Crossworld News and Notes, 25 June 2021

"I bet I’m not the only solver who would like to experience more crossword jazz." - Lisa Bunker,

Welcome to the first edition of Crossworld News and Notes. I’m not settled on the format or day of the week, but the content here is indicative of what you can expect.

News & Notes is sent automatically to all Daily Crossword Links subscribers. If you’d prefer to only receive one or the other, the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email will take you to that option.

Lisa Bunker at Crucinova will start publishing a subscription service next week, and has put out a call for submissions. Lisa promises “quirky” and boundary-challenging grids - definitely read the full “About” page on their site and try out the sample puzzles to see if it’s up your alley. A 30-day free trial is also available.

Lollapuzzoola, the annual New York City-based tournament held on a Saturday in August, has announced 21 August as the date for this year’s event. Once again online, LPZ14 sees Sid Sivakumar and Brooke Husic join Brian Cimmet on the organizing team. Featuring solo ($30), pairs ($50), and (if there’s enough interest) downs-only divisions, as well as a solve-at-home option ($10), Lollapuzzoola always brings an indie vibe and humor to its puzzles without sacrificing craftmanship, and is the highlight of my personal crossword calendar. A Twitch stream will accompany the puzzles throughout and keep you entertained all day, as well.

While we’re talking tournaments, the Boswords Summer Tournament is set for the afternoon of Sunday, 25 July. More next week, once registration for the online event is open.

I hope it’s a fair assumption that most subscribers here are New York Times solvers. If you enjoyed Sophia Maymudes’ Saturday puzzle last week — and it seems just about everyone did — you can find more of her work at The Provincetown Independent, where she publishes a monthly puzzle. Her latest ran just this past Wednesday.

Also in NYT news, congrats to Danny Lawson (Thursday) and Matt Frederick (Tuesday) who made their Times debuts this week.

It’s not too late to subscribe to Frank Longo and Peter Gordon’s A-to-Z Crosswords: if you missed the Kickstarter earlier this year, you can get in for $10. This is the second run of A-to-Z, which features 13 weeks of 9x11 pangrammatic puzzles. We’re at Puzzle 6 today, so there’s still plenty to come.

Last year’s batch predated the midi/demi boom we’ve seen in the last 6 or so months and is also available for purchase for $10.

David Steinberg and Amanda Rafkin appeared on the KCUR radio show “Up To Date” earlier this week in connection with the station’s annual fundraiser tournament, which was held online last evening.

Even with the successful move to online tournament formats from Boswords, Lollapuzzoola, and others, I hope we see even more events like this one from KCUR, which featured only three puzzles but was still a chance to get online and chat with other solvers.

A pre-tournament Sample Puzzle by David Steinberg is online. If the competition puzzles become available, I’ll certainly make a note.

Black Ink, an Across Lite alternative for Mac users, has released a beta version for iOS devices. I’m not a Mac or Android user, but I’ve heard excellent things about past versions.

Neat puzzle you don’t want to miss: David Harris’ “Symbolism” for Universal this past Tuesday. To solve online, click the calendar icon in the applet linked here. You can also download a .puz file directly.

There’s a bit of an in-joke beyond the obvious to the puzzle that I can’t sum up better than Jim Q at Diary of a Crossword Fiend, so head over there after solving.