“Them’s Fightin’ Words!”

[PDF] [AcrossLite] [Solution] Fight me. 👊🏽💥

Crossword puzzles tournaments ARE A THING. Yesterday I competed in my second Lollapuzzoola, an annual event here in N.Y.C., and came THIS CLOSE to my ULTIMATE GOAL … of cracking the top-100.

I don’t know who this Michael Berman is … but … I hate them

If you’re reading this, you should go to this or any of the major puzzle tournaments (ACPT, Boswords, Indie 500) next year. It *does not matter* if you solve crosswords quickly. Go to meet your tribe, puzzhead. They’re deeply nerdy, deeply wonderful people.

So, in the spirit of friendly competition, this week’s puzzle wants to knock you on your ass and take your lunch money. You gonna let it? Are ya? PUNK!?

“Men Can Be Such Babies”

[PDF] [Across Lite] [Solution] 🤷🏽‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏼‍♂️ 🐣

If anyone out there wants to crunch some data on the gender distribution of people referenced in crossword puzzles (both answers and clues), I think there’s quite a few retweets in that research for you. As a general rule, most mainstream puzzles skew heavily towards representing men. I was certainly guilty of unconsciously overloading my crosswords with bros until this fact was pointed out to me.

I’m ambivalent about posting this puzzle, because *SPOILER ALERT* it relies on all-male theme answers to poke a little bit of fun at the male ego. But in the end, I think it’s an entertaining enough idea to share the puzzle here.

Oh, and just as a reminder, most mainstream puzzle outlets still publish a significant majority of male constructors. (The Inkubator, by the way, is really moving the needle along these lines, and deserves your puzzle $’s.) The fastest way to get more women into crossword grids and clues? Empower women constructors to bring their perspective, creativity, and experience to bear in mainstream outlets.