Chocolatespoon: Emily’s Musings

Clara made Hamentaschen for Purim today with her grandma (who was visiting for the weekend)

Rolling out hamentaschenMaking hamentaschen with GrandmaPinching the cookies closedHamentaschenEating the hamentaschen

It was fun looking back at last year’s Purim photos of Clara eating hamentaschen back then!

This weekend was the 4th Annual Silicon Valley Puzzle Day! I seem to forget each year just how much work is involved, but somehow we pulled off another one and had a great time doing it. We had an amazing day of workshops on Saturday (featuring not only puzzle celebs like Tyler Hinman and Thomas Snyder, but the author of both Saturday’s and Sunday’s NYTimes puzzles — Mark Diehl and Andrea Carla Michaels.) Sunday we had the adult and youth sudoku and crossword competitions (plus some other word puzzles for the kids), including final adult rounds on the big boards in the front of the room. With all the competitors, volunteers and onlookers, we had about 200 people to puzzle, entertain and feed over the two days.  And the best part is that we raised awareness (and a little bit of money) for the <a href=”http://www.mhlf.org&#8221; target=new>Morgan Hill Library Foundation</a>.

Day1FrontDesk2
ConstructorPanel3 CrosswordComp5

Press Coverage:

No excuse for not posting here since Thanksgiving, but here’s my excuse for not posting anything for the next few weeks — we’re deep in the throes of Puzzle Day planning for this year’s event.  Here’s a quick write-up in case you haven’t heard me talking about it over and over again.

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Details and pre-registration information are available at http://www.svpuzzle.org.

Saturday (1/30) will be a packed day of puzzle-themed workshops (10:30am-5:45pm). Workshops include 5-time ACPT champion Tyler Hinman and repeating US and World sudoku champion Thomas Snyder sharing stories together about what it is like competing at the championship level.  Tyler and Thomas are also each giving workshops about other kinds of puzzles that keep them busy.  There will also be a panel of cruciverbalists, moderated by Andrea Carla Michaels, talking about the whole crossword puzzle construction process from ideas to publication.  Hear how one Puzzle Day attendee was inspired by the workshops last year to try his hand at constructing and had his puzzle accepted to the NY Times!  There will also be a workshop discussing common crossword words and what goes into creating a crossword puzzle dictionary.  Check out the whole workshop schedule online on the Puzzle Day web site.

Sunday’s tournament will feature the sudoku competition in the morning and the crossword competition in the afternoon. Thomas Snyder is providing our sudoku puzzles and Will Shortz is providing the following week’s yet-to-be-published crossword puzzles for the crossword tournament.  There will also be bonus cryptic crossword and killer sudoku rounds to try your hand at.  Doors open at 9:30 and box
lunches and snacks (as well as puzzle books and other items) will be available for purchase during the event.

There is also a youth division (ages 8-15) with separate tournament puzzles and workshops aimed at them, so it’s great for multi-generational puzzle fun.

Puzzle Day benefits the Morgan Hill Library Foundation. Workshops are free, and donations of $20 for adult tournament competitors and $10 for youth tournament competitors are suggested.

We hope to see you at this fantastic event!  It’s a great way to warm up for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and/or meet new puzzle loving friends, all for a good cause!

Hosted a big Thanksgiving for 13 (5 family houseguests plus 5 friends and the three of us) at our new house.
Family at Thanksgiving
Had a great time cooking, eating, watching TV, playing poker and generally just hanging around playing and eating some more.
A few photos:
Mixing with SaftaBaking corn bread muffinsThanksgiving 2009Thanksgiving 2009Thanksgiving 2009Post-Thanksgiving TV

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