Another great year!

FOR CROSSWORD PUZZLES ONLY AND SPECIFICALLY.

Given that the vast majority of the potential solving public spent most of the year stuck indoors for reasons, we spent a whole lotta time filling in grids. A few new features debuted, the tournament scene shifted online, charity projects proliferated, Crossword Twitter got snarkier. It was also a year certain long-simmering controversies came to a head, and a year that some once-scorned brands achieved new prominence.

Standard caveat: I’m one guy and there’s a lot to cover (seemingly more than ever), so if I missed some fact (or an aspect…


I’m definitely going to be finishing up Shakespeare’s Trump in the coming year (the next scene is already done), but I want events to play out before getting into the…


The Supreme Court’s casual anteroom. Enter CLARENCE THOMAS, RUTH BADER GINSBURG, STEPHEN BREYER, JOHN ROBERTS, SAMUEL ALITO, SONIA SOTOMAYOR, ELENA KAGAN, NEIL GORSUCH, and BRETT KAVANAUGH.

JOHN ROBERTS.

Oyez, oyez, oyez! Once more we meet

Reviewing what to view, deciding what

We shall decide ourselves in judgment high.

More cases have been sent for nonet’s view

Than any number timely could resolve.

To follow custom, each of us shall speak

In order of appointment, first to last,

And none shall speak again ’til all be heard.

CLARENCE THOMAS.

Our first case, hereinafter so referr’d

As White House versus Christopher Astaire,


Scene IV

Enter KIM JONG UN, tweeting.

KIM JONG UN

It is no mere threat but a reality:

Beneath my finger Armageddon lies.

From my workstation’s timber quietude

To all U.S. municipalities,

My phalanx-flick could kill by atom-fire.

Enter TRUMP, tweeting.

TRUMP.

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un,

Has boasted he strokes button nuclear.

I know not what he reads or whom he hears.

Will citizens of his impov’rish’d land

Act as my heralds? Tell him buttons come

In many sizes, and mine is as large

And Jupiterean as any made,

And unlike his pin’s-prick, my button works.

TRUMP…


Shakespeare’s Trump, Act III, Scene III

IVANKA TRUMP and JARED KUSHNER sit at the head of a dinner-table, with DONALD TRUMP JR. in the middle and ERIC TRUMP near its foot. No chairs are empty.

IVANKA.

I think we must attend the funeral.

Our absence would insult th’aristocrats.

Whilst Sir McCain had right to keep us out,

’Twas only Father’s presence that he barr’d.

Attending orphan’d, we respect his wish,

But show respect befitting dynasty.

ERIC.

In what respect hath he respected us?

Respect! Re-speck’d his spittle on our cheeks

When he disloyally shot down our vote,

Maintaining healthcare for…


Scene I

Enter JASON in alley.

JASON.

I cannot breathe for bile in bubbling lungs,

And I, physician, have no remedy.

Again, again, the President doth claim

Our sole healthcare achievement of this age

Is but a tenpin to be overturn’d.

And finally he seems to bowl a strike,

With Senate votes sufficient for his aim

Save only one, Republican McCain’s,

Who hems and haws with th’ill and injur’d’s lives

Whilst basking in the limelight he had lost.

My furnace hath no vent. Patients I need,

So patience I must in hospital show

Lest inhospitability ruin me.

I have a…


Tree in winter. Enter GIGI and KIKI, young women.

GIGI.

Let’s go.

KIKI

We can’t.

GIGI

Why not?

KIKI

We wait for the report,

For Mueller’s mule-work mull’d throughout Mall’s mile.

We wait for proof of what the Don’s acts prove,

That Russian propagandists crown’d him Prez,

That they, not darkest veins in our own hearts,

Have cast this fool’s-gold era of our land.

That Trump committed treason, perjury,

And undeniable depravities

Upon the flag ’pon which he forces hugs.

GIGI.

My heels do trouble me.

KIKI.

Rest them. It comes.

GIGI.

When?

KIKI.

Soon.

GIGI.

And if not soon?


Enter BREITBART REPORTER. Enter BANNON.

BREITBART REPORTER.

Congratulations, sire, on your return

To Brietbart journalism, your root-soil,

Though some yardsticks would say you never left.

We true conservatives have serv’d the cons

To pros’ prosaic milkblood government,

In words assaulting feminazi Jews,

The gun-controlling diaper-soiling brats,

The anti-Nazi Nazis, Muslims, trans,

The sexist, racist races, climate frauds,

And institutions’ madness inmate-run,

Conserving your example ’til this hour

You have return’d to us from public life,

Entirely voluntar’ly, to be sure.

BANNON.

Be sure indeed, for none may doubt my smile.

Now ICE flash-freezes fam’lies at the hands

And shatters their…


The Blue Room.

Enter AMNON and AMIN, his uncle. AMIN bears a cross.

AMIN.

Thou thronging fools! Have faith, and be at peace!

Imperfect vessel though The Donald be,

A useful tool he can be made to halt

The evils of abortions and the spread

Of godless faith in naught. The cypress cross

The golden T conceals to do its work.

AMNON.

Whose work? Is cross concealer or conceal’d?

It can’t be both, dear uncle, and I find

The more one speaks of Trump, the less he seems

To represent abstractions save himself.

AMIN.

Can both it not be, though…


Charlottesville’s Robert E. Lee Memorial. Enter BAXTER with hooded PROTESTORS, carrying Confederate flags, swastikas.

BAXTER.

A babe, whose w’s are l’s and r’s,

Hath thus one word for white and light and right,

And knoweth more than th’overeducates

Who learn to hate the soil that spawn’d their blood.

Our hue doth hew all else, as well we know

’Til false reports erase and overwrite

Our pencil’d ledgers. Nay, we shan’t forget.

We shan’t forget the North’s aggressive fires,

We shan’t forget preferment splattering

Excreta over ivory until

A Kenyan communist soil’d bleach’d sand-stone,

Enslaving with his freedom those once free.

T Campbell

Writer of comics, crosswords and all manner of things.

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