The big annual crossword tournament approacheth, and I’d like to use a pencil that I don’t have to think about mid-puzzle. For the past few years I’ve used PaperMate SharpWriters, but at some point along the line, they eased up on the quality control: The plastic around the eraser splinters and splits if you use the eraser too much. Also it feels like I am constantly fiddling with the thing, adjusting the length of the lead. The SharpWriter is simply not a good ally when the clock is ticking down.
So what’s a good pencil to use? Help me out here. The precious seconds I save might mean the difference between being ranked 135 or being ranked 119.