I have actual puzzle-related news!
You already know that Mike Shenk edits the Wall Street Journal’s excellent weekly crossword. Mike wrote me this evening with the following press release from the Journal. Prepare yourself for an onrush of happiness:
On January 16, The Wall Street Journal launches the Saturday Puzzle, the new home for America’s most elegant, adventurous, and addictive crosswords. If you’re a crossword fan and enjoy our weekly offering in the Friday Weekend section, you’ll love moving on to our new Saturday line-up, brought to you by a murderer’s row of the best constructors in puzzledom:
– Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon, until recently the creators of the brilliant and devious Puzzler in the Atlantic, contribute a cryptic crossword every four weeks. (Fans who are new to cryptics, which rely on cleverness and wordplay, can consult a guide to solvers on wsj.com.)
– Patrick Berry, author of the “Puzzle Masterpieces” collection, and Mike Shenk, the WSJ’s crossword editor, offer a novelty word puzzle every two weeks that explodes the usual across-and-down grid and replaces it with snakes, snowflakes, honeycombs, and other mind- bending shapes.
– Mike also offers an acrostic every four weeks, in which a solver fills in answers to clues, and transfers the letters to a grid that spell out a secret quotation.
While other publications are cutting back on their crosswords, the Wall Street Journal is expanding and bringing you the cream of the crossword crop. We hope you’ll join us every Friday and Saturday.
The first puzzle up will be Henry and Emily’s first published variety cryptic since they left The Atlantic. (Or, more accurately, since The Atlantic left them.) Mike didn’t know if the puzzles would be available online, or would be behind the subscriber’s wall. I certainly hope the WSJ considers some kind of puzzlers-only subscription — I’d be all over that.