New Year’s Resolutions – The New York Times

76 shares, 57 points
New Year’s Resolutions - The New York Times

New Year’s Resolutions – The New York Times

You might have to deduce the exact wording on one or two of these, but they’re exactly the types of resolutions you freely share with acquaintances, the understandable ones, and you’ve probably heard them all before.

What is a free-spirited crossword and sports fan’s resolution? Keep that streak going!

Back in January, I wrote a list of intentions for the year. One was to get another puzzle in The Times!

I didn’t get around to it until October. Time was running out … I thought, “What’s an idea Will would want to publish by Dec. 31?” Voilà — a New Year’s puzzle! I started playing with various “2021” ideas — a 20×20 puzzle, 20/20 vision, etc. But the idea of Resolutions quickly took the lead.

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The initial spark was LOSE TEN POUNDS, which didn’t end up making the cut. My testers rightly noted that no British person, no matter how absent-minded or confused about gambling, would want to lose money.

Other resolutions on the cutting room floor: FIND A LIFE PARTNER (lonely board gamer), CLEAN UP THE HOUSE (congressional ethicist), START RUNNING (hesitant politician), DO SOME TRAVELING (brazen basketballer).

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Making this puzzle took a village: Alison Muratore, Greg Pliska, Eric Chaikin, Debbie Goldstein and NeilFred Picciotto all provided valuable feedback. And as always, my puzzle sensei Tyler Hinman generously evaluated many, many iterations of the filled grid — sparing the nation’s solvers the indignity of answers like ONER, PLUR, RVER, EBOND and so on.

Not coincidentally, these folks are all members of a wonderful, welcoming organization called the National Puzzlers’ League. If you want to spend four days playing ingenious, handcrafted word puzzles of all kinds, the 2021 convention is in Toronto in July!

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I made it a priority to include as many women, people of color and L.G.B.T.Q. folks in the puzzle as possible — and I was glad to see that most of my efforts made it through the editing process. Representation in popular culture — including crosswords — can help create a more just, inclusive, loving world. May it be so in 2021.

In case you missed it, Deb put together some reminiscences about the last decade.

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76 shares, 57 points