Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,

Cutthroat Crosswords

Orange's blog recently added a place for readers to enter solving times for the NYT and NYS puzzles. I've been inputting my NY Sun times without first looking at everyone else's and darn, Dan Feyer (Winner of the C Division as Ryan and Brian always say) is the new Howard Barkin (Knower of All Things per R&B), coming up swiftly from nowhere to beat me most of the time. In fact, Dan even has a Tyler-like video (minus Tyler's obnoxious commenters) solving an old NYT online in 1:44.

Makes me feel old and slow (those inevitably go together). But who knows, next February the speedsters could fail to check crossings and make careless mistakes. And I wouldn't be that upset if their planes couldn't get here (evil grin). Oh wait, most of them won't be flying.

Since I solve the NYT on paper while proofreading, my times aren't comparable to applet or Across Lite speed demons. On the other hand, when I first solve, the proofreading is minimal. I read all the clues as always, but don't read them carefully or check cross-references or make sure I fully understand everything (I do circle accents or potential typographical trouble spots, but that doesn't eat up much time). Careful checking doesn't happen until I make the Across Lite file and solve a second time.

So as of Thursday's puzzle I started recording my NYT times on Amy's blog as well. If nothing else, people may feel comforted that I'm so slow. Today's not bad, but there may be times I'm considerably off the pace.

I'll resolve now to post regularly no matter how bad my times seem unless 1) I'm unable to get online in time, or 2) I didn't time the puzzle (occasionally I'm interrupted by a phone call or visitor or just forget to note the starting time).

So Dan, Howard, Tyler, Amy, Byron, Al, Stella, Doug P. (who research shows is deadbydawn) and some mystery people (zachugly?), I expect to feel humbled.

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