This is primarily of benefit to NY Times Online puzzle subscribers, i.e. to people who can access the NY Times Archives on their puzzle site. There are some wonderful puzzles out there. There used to be a site that organized them by author, but it seems to have been disabled. But anyway, some of these older puzzles are terrific. I’ve often enjoyed Manny Nosowsky’s puzzles. I’ll be starting to list them as I find one’s that I really like. My criteria:
1. Hard, not something you zip through so quickly you barely notice it.
2. Some of the questions are things you’d like to know. An example from this week’s choice: “Pet name for José.” That’s something I feel I should know, some I’m curious what the correct answer will turn out to be. Good quotations are also a treat when you don’t know them immediately.
3. Some of the questions are obviously a specific way of saying something. You understand the clue perfectly and know what it means, but it has a multiword answer and you don’t know what it is. Again, your curiosity is peaked: What will it turn out to be?
4. Some of the answers have multiple reasonable possibilities for the same length word. Which meaning is the puzzle author using, you wonder? Is there some other meaning of the question that I haven’t thought of?
5. You begin to feel some satisfaction as the puzzle starts to come together, a feeling you figured something out.
So if you’re a NYT online puzzle subscriber, click on “Archives” and you’ll find an amazing collection of New York Times crosswords from more than a decade ago to the present.