No, it hasn't escaped my notice that my best posts are created by copying and pasting words that others send me. I'm kind of digging that — happy to let my readers do the work for me.
What's it like to be a judge? Imagine yourself in these situations:
- A paper comes in with no name or contestant number. Whose is it? Do you go ask people? Compare handwriting?
- An entry arrives with characters out of the Wingding font. Translate!
- Several people understandably don't bother to turn in their No. 5 puzzles. Is there any way to comfort them?
PhillySolver, aka Michael Smith was a first-time judge this year and sent me his remembrances. It's too long to include in this post but I have a link to his full story here. Before you get too excited, he does not explain the scoring mix up. I expect we'll hear official word about that eventually. He does a nice job of conveying the excitement and the magic of the work, though.
Update: I mentioned that we might hear official word about the B Div scoring error and just as if I had a clue what I was talking about, Will Shortz has provided his response.
Update 2: In response to a couple of questions from readers, yes today's Paula Gamache puzzle is indeed lovely, and the quote comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Here's the full warning:
"Art is a jealous mistress, and if a man has a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture or philosophy, he makes a bad husband and an ill provider."