UPDATED: Leo Traynor may be joining Mary Horowitz and Victor Orville on the very short list of “notorious fictional crossword constructors.”
He posted a story of surviving online abuse which was promptly picked up by such outlets as The Guardian and The Huffington Post, as well as this crossword news roundup. But no one can seem to point to any of his actual crosswords, article bylines, or academic papers from his time at Oxford. His blog currently contains only three posts. Others find the specific account of Internet abuse highly dubious in its particulars.
There are many more claims and counterclaims being thrown around about Traynor, and I don’t have the resources to conduct a full inquiry, but I’ll post about any properly verified updates in future installments.
New in computerized word gaming: Puzzler World 2013 (coming in early November) and Word Explorer, an interesting fusion of crosswords and geography now in development.
New in digital New York Times crosswords: Mozilla’s Persona, which promises to be “a single sign-in solution for the entire Internet” (wait, isn’t that Facebook?) has partnered with the Times interface to make crossword-solving easier across multiple digital devices, while Amazon’s Kindle is offering a half-off deal on easy NYT crosswords through October 4th.
Do you do the Times crossword with Google? You may have all it takes to be a Best Buy employee.
Finally, Brendan Emmett Quigley makes USA Today‘s pop-culture roundup.
My apologies for the version of this article which ran this morning. It’s looking more and more likely that I didn’t do sufficient digging on Leo Traynor. (In my defense, neither did the Guardian or the HufPo, but surely the journalistic enterprise that is the Crossword Fiend can hold itself to a higher standard!)
I saw it on a facefriend’s facefeed on facebook and took it at face value. Now I can’t face myself.
If it’s a hoax, the question is: what is the motivation behind it?