- 2012 Fall, Ashland
- Sessions: 6
- Course URL: http://communicrossings.com/olli-course-crosswords-practicum-beginner
- We'll practice solving crossword puzzles as a group, and discuss the tricky clues and funny themes we discover. This practice-only course is open to anyone who would like to improve their crossword skills, especially those who have taken my introductory CROSSWORDS and YOU course. We'll focus on puzzles of NYT (New York Times) Monday & Tuesday (and maybe Wednesday) level difficulty. Students with Internet access can download completed or in-process puzzles, and reference other materials. More about course topics and style 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 family and friends -- and the OLLI newsletter; 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, rock climbing, reading, theater, improv comedy, volunteering, and OLLI classes. At OLLI, Steve has offered CROSSWORDS and YOU, E-books, Evolution of the Internet and an Internet Issues Community Lecture.
- Steve Weyer: Confessions of a technology addict Ashland Daily Tidings; Aug 29, 2012
- I welcome feedback during class or via Contact Us (under Home menu). In particular, let me know which courses you'd like me to offer again.
Topics, Materials, Process
- Practicum: prac·ti·cum [prak-ti-kuhm] n. "(in a college or university) the part of a course consisting of practical work in a particular field"
- So, there will be no planned presentations -- just puzzle practice. However, I will discuss clues and themes in the context of solving puzzles, and may refer to online materials (from the CROSSWORDS and YOU course) that you can access later.
- If you're looking for an introduction to crosswords, including history and culture, formats, sources and applications, vocabulary, clues, themes and authoring -- along with some practice (1/3 of each session), consider taking my OLLI course: CROSSWORDS and YOU.
- We will solve puzzles that are available online, e.g., free, older NYT
- This online page will be used for course resources:
- You will 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 (puzzles, 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 (esp. practice puzzle section) 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 .pdf file for this page: CROSSWORDS_Practicum_Beginner-Weyer.pdf [5 pp.; 0.6 MB; 6-Oct-2012]
- We'll select several puzzles each session, appropriate to your skill levels, for example, NYT Mon, NYT Tue, or NYT Wed. More experienced solvers may prefer to enroll in an Intermediate Practicum course -- possibly offered in the future (let me know if you're interested).
- We'll display each puzzle using the Across Lite application (optional: free download for Macintosh, Windows and iPad).
- A puzzle can be done in any order. However, to minimize group confusion, we'll generally go thru the puzzle sequentially, focusing on each current Across and/or Down clues before filling-in or skipping.
- I'll highlight interesting clues or themes.
- The solving emphasis will be on learning and fun -- rather than on perfection and speed. Those with more experience should refrain from answering for a few seconds to allow beginners to consider the clues.
- There will be links (later on this page) to puzzles that we've chosen so that you can review or re-solve on your own. Example practice page (Spring 2012)
- Each puzzle will generally be available in these versions:
- original (before): the blank, unfilled-in puzzle [.pdf, .puz]
- partial (during): our current progress [.pdf, .puz] -- unless we finish
- solution (after): the correct, filled-in solution [.pdf] (for .puz, Across Lite > Reveal > Complete Solution)
- in these formats:
- [.pdf]: for viewing/printing in Adobe Reader and compatible PDF viewers
- [.puz]: for solving in Across Lite and compatible apps
- [web]: for web browser, if there's an interactive puzzle or online discussion (blog) available