Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny (New Media / Old Media Edition)
October 14, 2015 8:26 AM   Subscribe

August: Caleb Madison solicits crossword submissions for a new daily feature at Buzzfeed.
September 30: The Observer publishes a profile of Buzzfeed’s Puzzle Editor.
October 3: “You Won’t Believe How Much Of This Crossword You Can Finish”
October 6: “You Won’t Believe How Much Of This Mini Crossword You Can Finish”
October 12: Madison explains “why in the world [Buzzfeed is] launching a crossword,” and the puzzles start arriving in earnest: “The 9 Celebrities Discover Their Inner Princess Puzzle”, “That Crossword Where 20 Minutes In, He Gives You That Look”, and “That Puzzle When You Can’t Escape Pumpkin Spice Season”
December: People write letters to The Awl about how they hate themselves because they aren’t crossword puzzle constructors. Previously
posted by Going To Maine (10 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
You finished 100% of the BuzzFeed crossword puzzle! Share your results!

I earnestly enjoyed this and can't tell if I'm in on the joke or not.
posted by almostmanda at 9:45 AM on October 14, 2015


Oh I am so excited about this!
posted by lalex at 10:06 AM on October 14, 2015


I did the first one. It's a good puzzle. And Caleb Madison seems to be taking this just as seriously as he should, which is both deadly seriously and not at all seriously, simultaneously.
posted by chavenet at 10:57 AM on October 14, 2015


I am a 26 year old crossword fan and I am glad you posted this so I can tell you all about how much I hate these with a burning, cooking passion.

I think if I had to put my finger on the one thing that makes me dispense the most sideeye about this venture it's the wildly unnecessary first-person narration of crossword clues. "Radiohead album that made me cry when I listened to it all the first time I smoked weed." This is not charming. I do not care. I hate you a little bit. Just put "Radiohead album." Because I'm somewhat sympathetic to the argument that a NYT crossword puzzle is more likely to ask you about Nicholas Gage than anything from this century, but you do yourself no favors by injecting your "personality" into the puzzle. I just want a puzzle, I don't want your blog.

And while I'm somewhat sympathetic to the need for a 21st century puzzle, I'm not THAT sympathetic. One of the comments read "Took me a second to figure out these clues, but loved the freshness of a modern crossword puzzle instead of old timey clues/people that are irrelevant in today’s age." I despise this attitude in my generation--if it happened before I was born, I don't need to know about it. This is why people hate millennials. When I read generational polemic, it makes my brain boil with incandescent fury. But this shit gives them ammo.

Also, Buzzfeed made it damn near impossible to do these fucking puzzles on mobile.

But I'm still going to do every one, because I have an addiction.
posted by zeusianfog at 12:46 PM on October 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


“Radiohead album that made me cry when I listened to it all the first time I smoked weed.” This is not charming. I do not care. I hate you a little bit. Just put “Radiohead album.” Because I'm somewhat sympathetic to the argument that a NYT crossword puzzle is more likely to ask you about Nicholas Gage than anything from this century, but you do yourself no favors by injecting your “personality” into the puzzle.

I quite like the first-person injection into the puzzle in moderation. That particular example isn’t my fave, but I think Ben Tausig did some good ones back when he was writing for the alt-weeklies.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:33 PM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


All that chit-chat just makes them easier, when I want harder. But if it gets more people doing them, that's great, so I won't be the only one anymore.
posted by BentFranklin at 2:51 PM on October 14, 2015


I like these, because I am exasperated by much of the NYTimes, although I know in part that's because the more interesting puzzles - Thursday and Friday - are too hard for me. And while I'm happy to lay down knowledge that happened before I was born (early 80s for anyone playing along), entire themes, sections, weeks of puzzles are cemented in pop culture of the 50s and 60s. Sure, do a puzzle on girl groups of the 60s, I'm totally in, but don't make almost EVERY single song, movie, politician, athlete, or "buzzword" be from FIFTY plus years ago.

I can see how the Buzzfeed puzzles seem like an overcorrection of the pendulum. It's like going from a wood-paneled room full of paisley to a slick office filled with 20-yr-old guys on scooters. But I welcome Buzzfeed to the table happily and gratefully.

While it's early to make final judgement, Buzzfeed puzzles have been refreshingly free of crosswordese - When a corner is basically ABMS, OOP, ORSO, ALGA, ULAN I want to throw my metaphorical pen across the room.

Buzzfeed needs to get this on mobile, though, and soon.
posted by missmary6 at 4:44 PM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


They use .puz files, so most crossword programs (e.g. Words With Crosses) should be able to grab them soon.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:47 PM on October 14, 2015


I don't know. I'm still trying to get over how the NYT puzzles have felt different since Eugene T. Maleska died.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:53 PM on October 14, 2015




« Older First Jamaican-Born Writer Wins Man Booker   |   The American Dream in all likelihood died a long... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments