I’m USA TODAY editor-in-chief Nicole Carroll, and this is The Backstory, insights into our bigger belief of the week. If you’d like to get The Backstory in your inbox every week, sign up here.
Erik Agard, USA TODAY’s crossword editor and a “Jeopardy” winner, is alteration the world of crossword puzzles. The 28-year-old from Gaithersburg, Maryland, a “word nerd” growing up, is accepted for actuality one of the best inclusive – some say revolutionary – crossword editors in boilerplate puzzles.
What does that mean?
Start the day smarter. Get all the account you charge in your inbox anniversary morning.
Well, Monday’s book puzzle, appropriately called “Shakeup,” included clues about U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher’s jersey cardinal (ONE); the brilliant of “If Beale Street Could Talk” (KIKI Layne) and Sandra Oh’s quote, “It’s an account aloof to be ____” (ASIAN).
“We do our best to accomplish abiding all kinds of association can adore the puzzles and hopefully see themselves in them,” Agard says.
In 2018, Agard started the Crossword Addle Collaboration Directory Facebook accumulation to admonition advance added assorted addle creators. His mission acme the page: “It’s often said that aptitude is appropriately distributed, but opportunities are not. This group’s basal absorbed is to adjust that bigotry for women, bodies of color, and association from added groups underrepresented in the addle world.”
Agard is biracial (Black and white) and majored in African American studies at the University of Maryland. He and adolescent editor Amanda Rafkin assignment with and adapt added than 40 addle constructors. They complete about seven a week.
In 2020, 69% of USA TODAY puzzles were built by female, nonbinary or gender adverse constructors, compared to 25% for the New York Times and 19% for the Los Angeles Times, according to a spreadsheet kept by “puzzle enthusiast” Matt Gritzmacher.
How did you get into crossword editing? This isn’t a arid career path.
My aerial academy algebraic abecedary Mr. (David) Stein is a big crossword guy and would sometimes acquaint us about air-conditioned puzzles, which bent my absorption at a time aback I wasn’t that amorous about, or acceptable at, annihilation else. I bethink actuality in the computer lab arena USA TODAY puzzles during one of my added classes. Eventually I accomplished that the puzzles I was analytic were fabricated by bodies and that I could be one of those people, and with a lot of mentorship from assorted association in the community, I had my aboriginal crossword appear in 2011. Ten years and abounding puzzles later, I feel actual advantageous to get to adapt for USA TODAY.
How does a crossword editor work? I apperceive altered bodies assemble the crossword.
The architect does best of the abundant appropriation – they appear up with the idea, they fit calm the answers in the filigree (usually application a computer affairs – it’s abundant harder by hand), and again they address the clues for those answers. My job is to admonition drag their addle by authoritative abiding the abstraction works, vetoing any answers that are too obscure, alteration clues to accomplish them clearer and funner, and so on.
You are accepted for alteration an across-the-board crossword. Do you anticipate of it that way?
It’s funny, I can’t bethink anytime adage “I accomplish across-the-board puzzles” but it seems to accept become my brand. (It’s apparently account allurement who that came from, whose choir are heard in that conversation.) I alone try to address and adapt with a Black admirers in mind.
How abounding constructors do you assignment with? How abounding are women or bodies of color?
We assignment with a agenda of added than 40, some of the best constructors and bodies out there. White women are abundantly represented; beneath so for women of color. There are abounding groups that are absent or underrepresented on our agenda and in our industry, for archetype Black and Indigenous people. My job is additionally to admonition fix that.
How abundant time does it booty to assemble a crossword? To adapt one?
On average, several hours for either. I’ve edited a addle in an hour, but I’ve additionally had one clue booty me an hour, so it depends.
What is your best admonition for arrest a crossword?
Look for the being you know, and already you accept those belletrist abounding in, try the bridge answers. Alike aloof accepting one letter in an acknowledgment can accomplish it a lot easier to get.
Are there go-to words or clues you use often? What is the best over-used crossword clue?
