I'd attended the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament since 2002 and heard the announcements about the NPL. I found the mini-sample a bit scary and as a D-level crossword puzzle solver at that point, I felt unworthy. Toonhead! at the ACPT and Lilith at the Westchester Crossword Puzzle Contest told me more about the NPL but I was still intimidated…until my crossword-solving skills improved and I did well in Westchester.
That's what finally did it for me – I finally felt like I was at the level of the NPL. Now I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to join.
First Issue: October, 2004
My name is Jeffrey and when I grew my beard in 1991 my friend Bill came up with the nickname. I used it as my e-mail address years later and it just stuck.