Big announcement! Crossworder Nate Cardin has assembled a fund-raiser puzzle pack called Queer Qrosswords. Donate $10 or more to an LGBTQ+ charity, forward your receipt to Nate, and you’ll get a PDF packet of 22 brand-new crosswords by LGBTQ+ constructors. The roster includes all-stars like Trip Payne, David Quarfoot, and Tracy Bennett along with newer puzzlemakers like Jenna LaFleur, Claire Muscat, and Becca Greenstein. The Queer Qrosswords site includes links to nearly 50 orgs you might donate to, though you’re free to choose another LGBTQ-focused charity that’s near and dear to your heart.
Nate was kind enough to send me the entire puzzle pack when I asked for a couple sample puzzles. I just did the themeless by Quarfoot (how I’ve missed his puzzles!) and themed puzzles by LaFleur & Finn Vigeland, Bennett & Cardin, and Greenstein & Sam Trabucco—a lively batch of crosswords, sprinkled with clues, answers, and themes that embrace the gamut of queer life. Along with 17 themed puzzles, there are 5 themelesses (♥). I look forward to solving them all! (And of course I will follow up with a donation—probably to Center on Halsted, which does so much good right here in Chicago.)
Congrats to all involved in creating and test-solving Queer Qrosswords, including Team Fiend’s own Dave Sullivan and Andy Kravis. Kudos to Nate for actively seeking out women to contribute puzzles; the bylines come a lot closer to gender parity than the newspaper crossword venues do.—Amy