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Snippets ...

First, congratulations to the current king of speed-solving when it comes to the world's other most famous Times Crossword - Tyler Hinman, who won his 5th successive American Crossword Puzzle Tournament last weekend. For something like the third time among those five, he completed the final puzzle well behind the first finisher, but (just as important as it is in our contest) "perfect", as Will Shortz has it when reading results. Jon Delfin, who comments here sometimes and does well in RTC, chalked up his umpteenth top 10 place, finishing 6th (of nearly 700). I hope he gets back into the final stages (top 3) before Tyler beats his count of seven wins. Former Listener xwd editor Ross Beresford finished inside the top 500 after only a few months of solving the NYT puzzle every day. Big improvement expected next time.

Full details, including a bit of crossword dancing in the A final video, at http://www.crosswordtournament.com/2009/index.htm

Ross records his NYT solving progress at http://www.crosswordmanblog.com/


Back in the UK, our pet Times setter Anax has a new puzzle on his site at http://www.ukpuzzle.com/ - Puzzle Collection #003 includes a 13x13 "Korma cryptic", which is intended to be as mild as the curries of the same name. I finished in 5:37, so not a complete doddle, but a good gentle solve.

I'm still struggling with the novel-looking "Alph" word puzzle underneath it. Maybe the clue is that Alph is an anagram of Phal - the curry for those who think Vindaloo isn't hot enough?