Five years. Half a decade. 1/200th of a millennium. However you phrase it, it’s 250+ metapuzzles, and it’s been the most enjoyable crossword writing I’ve done in my career.
I wasn’t sure when I started that Matt Gaffney’s Weekly Crossword Contest would last 5 months, much less 5 years. Maybe there’d be no audience for the puzzles, or I’d run out of ideas, or it’d stop being fun. The opposite happened: the Friday afternoon meta soon became a regular part of many solvers’ weekends, either by starting it off right or ruining it entirely. And there’s 0% chance that we won’t keep going, since it’s become an integral part of my life as well.
The tip jar opens today, this first Friday in June, and will close on Saturday the 15th. We have a special page up for Tip Jar Week this year since we’re at a nice round number, and it’ll keep the haul updated here in real time (there’s no set goal for Tip Jar Week, though — we’re doing Year #6 no matter what comes in).
The site audience is growing — April and May have been the two highest traffic months in MGWCC history — which is extremely exciting and gratifying. So let me thank some folks who’ve made it successful over this first five years:
For designing the site xwordcontest.com, Dan Easley.
For editing and test-solving the first MGWCC book (and the forthcoming second and third books), Peter Gordon and Francis Heaney.
For promoting the site in many ways on her indispensible Diary of a Crossword Fiend, Amy Reynaldo.
For creating and maintaining the submissions form, without which the site’s growth would have been unmanageable for me, Dave Sullivan.
And with a special note of thanks: for blogging the puzzle weekly at Fiend since 2008 with insight, candor, even-handedness, humor, and an incredible memory for past puzzles, Joon Pahk.
Oh — and with an extra-special note of thanks: for solving my puzzles and keeping me energized and on my toes, you. Yeah, you reading this! Without you I’d just be some dude at a keyboard. I mean, I still am, but you get the point. Keep doing what you’re doing. And thanks for doing it.
Tip Jar Week total so far: $21