- ?2016 Winter
Ashland: 2015 Spring; 2014 Spring; 2013 Fall; 2012 Fall (Beginner)
- Sessions: 6
- Course URL: http://communicrossings.com/olli-course-crosswords-practicum-intermediate
- In this intermediate-level, practice-only course, we will solve 'more difficult' crossword puzzles as a group.
- Depending on class ability and interest, we could do New York Times: Thu & Sunday; Merl Reagle: Sun; NYT: Fri & Sat; or 'easier' UK-style Cryptics.
- We'll discuss the tricky clues and funny themes we discover.
- This practicum is open not only to those who have taken my earlier Crosswords courses, but also to others who would like to improve their crossword skills.
- Below: more about Instructor, Topics and Resources.
About the Instructor
- Steve Weyer has taught Be Safer on the Internet, Crosswords (Intro and Practicum), E-books, and Internet History and Issues at OLLI since 2010. Steve has 45+ years experience with computer software, including research and development on programming languages, learning environments, electronic books, and artificial intelligence at Stanford, Xerox PARC, Atari, HP Labs and Apple. He has developed and distributed a web browser ("Newt’s Cape"), a crossword application ("CrozzWord") and other applications for early mobile devices and smartphones. He has also created crossword puzzles and web sites. Steve has a BS in Math (Univ. of Wash.), and an MS in Statistics and PhD in Education (Stanford); his publications.
- Steve is a long-time crossword buff -- solving puzzles sometimes on paper, now mostly on his iPad. He has published crosswords for the OLLI newsletter and Nine Points Magazine, and also created crosswords for for family and friends. His CrozzWord application 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.
- After moving to Ashland in 2006 (after several visits in the mid-70s), Steve has been enjoying non-technical activities such as hiking, biking, reading (esp. Sci-Fi), theater, improv comedy, and volunteering at Ashland CERT, OLLI at SOU and OSF.
- Enneagram Crucigram (crossword) Nine Points Magazine of the International Enneagram Association; 1/1/2013
- Steve Weyer: Confessions of a technology addict Ashland Daily Tidings; 8/29/2012
- Interview: "Clued in Cruciverbalist", crossword puzzle: "An OLLI Olio: Ooh La La"; [puzzle]; lots of O…L… words; SOU OLLI; LINK Newsletter, p5; Fall 2011
- 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
- I welcome feedback -- during class or via Contact Us (under Home menu) -- about particular topics/issues you'd like to discuss, about the pace, level of detail, favorite puzzle sources, other courses you might like to take, etc.
- Practicum: prac·ti·cum [prak-ti-kuhm] n. "the part of a [university] course consisting of practical work in a particular field"; related to "praxis": exercise or practice of an art, science, or skill; practical application of a theory
- There will be no planned presentations -- just puzzle practice. However, while we solve puzzles, I will highlight interesting/unusual clues and themes, answer questions, and point to reference materials (from my CROSSWORDS and YOU course) that you can access later.
- Less experienced solvers are welcome; and/or you can consider my introductory CROSSWORDS and YOU course which covers history and culture, vocabulary, clues, themes, formats, sources, applications, and authoring -- along with some practice (1/3 of each session) involving easier puzzles.
- This web page will be used for course presentation & resources -- the following link (URL) is in the course catalog, and will be emailed to registered students:
- This online version allows you to explore items that we skim/skip, or that you miss, or want to refer to later. This format also allows me to update the course with new or revised items on an ongoing basis, plus provide a more mobile-friendly version. Note: there will be no other versions, e.g., .pdf, as in my other longer courses.
- We'll select several puzzles each session, usually available online, and appropriate in difficulty for class ability & interest; for example:
- NYT Wed (free)
- NYT Thu-Sun instructor has NYT Digital Subscription
- Merl Reagle (4 most recent); instructor has saved older puzzles
- LA Times (past 4 weeks) User (left column): login, or register for free account; Archives: LA Times (right column)
- Newsday Stanley Newman; esp. "Saturday Stumper"
- theme-specific examples
- cryptics, e.g., Cru Cryptics beginner-friendly, …
- other "more difficult" online puzzles…
- There will be a refresher for certain puzzle types, e.g., rebuses; for cryptics, we'll review different clue types, e.g.,
- We'll display each puzzle using an interactive crossword application like
- A puzzle can be done in any order. However, to minimize group confusion, we'll generally work together on the same area of the puzzle, focus on the same clues, and fill-in a consensus answer -- or skip to nearby clues if we seem stuck.
- The solving emphasis will be on learning and fun -- rather than on perfection and speed. The more experienced among us should refrain from answering for a few seconds to allow others to consider the clues.
- I'll highlight interesting clues or themes, and refer to online solving resources. We might refer to various blogs for further explanations, e.g.,