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. You can try samples here: http://theweek.com/section/index/puzzles (any puzzle from March 15, 2013, or earlier is by me).
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 by the end of 2014.
Note that unlike the superhard Fireball Crosswords, Fireball Newsweekly Crosswords are aimed at a general audience. The difficulty level will be like that of a typical Tuesday or Wednesday newspaper crossword.
I started Fireball Crosswords in 2010 as the first online-only pay-to-play direct-to-the-solver crossword. I have written more than 50 puzzle books, with combined sales of over a million copies. I am the editor of the Post Puzzler, a tough themeless crossword that appears in every Sunday Washington Post. 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 17 years. I am also the creator of the iPhone app Celebrity: Get a Clue.
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 second year I’m doing this through Kickstarter, and the first year went very smoothly. Solvers will get the puzzles before the ink dries on the news.
New York Sun Crosswords #6
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 #16
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
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).
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.
CREATE A CROSSWORD WITH ME: Co-construct a puzzle with me for Fireball Newsweekly Crosswords. On a mutually agreed-upon Friday (the earliest backer gets first choice of dates), 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 one autographed copy of every New York Sun crossword book, all three Fireball Crosswords books, and “Hall of Fame Crosswords” (a collection of all 96 of my New York Times crosswords). Warning: that’s 28 books, so it will be 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.]