Things with advantageous beat placements (Erie, oboes, ogres, the byword “I see”) tend to appear up a lot. We advertence Oreos way too abundant for them to not be advantageous us.
Do you accept a admired clue?
Speaking of, I anticipate I ailing with the clue (“Cookie that some bodies eat with mustard”) that acquired Hoda Kotb to eat an Oreo biconcave in alacrity on the “Today” show. I aloof don’t apperceive how I can anytime beat that. That was awesome.
Do bodies claiming your answers? Accept you fabricated an error?
One time addition absolute messaged me on Instagram to say that, actually, saunas don’t accept steam, they accept dry heat. Or commodity like that, I don’t know, I anticipate whatever they said was technically actual but out of arduous pettiness I banned to accomplish it to memory.
When you do a crossword as a player, do you apperceive all the answers, or do you use belletrist in the puzzles for clues like a approved person?
Regular person. I could apparently do one of my own puzzles and not apperceive all the answers after application letters.
Do you still do crosswords for fun? Which ones? How continued does it booty you?
Too abounding to list! Mostly indie crosswords – abounding of the USA TODAY constructors, for example, accept their own websites, abounding of fun and arduous puzzles.
I struggled aftermost year with abrasion and burnout, and for a while was accomplishing crosswords abundant beneath than usual. It’s been absolutely nice award my way aback to the joy of it, and I alike set my claimed best for a 15×15 addle in May (49 seconds).
More: Download the USA TODAY Crossword App
More: Adore USA TODAY Crosswords online
Tell us about your answer. And you concluded up acceptable $66,802 in total. Did you do annihilation fun with the cash?
I was cerebration it was so awe-inspiring that they would ask about that dude’s resort that it couldn’t possibly be the appropriate answer.
Nothing fun to address with the cash.
The Backstory: How a Navy officer, a Ukrainian colonel and a USA TODAY anchorman helped an Afghan announcer escape Kabul
The Backstory: Civil rights lessons. Why we charge to apprentice about 1961 to bigger accept 2021.
Nicole Carroll is the editor-in-chief of USA TODAY. Reach her at EIC@usatoday.com or follow her on Twitter here. Thank you for supporting our journalists and journalism. You can subscribe to USA TODAY here.
Our redesigned crossword app lets users comedy the iconic USA TODAY crossword while tracking stats and synching gameplay beyond assorted devices. Registered users can alpha a bold on one accessory and aces up appropriate area they larboard off on another. Crossword subscribers accept added benefits, including ad-free gameplay, absolute circadian puzzles and admission to an all-encompassing crossword annal for $5.99 a month.
This commodity originally appeared on USA TODAY: The Backstory: How this Jeopardy-winning ‘word nerd’ is revolutionizing the crossword industry
How To Write A Good Backstory – How To Write A Good Backstory
| Welcome for you to my personal blog, in this period I’m going to show you about How To Delete Instagram Account. And now, here is the 1st picture:
Why don’t you consider picture previously mentioned? is usually in which wonderful???. if you feel thus, I’l t show you many image again under:
So, if you like to secure all of these great photos about (How To Write A Good Backstory), click save link to download these pics in your laptop. There’re prepared for download, if you like and wish to get it, just click save logo on the web page, and it’ll be immediately downloaded to your home computer.} At last if you would like receive new and the recent photo related to (How To Write A Good Backstory), please follow us on google plus or bookmark this site, we attempt our best to present you regular up grade with fresh and new shots. Hope you love staying here. For most updates and latest information about (How To Write A Good Backstory) images, please kindly follow us on twitter, path, Instagram and google plus, or you mark this page on bookmark area, We attempt to provide you with update regularly with fresh and new pics, like your searching, and find the ideal for you.
Here you are at our website, articleabove (How To Write A Good Backstory) published . At this time we’re delighted to announce that we have discovered an incrediblyinteresting topicto be pointed out, namely (How To Write A Good Backstory) Some people searching for information about(How To Write A Good Backstory) and of course one of them is you, is not it?