view counter

One Whale of a Puzzle

Crossword creator Ben Tausig wins Orca award for Best Crossword

When your favorite movie wins an Oscar, you can say I was there — virtually.
    You’ve gotten closer than that in the world of puzzles if you’ve matched wits with Ben Tausig, winner of the Orca for Best Crossword of 2012.
    Like the Oscars, the Orcas are awarded by insiders, the followers of Sam Donaldson’s blog, Diary of a Crossword Fiend.
    Tausig’s March 28, 2012 puzzle, published in The Onion A.V. Club, won best puzzle of the year.
    You should be glad the winner didn’t run in Bay Weekly. Donaldson and readers of his blog chose Tausig’s puzzle for its devilish complication.
    Among its entanglements: “Six three-letter entries have two clues, one using up and one using down. The trick is that you continue up the grid to get the answer to the up clue and continue down the grid for the answer to the down clue.”
    Think it out for yourself at
    Puzzles published in print or on the web were eligible for Orcas.    Orcas were also given for Best Easy Crossword, Best Free­style Crossword, Best Sunday-Sized Crossword, Best Gimmick Puzzle, Most Divisive Crossword. For the first time ever, a Lifetime Achievement Orca honored cruciverbalist Bob Klahn, renowned for the originality of his clues. Test your wits against his in The Wrath of Klahn Crosswords: Puzzles from the World’s Toughest Clue Writer.
    Or just keep matching wits with Tausig in Bay Weekly.