April 03, 2008

A very special Onion puzzle

Normally I only write one puzzle every eight weeks for the Onion, but this was a special commission. Give it a whirl and I'll tell you more about it in the comments.

(Download Across Lite, if you are the one person who reads this blog who hasn't downloaded it yet.)

Posted by Francis at 06:25 PM

Yup, it's one of those wedding proposal crosswords. Glenn (the proposer) works for the Onion AV Club and Hellene (the proposee -- about whom I fretted, man, I really hope that I haven't laid this impossibly hard grid out only to find out the extra L was a typo) solves the Onion crossword regularly. He asked Ben if one of the Onion team of crossword writers wanted to write a puzzle for him, and since it seemed like a cool thing to do -- I mean, it's far from the first proposal-by-puzzle, but there still haven't been that many -- I proposed what seemed to me to be a theme with an Onion-appropriate level of snark. Happily, Glenn approved. More happily, Hellene accepted, although I'm told she left a few key entries (like GLENN) unfilled in the crossword after solving enough to get the theme message and didn't twig to the fact that the crossword was personalized for her until Glenn said, ummmmm, maybe you should finish filling in the grid.

Posted by: Francis at April 3, 2008 07:05 PM

Awwww. You're right, it's a nice wrinkle on a familiar trope.

And the clue for 6D is a classic.

Posted by: Joshua Kosman at April 3, 2008 08:05 PM

I am that one person, who just finally downloaded it only to get an error message. OSX isn't supported? Feh.

Posted by: rikchik at April 3, 2008 08:09 PM

Ah, found the NY Times dl page which has the 2.0 version.

Posted by: rikchik at April 3, 2008 08:20 PM

coolness of the premise aside, i have a complaint:


pseudo words that people use in an ad hoc ways in everyday conversation dont belong in crosswords, and anyway its "artsy", as in "artsy fartsy."

Posted by: mike at April 3, 2008 10:16 PM

mike, i disagree. any words *that people use* belong in crosswords.

Posted by: joon at April 3, 2008 10:34 PM

Yes, curse those pseudowords like "arty" (first citation: 1901, a year before "artsy"; "arty-farty", first citation 1967, four years before "artsy-fartsy"). And "newish" (first citation: 1570). They have no place in a bastion of proper English and high taste like The Onion.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but: idiot.

Posted by: Lance at April 4, 2008 01:29 AM

Mike: Thank you for your ridiculous, uninformed opinion.

Posted by: Francis at April 4, 2008 01:48 AM

I was expecting the message, but I thought that "expensive" was going to be "difficult" or "hard for me."

Posted by: Tablesaw at April 4, 2008 03:25 AM

Very nice.

And this is completely not meant as a slam on the crossword (you said it was a very hard fill), but I love how "newish" merits scorn while "Able was ____ saw Elba" is fine and dandy.

(Perhaps if you clued the former "Maine desire" ...)

Posted by: Robert Hutchinson at April 5, 2008 01:21 AM

Robert: Yes, I agree, the grid entry you cite is quite obviously the worst one in the puzzle, but having GLENN in that corner forced it. (And that was the only place that GLENN would fit in the grid at all.)

Posted by: Francis at April 7, 2008 09:13 AM

Very nice puzzle, well done! Congratulations to the happy couple.

Posted by: Jim Schraven at April 7, 2008 06:08 PM
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