Today I discovered that I suffer from a condition I didn’t even know existed: crossword clue envy.
Would I like to see my name on the NY Times bestseller list? Sure. Would I be happy if Netflix knocked on my door? Of course. But when I came to 50 Down on a crossword I was solving this morning I knew what I really wanted. And I let out an audible groan of envy. (See title image.)
Crossword Clue Envy: Brendan Emmett Quigley
I do the NYT crossword every morning. It’s how I wake up. In addition – and for many years now – I also follow Brendan Emmett Quigley. He publishes a crossword online every Monday and Thursday.
The Times crossword is a classic. (I will not digress into Rex Parker style commentary on it.) Yes, its puzzles do sometimes have topical clues and themes. But they aim to be evergreen. You can do one from five years ago, and it should still be good.
Bendan Emmett Quigley, aka B.E.Q., has no such constraint. He can be as up-to-the-minute as he wants. And he doesn’t have to hit the center-of-the-market Times xword solver knowledge base. Suffice it to say the Times would never use B.E.Q.’s 50 Down clue:
Romance novelist McQuiston
There are simply too many other ways to clue Casey than with a reference to a romance novelist. Old-time clues that might involve Casey Kasem of the Top 40, Casey Stengel, the “Casey at the Bat” poem. Or more recently, Casey Burke of Modern Family. And so on.
That’s the fun of B.E.Q. puzzles. You get the non-mainstream. Also random pop culture info. Before doing the puzzle this morning I did not know 4 Across:
Most-followed rapper on Instagram
And now I do.
Needless to say, I needed the crosses to get it. But if you get the final J from the Johann of 8 Down: Composer Strauss, then there aren’t too many other 5-letter rapper options.
I won’t post any images of her. If you’d like to add one more to her 140m followers, go to: Nicki Minaj
Crossword Clue Envy: Casey McQuiston
I have now downloaded McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue. It came out in 2019 … and I must have been somewhere else because I missed it.
It’s the story of the son of America’s first female president who falls in love with a prince of England.
Should be fun.
I applaud Casey’s accomplishments and admire her for them. But, oh man, to be clued on a B.E.Q. puzzle? That I envy!
For more, click on: Casey McQuiston
Crossword Clue Envy: B.E.Q. Over Here!
I have my hand up and I’m waving it. I’m now the obnoxious kid in the class, bouncing up and down in her seat saying, “Pick me! Pick me!”
Clue suggestion: Duke University linguist and romance writer extraordinaire Julie. (Hey, I’m writing the clue.) With an 8-letter answer.
Clue suggestion: Multilingual romance writer, popular blogger and world traveler Andresen. (Again, the whole me-writing-the-clue thing.) With a 5-letter answer.
Alas, I’m a realist. The only linguist who appears in crossword puzzles is a man. His first name has 4 letters and his last name has 7. And I’m not a Millennial who has written a queer romance, although I’ve read my share. And will continue this afternoon with Red, White & Royal Blue.
When faced with reality, I know what to do. Go to my desk and get to work. I’m halfway through writing the third book in my shapeshifter series, Wealth Whispers.
For more on my shapeshifter series: Money for Nothing and Werepanthers
For more on my crossword obsession:
This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen