- 2013 Spring: Ashland; SKLL104; Fri, 9-10:30am, Room A, Apr 5-May 10;
2012 Spring: Ashland; 2011 Spring: Ashland, Medford
- Sessions: 6
- Course URL: http://communicrossings.com/olli-course-crosswords-and-you
- Do you find life puzzling (common in crossword-themed songs)? We will explore the history and culture of crosswords (2013 is 100th anniversary of the crossword puzzle!), learn about crossword formats, online sources and applications, the secret language of clues and cruciverbalism (creating crosswords) -- while solving puzzles as a group during part of each session to improve our skills. For the final session, we'll watch the movie documentary WordPlay. Internet required for student access to course materials. More about course topics below.
About the Instructor
- Steve Weyer is a long-time crossword buff -- solving puzzles sometimes on paper, now mostly on his iPad. He has created crosswords for the OLLI newsletter and for family and friends ; he's also a technology addict, and web site and software developer.
- Steve has 40+ years experience with computer software, including research and development for Stanford University, Xerox PARC, Atari, HP Labs and Apple. In 2002, he developed and distributed a crossword application (CrozzWord*) for several handheld devices. After moving to Ashland in 2006 (after several visits in mid-70s), he’s been enjoying non-technical activities such as hiking, biking, reading, theater, improv comedy, volunteering, and OLLI classes. At OLLI, Steve has offered CROSSWORDS: Practicum, E-books, Evolution of the Internet and an Internet Issues Community Lecture.
- Enneagram Crucigram: Nine Points Magazine of the International Enneagram Association; 1/1/2013; Steve's puzzle (.pdf, .puz, Java) and solution page
- Steve Weyer: Confessions of a technology addict Ashland Daily Tidings; Aug 29, 2012
- Crossword music program, and interview with Steve (mp3; 96:22): Maya's Mix (radio show, on KSKQ-LP 94.9 FM, Ashland), Apr 29, 2011
- *CrozzWord was awarded 1st place in the Entertainment/Educational/Multimedia category in the JPDA 2002 Application Developers Contest for Zaurus and iPaq sponsored by Insignia Solutions, HP, Intel, Metrowerks, Sharp, Softbank Publishing and Sun Microsystems; CrozzWord is no longer supported/sold.
- 1. Introduction: Syllabus and Course Materials (below)
- Why Do We Solve Puzzles?
- History: Milestones (in crosswords) and Media (music, fiction, theater, film, TV, culture)
- Practice: this course is approximately 2/3 presentation, 1/3 practice solving puzzles. Separate crossword practice-only courses, e.g., CROSSWORDS: Practicum: Beginner, may also be offered, where each session consists entirely of solving crossword puzzles as a group, and discussing the tricky clues and funny themes we find; these would be appropriate for those who have already taken this course, or who would prefer to skip puzzle history, background and resources.
- 2. Terminology and Types of Crosswords
- Solving Strategies and Resources: tips, tools [Part 1]
- 3. Solving Strategies and Resources: tips, tools [Part 2]
- 4. Puzzle Sources: Web Sites and Applications
- 5. Authoring: Web Sites and Applications
- WordPlay movie documentary: introduction
- 6. WordPlay movie (1:34); note: we'll start class 10 minutes early
- These online pages will be used for course presentation & resources:
- You can also find this link on the OLLI site: Course Materials -- at least for the current term & course number.
- This online version allows you to explore items (articles, web sites) that we skim/skip or that you miss, or want to refer to later; it also allows me to update the course easily with new or revised items. It's scalable and mobile-friendly for smaller screens. These pages will be updated during the course -- and afterwards, if I offer it later.
- There will be no PowerPoint slides or paper handouts. For those who prefer a printed version, or an offline document for computer, tablet or eReader, you can download a large .pdf file including all sections of this course (includes active web links, but plainer format, infrequent updates): CROSSWORDS_and_YOU-Weyer.pdf [114 pp.; 8.2 Mb; 13-Mar-2013]
- I welcome feedback -- during class or via Contact Us (under Home menu) -- about particular topics/issues you'd like to discuss, about the pace and level of detail, favorite puzzle sources, which of my courses you might like to take, etc.
- For most topics, I generally refer to Wikipedia, and New York Times (NYT) -- as good starting points (though certainly not the only ones) for exploration. Some sites may limit article access by imposing a monthly quota, or requiring login or subscription. File formats will usually be indicated as [.pdf], [.puz], etc. Note: any images, puzzles or other media provided on this site are for instructional/personal use and should not be redistributed. Photo galleries -- on this page, and under Sources:Applications and Authoring -- should display properly in most modern web browsers (Internet Explorer (IE) users may experience problems and see a warning message).