“It’s a Major Award!”

[.puz][PDF][Solution] 🥇🏆🌹

As a rider to this New Year’s Day puzz, I’m attaching some 2019 statistics from my records. (Because there are still puzzles out for review, these numbers are still in part projections.) I think this might be interesting to new/aspiring constructors.

2019: 103 puzzles constructed; 48 puzzles sold; 35 puzzles published

Published puzzles: 12 Universal, 10 New York Times, 7 Wall St. Journal, 2 L.A. Times, 1 Spyscape, 1 METER Magazine, 1 beer can, 1 napkin.

I reserved 15 puzzles for this website, and wrote a couple dozen custom puzzles for private citizens (and one best friend’s wedding).

And finally, I was THIS EXCITED to be able to work with dozens of aspiring constructors, mostly women committed to chipping away at the gender disparity in mainstream puzzles. You’ll see several of their names next to mine in print in 2020.

Okay, more about today’s puzzle after the jump.

Ruby & a metaphor about the passage of time


This puzzle is dropping on 1/1 in large part because of the revealer, FIRST THINGS FIRST. It’s a 16×15 grid to accommodate that phrase, with YELLOW JERSEY BOYS balancing it out.

This idea started with the realization that there are a lot of first place indicators that are COLOR + THING: yellow jersey, red rose, blue ribbon being the “first things” that come “first” in the wacky-but-not-too-wacky theme answers.

Hope this one felt like a winner, dear solver. If not, well, there’s always next year.


4 thoughts on ““It’s a Major Award!”

  1. I haven’t had a chance to solve the puzzle yet, but thanks for not zipping the .puz file. The unzipped version is easier to download and open on my tablet.

    • I’m still miffed that WordPress doesn’t allow .puz files. Apparently they’re a “security risk” (??!), which actually does make me feel subversive and cool…

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