Boswords, the crossword competition that started in Boston but is now held online four times a year, is back with its Fall Themeless League! If you want a great themeless crossword every week, and furthermore want to see how you stack up against other crossword lovers, jump over to the Boswords site and sign up quick — the first puzzle of the weekly tournament will be released this coming Monday, October 3. (You don’t have to solve the puzzle that very day; just find time to sit with at some point during the week.)
As with previous iterations of the league, when you register, you choose which of three difficulty levels is best for you — Smooth, Choppy, or Stormy. (Boston is a port town.) The answers in the grids are the same for each puzzle, but the clues are not: Smooth means you’ll face a Tuesday level of difficulty, according to the New York Times difficulty scale. Choppy means Friday-level clues. And Stormy is “harder than a Saturday,” so yikes. (If you discover partway through the tournament that you have mis-ranked yourself, you can switch difficulty levels; just ask.)
Furthermore, you don’t have to go it alone: Boswords embraces a trend seen at other independent tournaments — Pairs solving! If you think you’ll need help with those Stormy-level clues, grab your friend, spouse, or significant other and discover the joys of co-solving.
All the puzzles are solved via your computer and timed automatically, and the ongoing scores are updated weekly. In the final week, there is a Championship puzzle, and the winner is thereby crowned. But even if you have no hope of coming out on top, it’s fun to see how far up the ladder you can climb — and then see if you can top that next time.
To emphasize: If this all sounds like fun, there are only a few days left to register before the first puzzle is released, so get moving!