Good news! The The Penguin Classics Crossword Puzzles book is finally on Amazon, with a pub date of August 31. This is Ben Tausig’s pride and joy—he edited about 60 crosswords with literary themes for this collection. Given the imprimatur of Penguin Classics, recent best-sellers are off-limits (no Harry Potter or Stieg Larsson, for example), but centuries of literature and fiction are fair game.
I was one of the test solvers for the book, so I can attest to the book’s quality. You’ll like it! The puzzles are mostly in the middle range of difficulty, maybe Wednesday/Thursday NYT level. Constructors include many familiar names and a few less familiar ones:
Deb Amlen, Denny Baker, Yaakov Bendavid, Patrick Blindauer, Annemarie Brethauer, T Campbell, Vivian Collins, John Cunningham, Sam Donaldson, Daniel Finan, Vic Fleming, Matt Gaffney, Ryan Genovese, Bonnie Gentry, Gail Grabowski, Ray Hamel, Pancho Harrison, Kristian House, Matt Jones, Patrick Jordan, Sarah Keller, Lynn Lempel, Donna Levin, David Liben-Nowell, Matt Matera, Nathan Miller, Will Nediger, Tony Orbach, Joon Pahk, Jonathan Porat, Brendan Emmett Quigley, Amy Reynaldo, Andrew Ries, James Sajdak, Nancy Salomon, Michael Sharp, Verna Suit, Brent Sverdloff, Ben Tausig, Byron Walden, Timothy Wescott, Leonard Williams
Apologies if I’ve missed any coauthors whose names aren’t in the puzzles’ filenames on my computer.
My puzzle is a co-creation with Tony O. I’d had this juicy list of candidate theme entries for a couple years, inspired by a funny bit of wordplay my husband uttered. And I just couldn’t get a workable set of theme entries (i.e., with symmetrical lengths) out of what I had. Tony came up with a perfect 10 to balance out the theme and bam! we co-constructed a crossword that fits with the Tony Orbach brand and is literary. I may need to buy a few extra copies of this book for my mom to show off.
If your local bookstore has a Penguin Classics section (don’t they all?), they’ll probably know about this puzzle book. (My local indie will be carrying Penguin Classics Crossword Puzzles! V. excited.) So feel free to shop bricks-and-mortar rather than just ordering the book online.