Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dream Job For The Linguaphile

By his own admission, Brendan Emmett Quigley had been fired from miserable jobs in the publishing world and slummed it in rock bands before landing his dream job as a Times crossword creator. The pithy wordsmith drew a crowd recently as he took to Reddit to answer questions on the inside world of a constructor (of crosswords, that is).

Unless you're the type who finishes The New York Times' Sunday crossword puzzle in ink every week, you may not spend a lot of time thinking about the science behind puzzle-making. But if you're anything like us, you do occasionally guffaw at a particularly brilliant clue, or sit befuddled at a stumper, wondering idly how they come up with those things. Today, a Times crossword creator (actually they call themselves constructors) named Brendan Emmett Quigley took to Reddit to answer questions about his craft, and the result was a fascinating bunch of information in the form of a dizzyingly long message board thread. But if you pull out just the pithy answers, they make for a neat FAQ that details how such puzzles are made.
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