Crossword Production Procedures

Garson Hampfield, preeminent crossword inker, details the ins and outs of an overlooked trade

If you know me you know I’m obsessed with crosswords. I’ve tried making them in the past, and boy are they difficult. But one of the aspects of professionally constructed crosswords that is often underappreciatedĀ is the process of inking and gridding them — mostly painstakingly and by hand! It’s a time-honored tradition that doesn’t get a lot of press in today’s digital era, but Garson Hampfield will tell you about the amazing process and history behind the field. Highlight: Hampfield compares two puzzles by two different inkers to show just how influential different styles can be.