I was waylaid by various events last week, including an unexpected change in jobs, a lengthy convention and a fever, so the end-of-year report is running late. But first, here are a few bits of OLD NEWS…
Though it’s far less complete than XWordInfo, this search engine for the New York Times crossword is still interesting for those who want to look up factoids about the Times puzzle on a budget.
Tired of this blog analyzing good crossword puzzles all the time? Try this dissection of a 2008 White Sox-themed puzzle with around 75% unchecked squares. What’s more, here is a puzzle dedicated to how much 2012 sucked for North Carolina.
Ego-search of the week: EPUB by e-publisher Liza Daly, who helped develop the digital-reading format. (It’s worth pointing out the puzzle was by noted digitizer David Steinberg, especially since Amy picked on the remainder of its content for being old-fashioned.) Runners-up: late-night TV star “Cousin Sal” Iacono (for his first name, not his last), Melissa Reeves of Days of Our Lives.
App of the week: Word Waffle, essentially a kind of solitaire Scrabble.
Unseen video of the week: I was hoping to find a copy of the Doritos commercial described here but ran out of time. Probably next week? (Update: This commercial did not make the finals.)
Seen video of the week:
And Tyler Hinman announced the recent release of his Winner’s Circle Crosswords.
i wonder if even the best constructor could make a traditional american style (no orphan letters) in which ALL of the answers had to pertain to one team (or even sport) – probably one of the crossword jesuses has done it – be interesting to see that.
No mention of Pete Muller’s Monthly Music Meta?
Definitely deserves a mention. For me it was the biggest xword event of the year that I didn’t attend in person.
I don’t want this to sound kvetchy or anything, but that wouldn’t have been appropriate for an edition that covered news from the December 30th-January 5th period. I also thought it might be redundant, since another post covered its finale in detail. But it’ll get a nod in tonight’s edition.
Al mentioned it in a comment here, but otherwise I haven’t seen much mention of the launch of Crooked Crosswords.
Etaoin srhldcu. Peter Norvig of Google revisits letter and word frequency. Among his findings: the average word is 4.79 or 7.60 letters (depending on how you look at it), 24 words of 20 letters or more get 100K+ mentions in the book corpus, and WZ is one of seven bigrams never to appear in 2.8 trillion mentions. Um, yowza.
Thanks for the app recommendation/citation, T. It made me think of Bananagrams so I searched the App Store for that game—and this one looked to be the best of the four non-Bananagrams games that came up. I suck at it but will get better, dang it!
Wow, after having taken The Impossible Quiz over at Sporcle, I thought that the several clue/entry dupes in the North Carolina puzzle were intentional, but after seeing both ALOE and ALOES in the grid, I guess not.