Saturday, September 03, 2016

Indie Crossword Puzzlers Are Shaking Up A Very Square World

Gawker wasn’t the only irreverent, iconoclastic internet media property to say farewell recently. To a much quieter dirge, the BuzzFeed crossword puzzle published its final edition this month. Its editor, 23-year-old puzzle wunderkind Caleb Madison, for whom this was his first job, left the company to strike out on his own.

The BuzzFeed crossword, which launched in October, promised a millennial upheaval to the musty crossword genre: an internet-native, slang-fluent, pop-culture-obsessed puzzle aimed at young solvers. There was hope, given BuzzFeed’s large amounts of traffic, that it would serve as a meaningful competitor to the starchy, hegemonic New York Times crossword. “BuzzFeed Is Revolutionizing the Crossword Puzzle,” an Observer headline declared last year.


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