Fireball Postmodern Puzzler
A weekly themeless crossword from the talent that brought you the Post Puzzler in the Washington Post.
From April 2010 to March 2015, I edited a themeless crossword for the Arts & Style section of the Sunday Washington Post. Each puzzle was written by an expert themeless crossword constructor and clued to be very challenging.
In the final two years of the Post Puzzler I opened up four slots in the schedule for outsiders to contribute. I used a blind submission policy, where I solved all the submissions without knowing who wrote them, and I chose my favorite as the winner. That will continue with Fireball Postmodern Puzzler four times a year.
Now it’s time to eliminate the newspaper from the equation and go right to the solvers. I’ve lined up seven talented themeless crossword writers to provide 48 puzzles as follows:
Todd McClary (8 puzzles)
Patrick Berry (8 puzzles)
Doug Peterson (8 puzzles)
Frank Longo (8 puzzles)
Jeffrey Harris (6 puzzles)
Byron Walden (8 puzzles)
Mike Nothnagel (2 puzzles)
The writers will be paid the highest rate in the industry for themeless crosswords: $305 per puzzle plus half of what the puzzles earn if they are ever collected in book form. If you believe crossword writers should be well-compensated for quality work, then this is the project you should be backing.
Try a Sample Puzzle
Below is a sample puzzle that is about the same difficulty as you will find in Fireball Postmodern Puzzler. To try it, right-click on it and open it in a new tab, and then print it. The emailed puzzles will come in two forms: Across Lite, which can be solved on your computer, and pdf, which can be printed and solved on paper.
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. I have run not one, not two, but three successful Kickstarter campaigns for a news-based crossword. 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 18 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.
Risks and challenges
Newspapers buy all rights to crosswords, pay the authors a one-time fee, and then line their pockets for years on the backs of our hard work. Put an end to the newspaper hegemony complex by supporting independent crossword writers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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