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Profile Information

Name: Martin Ashwood-Smith
Gender: Male
Hometown: Victoria/BC/Atheist
Home country: UK (London)
Current location: Canada (dual Canadian/British citizenship)
Member since: Wed May 18, 2005, 05:56 AM
Number of posts: 2,505

About Me

- Atheist - Professional crossword constuctor: New York Times/Washington Post/LA Times - Author.

Journal Archives

Today's "USA Today" Crossword is mine with LGBT clue!

Hi folks,

As some here may already know, I am a professional crossword constructor, hence my “name”

So what’s an “LGBT” clue doing in a paper like the USA Today?

Here’s some background info, that even people who aren’t very interested in crosswords may find interesting (and it’s NOT the part about me!):

Alrighty then ... I’ve contributed about 87 hard Friday/Saturday crosswords to the New York Times, however I’m also part of a team of about 20 people who contribute to the USA Today.

All of us who now contribute are, or have been New York Times crossword constructors, including Fred Piscop the (newer) USA Today crossword editor.

The previous editor Timothy Parker was FIRED for plagiarism!!!

Timothy Parker never had anything to do with any of the “regular” crossword community. He was contemptuous of those “smarty-pants” crosswords that “Elite Democrat Party Liberals” [not my words] liked.

This is probably because he was (and still is, IMO) an End-of-Times-Fundamentalist-Right-Wing-Extremist-Evangelical!”. And his solution was to PLAGIARIZE other published crosswords, including some older New York Times puzzles!!! He changed a few clues and answers to evade detection usually by a few letters.

If that sounds bizarre, you’re right. And it was Nate Silver’s group (love ‘em or hate ‘em) who finally published the definitive proof. It’s quite an interesting and entertaining story, because it’s so odd. Here’s an article about what happened:


Fred Piscop (a NYT constructor) took the helm. And recruited myself and a few other women and men from the “sane” crossword community. So here we are

My crossword today is not hard. It’s about a Monday-Tuesday level of NYT difficultly. There are zero rare words (I hope!), and it has a nifty little theme.

Oh yes, there is NO way that a clue with an LGBT/LGBTQ reference (36-Down) would have made it in an older USA Today crossword

(FYI you can find it online at their site or in the paper)

Tuesday, July 3/2018



AKA: Martin Ashwood-Smih

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