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Recently accepted puzzle to the NY Times



I constructed a puzzle that has recently been accepted by the NY times.  In the acceptance e-mail, I was told that the NY Times would be sending be a constructor's agreement (via e-mail), sometime in the near future.  I was just wondering A.) About how long does it usually take for the Times to send that constructor's agreement to me? and B.) Once I complete the constructor's agreement, about how long will it take for the puzzle to make the paper?

Thanks so much,


Hi Mike:
I would expect notification of the contract within 2 weeks.  After 4 weeks, I would send Will an Email reminder.

Publication may take 6 months to a year from the point of acceptance.  You can check the NYT crossword blog nightly.  Sometimes Jim Horne contacts new constructors (for interviews) a week or two before the puzzle appears -- but I don't think that's a consistent practice.

I routinely check the NYT crossword blog at 9 pm each night to see whose puzzle will appear the next day.
-Joe Krozel

I had my first puzzle accepted for New York Times in May 2009. The contract paperwork followed closely. Still not published yet, so it can take at least 6 months. I am not sure if I will be advised of the publication date or not.

Todd G:
First of all, congratulations Clive and Mike on being published!  :)

I just checked: I got the acceptance e-mail for my puzzle on 30 May 2009, and the Puzzle Constructor's Agreement the next day (1 Jun 2009)!  So I'd be surprised if you didn't get it in a couple of days.

As far as when puzzles get published, I can give you a couple of examples.  I know someone whose puzzle took over a year to be published.  My puzzle, from the date of acceptance to appearance in the paper, took 3 1/2 months.  Both of our puzzles were Sunday puzzles.

So why the big disparity (btw, they were published just a few months apart)?  The one that took over a year was a fairly standard word play puzzle.  My puzzle, on the other hand, was certainly unusual with that bingo "card" in the middle, so Will decided to run it quicker, even though it required more work on his part to produce.

Also, different days of the week have different sized queues.  I hear the Monday queue is relatively small, and themeless puzzle days (Friday and Saturday) are rather long.  The queue for diagramless puzzles is particularly long I hear.

I look forward to seeing your published puzzle(s)!

Thanks so much everyone for taking the time to respond.  You've all been very helpful.  I received the constructor's agreement a little over a week later, and hopefully the puzzle will appear sooner than later.

Congrats to everyone on their accepted puzzles, and good luck with all the ones you make in the future!



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