If you’ve seen me in the past year or so, you’ve probably seen me with a crossword puzzle. I’ve thought about making one for a long time. This week, I dorked out beyond all belief and did it. It’s got a computer science theme, which is why I’m posting it here.
First, a disclaimer. I’ve never done this before, and it’s not a good crossword in its construction. Additionally, I might have made a mistake — the tool support for crossword construction on Linux sucks. So don’t get upset. If you have a problem, feel free to e-mail. I’ll post the answers in a new post next Thursday, January 25th. I’d love to hear comments/tips/ideas.
I’ve thrown a few easy clues in there so people can get a foothold. (I recommend the northeast and southwest.) Frankly, I feel terrible about 53D. I’m sorry. If you e-mail me, I’ll give you the answer, but it’s easier if you just search the Internet, and we can both pretend like it never happened. 45D is weak, but on par with a crappy Friday clue.
That said: wow, is it hard to construct a crossword! First, you pick a theme and some theme clues. Then you fill in some solid squares so that you have a good mix of short and long words. (“Good” is relative. I have too many three letter words. I think going for two whole-board theme clues — 16A and 59A — on my first attempt was over-ambitious.) Then you fill in the boxes. (Ha!) It’s easy to get in a mental rut and see only way to fill in a section. I tend to go for the longer words first, since there’s less of an opportunity for fudging (stock symbols, etc.). The published puzzle is the second iteration — the first 15×15 didn’t pan out, though I came up with a delightfully (?) offensive clue thanks to Joel W., Sarah Z., and Yaniv Z. (no relation): “AIDS buddy”, 6. I’ll give the answer by e-mail to those who want it.