One of the Daily POP Crosswords app’s best features is the level of involvement from topnotch constructors. We’ve assembled one heck of a team when it comes to creating terrific, exciting, fresh themed crosswords.
And over the last month or so, we’ve been introducing you to some of them. You might not recognize every name at first, but rest assured… they’re all doing amazing work on these puzzles and deserve a little time in the limelight.
In this installment, allow us to introduce you to constructor Pam Klawitter!
How did you get started in puzzles?
I guess you’d say being a crossword constructor is my post-teaching “retirement career.” I’ve always loved all types of puzzles, and after spending many years teaching gifted students who are masters of all things word-related, I was sure it would be a simple task to teach myself how to construct a crossword puzzle. Not true! It was evident in my earliest puzzles, that I needed lots of assistance. I give full credit to the editors that stuck it out and guided me through the process.
I persevered and finally had my very first puzzle published in The Washington Post in 2007. That was followed by my first Los Angeles Times and New York Times puzzles in 2008. After that, there was no going back!
It surprises me now to say I’ve had over 400 puzzles published in a variety of venues. Being a regular constructor for The Crosswords Club is how I began working with Patti Varol. With 100+ puzzles under my belt there, I am really happy that she asked me to be a part of this new group.
What problems have you encountered in constructing crosswords?
I would have to say that, for me, coming up with the themes has always been the easiest part of this journey. Getting exactly the right fill — not so much!
Thankfully, Patti and several other editors have had the patience of Job in allowing me to keep at it until I get it right. While many words could fill the boxes, it’s hard to find the perfect mix of interesting yet not obscure nor too difficult fill. That’s been a real learning process!
Starting out, it was hard to find cohesive themes, but now that I’ve been at it a while, I find that theme ideas are EVERYWHERE! This is evidenced by the stacks of scraps of paper and sticky notes with ideas scribbled on them that surround me like Pig-Pen’s cloud of dust!
What do you enjoy about Daily POP Crosswords?
I love the Daily POP Crosswords puzzles because they are a bit more straightforward than Sunday-size puzzles, thus a bit easier to fill. (For me, that’s a definite plus!)
I also love the pop culture aspect of these puzzles, which allows for all sorts of up-to- the-minute themes. I’ve learned so much! Book Smarts and TV Time are probably my favorite categories.
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