I create crosswords and other puzzles. These have appeared, among other places, in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Games Magazine. I'm also the author of two puzzle-filled mysteries for young readers, "The Puzzling World of Winston Breen" and its brand-new sequel, "The Potato Chip Puzzles."
I have, over the years, created a number of crossword events -- or "suites" -- of interconnected puzzles. These are a series of crosswords tied to a particular theme. (In the past, I've celebrated Mad Magazine and Brooklyn, New York.) Each crossword in the set has its own extra little challenge. Complete this challenge and you'll wind up with an answer word. The last puzzle in the set gives you instructions on how to combine all of your previous answers into a final, satisfying solution.
Want to see what the heck I'm talking about? You can take a look at the Brooklyn crosswords right here: http://www.winstonbreen.com/BrooklynCrosswords2008.pdf. These puzzles were originally commissioned by Will Shortz and presented at his American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in 2008.
I'd like to see if I can find 300 people willing to pay five bucks each to fund a brand new suite of crosswords. This new bunch will consist of nine separate crossword puzzles, so that's about fifty-five cents a puzzle. Although, naturally, feel free to give more if you feel the project is worth it.
The $1,500 I raise will go to my time for creating the puzzles, as well as a fee for my testsolver... and, also since I'd like to run this crossword event as a contest, some of that money will go to the prize.
I will send the completed crossword suite to everybody who contributes even a single dollar. If I meet my fundraising goal in sixty days, I will make sure to complete the puzzles and have them to all of you by the end of September. Those of you who complete the puzzles within some time frame (a week, say) will be entered into a drawing for the prize I've got planned.
A few more details for those of you still with me:
- The crosswords will be of a Wednesday or Thursday level of difficulty, on the New York Times scale. This means that for the average solver, your five bucks will buy you several hours of happy puzzling.
- The puzzles will be sent by e-mail in the .pdf format.
- Yes, I have my theme picked out for this bunch of puzzles. No, I don't want to spoil the surprise. I think you'll like it very much.
There are fewer and fewer markets for high-quality puzzles these days. I'd love to see this work if only to prove that puzzlemakers can connect directly with an audience that loves great puzzles. Thanks for reading.