With the release of Dec. 29, 2017, Crossword constructor Matt Gaffney has published 500 puzzles for his Weekly Crossword Contest, MGWCC.
The five hundredth is entitled Don’t Even Think About It and is sized at 15×15, coming packed with the usual a meta-puzzle. This particular meta from Gaffney leaves a much more head scratching than usual and comes together very nicely, incorporating theme answers from the rest of the Crossword for an extremely satisfying ah-ha moment.
MGWCC started of as a free service, but Gaffney pivoted the project to a paid subscription model in Jan. 2015, after six-and-a-half years. Annual MGWCC subscriptions are $26, there also quarterly or biannual payment options available. Subscribers are emailed the Crossword every Friday and receive them in PUZ, JPZ, and PDF formats.
Many puzzle designers take a hybrid approach to financial stability, contributing to mainstream puzzle outlets while also providing puzzles through independent publishing. Gaffney is one of the few of today’s authors that has found ways to fully support themselves through puzzle production, blazing a new business model for current and future designers to follow.
Gaffney has his crossword design career his first published design released when he was just 13-years-old. The puzzle constructor would go on to create over 5,000 Crosswords over the next 28 years, with many appearing in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Slate Magazine.