5/5 difficulty puzzle this week! Try Byron Walden's "Mistaking the Fifth," which is 15x19 squares and may test you ...
A plug this week for another charity puzzle pack, which is a recent trend in crosswords that's produced a lot of great work and has been especially strong for opening up opportunities to new and underrepresented puzzlemakers. The most recent one is called Women of Letters, and it's fantastic. If you are a regular solver of newspaper crosswords, you've probably noticed that men dominate both editorial positions and constructor bylines. But whether you noticed or not, women have been here, editing and proofreading, constructing and solving. WOL showcases many of the most brilliant women in puzzles today -- 18 puzzles by 17 different constructors. Get it here by making a small donation to a woman-centric charity, either from the list they offer or one of your own choosing.
Finally, as there are still a few hours left of May Day as this puzzle goes out, we thought you might like to know how the AVCX constructors are paid. Of your subscription money (or anything you pay us), 25% goes into a pool that is shared among the constructors who wrote puzzles in the same quarter (in addition to a $100 base payment, which is not taken from that 25%). The result is that when the company does well, so do the creative people who make that possible, and in a commensurate fashion. We urge all puzzle outlets to adopt a similar equitable pay structure, rather than a work-for-hire model.
Ben and the AVCX crew
avxwords.com // @avcxword