May I brag a bit on the Daily Beast Crossword?
As lovely as The New York Times crosswords are, they usually take months or years between submission time and seeing print, so can't be very current. The Daily Beast crosswords, on the other hand, see daylight so fast it's almost comical. Last week we had a great example: I sent my Boston Marathon-themed puzzle to my editors before the race was even over!
I can see that you're impressed, so take a moment to compose yourself as I detail how it was done. The event began at 8:37 AM on Monday, October 11th. By late morning I had enough of the story to go with, and I began writing the puzzle. Women's champ DIANA Chemtai Kipyokei (19-Down) and Men's champ BENSON Kipruto (1-Across) had already crossed the finish line so into the grid they went. I was also glad to mention WHEELCHAIR (26-Across) winner Marcel Hug, as well as iconic race section HEARTBREAK (12-Across) Hill, which had played its usual large role in determining the winners.
Filled in the grid around those entries, wrote up the clues, edited and test-solved it, and voila -- off it went to my editors at 12:55 PM, 4 hours and 18 minutes after the race began, and with many participants still on the course. It was published on Tuesday morning. Gatorade, where's my sponsorship?
How many Daily Beast crosswords could you solve in Benson Kipruto's time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, and 51 seconds? Tweet your claim to #beastxword and I'll check it out.
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