017. [Add $5 for each previous year of puzzles that you want. See Previous Years for more info.]

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    EARLYBIRD SUBSCRIBER

    You get all 20 crosswords delivered to you by email starting in April 2017, and you get them at least six hours earlier than regular subscribers. [Add $5 for each previous year of puzzles that you want. See Previous Years for more info.]

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    157 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    EARLYBIRD SUBSCRIBER PLUS BOOK

    An Earlybird subscription plus you get an autographed copy of any of my New York Sun Crosswords or Fireball Crosswords books (you choose the book--some old ones are unavailable). [Add $5 for each previous year of puzzles that you want. See Previous Years for more info.]

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 93 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    EARLYBIRD SUBSCRIBER PLUS CAP

    An Earlybird subscription plus you get a Fireball Crosswords baseball cap. [Add $5 for each previous year of puzzles that you want. See Previous Years for more info.]

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    Limited 18 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    EARLYBIRD SUBSCRIBER PLUS BOOK AND CAP

    An Earlybird subscription plus you get an autographed copy of any of my New York Sun Crosswords or Fireball Crosswords books (you choose the book--some old ones are unavailable) and a Fireball Crosswords baseball cap. [Add $5 for each previous year of puzzles that you want. See Previous Years for more info.]

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    CREATE A CROSSWORD WITH ME

    Co-construct a puzzle with me for Fireball Newsflash Crosswords. On a mutually agreed-upon Friday, you will get a one-on-one master class on the ins and outs of crossword construction, and you’ll share the byline with me on the puzzle. You also get an Earlybird subscription, lunch or dinner, a Fireball Crosswords baseball cap, and you take with you autographed copies of more than 25 crossword books. Warning: the books will make your luggage heavy. (The total cover price for the books is over $200.) [Backers pay their own way to Great Neck, which is a 35-minute train ride from New York City’s Penn Station, as well as near JFK and LaGuardia airports.]

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Funding period

- (25 days)