My First Published Crossword

Just over six years ago, I made my first crossword (covered on BdW here). Creating it was something that was on my life goals list and I was pleased as punch to be able to cross it off my list. But in doing so, I added a new goal to the list: get a crossword published. I'm happy to say that I can now cross that off the list too! Sunday's* LA Times (along with 100+ papers elsewhere around the country and the world) carried my crossword! Knowing that so many people from all over are doing a crossword that I wrote feels huge and so so great.

The process of getting a crossword published was an interesting one. I got about 5 or so rejections before I submitted one that suited them, and even with that, they wanted one of the theme clues changed*. Then there was a little back and forth involving changing a few other squares (the editor actually suggested the changes rather than just telling me what answers needed to be rewritten) and then the long wait for publication (about 4 months from my original submission). It was only upon seeing it in print that I saw how much liberty an editor actually takes in changing clues. It bascially broke down like this: 25% unchanged, 25% changed very minorly (word order or capitalization/punctuation), 25% changed a bit (different wording but the concept stayed the same), and 25% changed significantly/rewritten. Many of the changes were warranted (for difficulty, availability to readers, consistancy, etc.), but some of the changes, however, I might have pushed back on*. Oh well.

And then there was publication day. After quite some time trying to figure out where we could find a physical copy of the LA Times*, Della and I drove all the way to Seattle only to be thwarted and buying a copy of the only local paper that carried it, the South Sound News Tribune. But crossword in print is a crossword in print, and it was still pretty neat. We also picked up a copy of the Peninsula Daily out of Port Angeles which carried the puzzle as well. (To find which papers carry it, check here* or do it online here).

Another really neat thing about having a puzzle published was watching the online community respond to it. There's a blog that follows each day's puzzle with answers and discussion. Reading what people had to say about mine was pretty neat, and insightful as to what areas gave people trouble.

It's kind of a funny thing that I am so extremely proud of this thing that to anyone outside of the crossword community is barely a blip of an accomplishment. But I am and I'm okay with that. And it has been so fun that I'm going to try to do it again, this time maybe shooting for a different publication.
Tuesday May 6 2014File under: games, misc

Toggle Comments (5)comment?
on Wed 07th May, 2014 07:48 pm CDT Wren said:
Just ran across this review as well. Besides the fact of being mistaken as a chick...again...it was a great review! Yeehaw, it's fun seeing the fallout from this!
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on Fri 09th May, 2014 04:49 pm CDT Uncle Steve said:
Wren,proud of u.Everyone needs goals-not everyone succeeds.
Way to go!
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on Fri 16th May, 2014 02:20 pm CDT Wren said:
Pictures of the acquisition, for posterity. 1 2
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on Sat 17th May, 2014 10:55 am CDT Horge said:
Congratulations! I don't think it made it into our papers over here (the closest I see on your list is the Saudi Arabian Sun). But Dallas' is on the books. I'll ask my parents into looking into it, though 2 weeks ago, I don't know where they'd get one...
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on Wed 02nd Jul, 2014 05:47 pm CDT Wren said:
Interesting follow-ups: my check $250(!) arrived nearly 2 months after publication date. Also, the crossword wasn't actually printed in the paper version of the Sunday LA Times. Kind of crazy (a bit of a bummer), but it still was actually printed in lots of other papers!
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