Much to say today! First is that we have a collaboration between our own Brendan Emmett Quigley and our pal Joon Pahk, and it's a slightly oversized puzzle called "Funny Money" that's 3.5/5 in difficulty.
And then who to kvell about first? Brendan got name-dropped by some actor named John Lithgow on "The Tonight Show" last week. (Watch it here).
Meanwhile, March 4th saw the publication of the annual Orca Awards over at Crossword Fiend, a wonderful site that reviews lots of great puzzles daily, including the AVCX. Joon was nominated for Constructor of the Year! And the AVCX had a strong showing, with Aimee Lucido nominated for Best Gimmick Puzzle for "Fall Menu," and a guest puzzle by Josh Knapp from last August nominated for Best Freestyle Puzzle. But the big winner was Francis Heaney, who WON best Sunday-Sized Puzzle for "Love Letters," was nominated for Best Gimmick Puzzle for "Follow the Write Directions, was nominated for Best Crossword of 2017 also for "Love Letters," and finally WON Constructor of the Year (tied) for his overall puzzle brilliance as well as his politically conscientious role in the puzzle world. No words for how proud we are of all of them.
And I've saved the very least exciting announcement for last! Our email system accidentally sent a test message to all solvers last week. The email didn't contain a puzzle, which must have been kind of a letdown. But the good news is that you don't need to do anything (altho many of your replies were very funny ...), as we weren't actually running a test; it was just another landmark in the inevitable rise of the bot empire that will eventually reign over us.