- ? 2016 Winter: Ashland
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' crosswords as a group.
- Depending on class ability and interest, puzzles could include New York Times: Thu - Sun; Merl Reagle: Sun; NYT 'Variety' crosswords (Puns & Anagrams (cryptic style), Takeaway, Vowelless); Acrostics; or other word games.
- We'll enjoy and explain any tricky clues and unusual themes we encounter.
- 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. (next introductory course -- CROSSWORDS and YOU -- to be offered Spring 2016)
- Below: more about Instructor, Topics and Puzzles.
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, in the context of solving puzzles, I will highlight interesting/unusual clues and themes, answer questions, and mention 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, authoring, and WordPlay movie -- along with some practice (1/3 of each session) involving easier puzzles.
Puzzles & Process
- Navigation: using this web site
- Resources: where to find materials, e.g., reference sections from CROSSWORDS and YOU
- Each session, we'll select several puzzles that are available online, and appropriate in difficulty for class ability & interest; for example:
- NYT: Wed free; Thu-Sun; 'Variety' instructor has NYT Digital Subscription
- Merl Reagle 4 most recent; instructor has also 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. themeless "Saturday Stumper"
- cryptic-style, e.g., NYT Variety "Puns & Anagrams"; Cru Cryptics e.g., beginner-friendly
- other word puzzles, e.g., CodeWords, NYT Acrostics
- CROSSWORDS and YOU : Puzzle Sources : Web Sites
- We'll display each puzzle on the screen using an interactive crossword application like
- Crosswords for iPad, … (at right); [slideshow]
- Across Lite free; for Macintosh, Windows, iPad (below right); [slideshow]
- CROSSWORDS and YOU : Puzzle Sources : Applications
- 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 when 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, e.g., various blogs for further explanations:
- NYT WordPlay
- WEB's NYT Crosswords
- CROSSWORDS and YOU : Solving Strategies