Apr 13, 2010

Interview with David W. Cromer

Today is our 12th David Cromer puzzle since the TMS switch in March 2008, making him one of our most productive LAT contributors.

David had his crossword debut in January 2007. Since then, he has had 34 puzzles published by the LA Times. David's byline also appears regularly in Newsday.

What is your background and how did you develop an interest in crossword constructing?

I am 38 and have formal training in music, namely percussion instruments. I have been both a musician and songwriter. I always enjoyed solving crosswords but never gave much thought to their construction other than how difficult it must be to make them. I admired those who could do so. I was spurred by a friend to try to make one. That was a disaster, but I realized I could do it and by my third puzzle I was published.

How would you describe your style? Most of your puzzles we've had seem to focus on early week puzzles.

I guess I would describe my style as casual. I seem to gravitate toward easy themes. It is my experience that the majority of solvers prefer them as oppose to a "brain-buster". However, it can make my job harder to develop a theme that hasn't been done before so the key is to find a new angle.

What's the most proud puzzle you've made and why?

The puzzle I am most proud of would be a Sunday puzzle from the LA Times of June 2009. That was my first Sunday puzzle to be published and was a milestone for me.

I see your byline in other publications often. How do you maintain your productivity? And what kind of newspapers/magazines/websites do you read for theme inspirations?

I work at some aspect of crosswords everyday whether actively constructing or brainstorming themes. I read voraciously and theme ideas strike at any time. Most of my ideas come from a crossword dictionary. I will just peruse and can come up with something. I have also found ideas while solving a puzzle. A single clue sometimes leads me to a theme.

What puzzles so you solve every day and who are your favorite constructors?

I do the LA Times puzzle daily and the Sunday puzzle from both the NY Times and LA Times. I also do the Newsday puzzle on occasion. My favorite constructors are Elizabeth Gorski and Dan Naddor. Both of them really have a gift for this.

Besides crossword, what are your other hobbies?

When not wiling away at crosswords, I am usually reading. I am also a novice stock market investor which is more than enough excitement.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another musician constructor.

Crockett1947 said...

And another great interview!

Thank you, C.C.! And Mr. Cromer!

Clear Ayes said...

I noticed David Cromer's musical connection too. It does seem that music often figures prominently in our constructors' lives.

I'm glad that there are constructors who enjoy creating the early-in-the-week puzzles. Good ones aren't that easy to come by. Thanks David. We appreciate it.

Lucina said...

Yes, thank you, David. Your puzzles are creative and amusing.

I can't imagine what it must be like to create a puzzle, but I certainly enjoy solving them.

Lemonade714 said...

Mr. Cromer


Stock msrket is a lot like a crossword puzzle; do you do technical analysis? Would enjoy talking about it....

Margaret said...

are you by any chance related to David Cromer, director on Broadway?