The Week In Crosswords

The week’s biggest story concerned a pair of crossword clues and answers, “The political belief of preserving traditional moral values by restricting personal freedoms and encouraging prosperity through economic freedom (CONSERVATISM)” and “The political belief of equality and personal freedom for everyone, often changing the current system to increase government protection of civil liberties (LIBERALISM),” found by a concerned mother/conservative activist in a Wisconsin textbook, and somewhat at odds with Merriam-Webster’s definition. The distributor dropped the product immediately, while the crossword’s creator, Sunburst Visual Media, was not immediately available for comment.

Writing such clues is an unenviable task, because the definitions of “conservative” and “liberal” are quite polarized today. Webster is as close to a final authority as we’re likely to get, and even it harkens back to a time when there were fewer news channels and all of them strove for more neutrality. This kind of challenge dogs writers of crossword clues for adults, too.

Alex Boisvert goes up against a handicapped Tyler Hinman (or should that be “Namnih Relyt?”) in the first of a series of crossword competitions, in association with Crossword Nexus.

The Clueless Crossword Party app is free for a limited time only (hopefully still free by the time this post goes up). If anyone can tell Peter Serafinowicz how to get the discontinued Guardian Crossword app, he’d be obliged.

How long should it take you to do a cryptic crossword? The BBC asks a couple of experts in a 5-minute radio talk. And The Nation discusses the elusive “triple clue.”

The Marbles Crossword Tournament runs in five locations this coming weekend. One near Philadelphia will be judged by Ben Tausig. Tausig also gives a first-quarter report about the A.V. Crossword puzzle’s performance to Kickstarter supporters.

Here’s how Peter Valentine composes his crossword poems. And here’s a poem including all the two-letter words in Scrabble.

Urban Coffee would like to challenge the London Times crossword’s accuracy in its area of expertise.

Five things Will Shortz likes to do in town.

Ego-solve of the week: Lisa Loeb.

Finally, I spotted the regular expression crossword when it first made the rounds online. This response wasn’t published recently, but it didn’t come to my attention until now and it’s got to be shared.

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