The 6th annual Indie 500 Crossword Tournament Charity Puzzle Pack

Welcome, at long last, to the Indie 500 Science Fair! While these puzzles were originally intended for use at the 2020 Indie 500 Crossword Tournament, we’ve released them in a non-competitive format, because the real prize... is the science we learned along the way! This puzzle pack will raise funds for a wonderful group of nonprofit organizations, detailed below, that were chosen by our organizers and constructors.

In this charity puzzle pack, you’ll get to take a tour of the projects that our budding cruciverbologists have been working hard on. (For the full effect, print these puzzles out on extra-large paper, then paste them onto a tri-fold poster board before solving.) There are eight puzzles of various sizes and difficulties, including a warm-up puzzle and a tiebreaker puzzle. Puzzle 6, “Final,” comes with two sets of clues: one that’s about as tough to make a dent in as diamond, and one that’s a little more malleable. Solutions are also included (though precipitates are not).

To get a copy of the puzzle pack, make a donation of $10 or more to any of the charities listed below, send a copy or screenshot of your receipt to xwordtournament@gmail.com, and we'll email the puzzles within 24 hours.

We are also currently offering all of our past tournament puzzle packs for free. Use the links below to download.

With this puzzle pack, we are raising funds for the following charities and nonprofit organizations:

The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief, and disaster preparedness education in the United States. Learn more at redcross.org.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta is dedicated to protecting the civil and human rights of Asian Americans in Georgia and the Southeast through policy advocacy, organizing and civic engagement, impact litigation, and direct legal services. Learn more at advancingjustice-atlanta.org.

Carmichael Outreach, located in Regina, Saskatchewan, provides various services to those in the local community who experience poverty and homelessness. Its mission is to foster empowerment through dignity, respect, and advocacy. Learn more at carmichaeloutreach.ca.

Casa Ruby is an LGBTQ bilingual and multicultural organization in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area that provides preventative health services, housing services, social services, immigration services, and support services for victims of violence. Its mission is to create success life stories among transgender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals. Learn more at casaruby.org.

The Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund fights for reproductive justice in Mississippi and offers financial assistance and practical support to persons seeking abortion, as well as free emergency contraception and community-based comprehensive sex education. Learn more at msreprofreedomfund.org.

The New England Grassroots Environment Fund is dedicated to energizing and nurturing long-term civic engagement in local initiatives that create and maintain healthy, just, safe, and environmentally sustainable communities throughout the six New England states. Learn more at grassrootsfund.org.

The Players Alliance is a group of more than 150 Black current and former professional baseball players dedicated to creating an inclusive culture within baseball and the community, where differences are leveraged to elevate racial equality and provide greater opportunities for the Black community, in the game of baseball and beyond. Learn more at theplayersalliance.com.

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. Learn more at thetrevorproject.org.

Womankind provides multilingual and culturally responsive services to help survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual violence rise above trauma and build a path to healing. Learn more at iamwomankind.org.

Erik Agard
HE/HIM - ORGANIZER/PUZZLE WRANGLER/CONSTRUCTOR
is the wrong Agard (teacher dad, weather analyst brother) to be putting in charge of anything science-related, but here we are.
Sample Puzzle
Jenna LaFleur
SHE/HER - ORGANIZER/PUZZLE WRANGLER
is a DC native who made a Diet-Coke-and-Mentos volcano for the science fair when she was in fourth grade. Her puzzles have appeared in The Inkubator and Queer Qrosswords, among other venues. She is a great enthusiast of fluffy cats, post-punk music, linguistics, and terrible jokes.
Sample Puzzle
Show One's Stripes (Puzzle Society 2018-09-10) (PDF)
Andy Kravis
HE/HIM - ORGANIZER/CONSTRUCTOR
is a puzzlemaker, editor, and trivia writer living in Brooklyn, New York. In addition to constructing and editing crosswords for various publications, he also co-teaches the JASA Crossword Class with Natan Last.
Sample Puzzles
Number One Singles, Doubled (Chronicle of Higher Education, 3/15/2019) (PUZ) (PDF)
Themeless (Los Angeles Times, 1/27/2018) (PUZ) (PDF)
Angela Olson Halsted
SHE/HER - ORGANIZER/CONSTRUCTOR
lives in Arlington, Virginia, in her empty nest. She pays the bills by working as a legal secretary. Angela's puzzles have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the American Values Club, and the Wall Street Journal. She also contributes puzzles to the Daily POP crossword app. Angela obsessively follows the Washington Nationals and the University of Iowa wrestling team. She has excellent blood pressure.
Peter Broda
HE/HIM - ORGANIZER
is a father of four who does computer/puzzle/trivia/music stuff in Regina, SK. He studied to become a computer scientist but now mostly touches base, loops in coworkers, and follows up on emails working for the Government of Saskatchewan.
Andrew Ries
CONSTRUCTOR
is a puzzle writer living in central Oregon. You can solve more of his puzzles at ariespuzzles.com.
joon pahk
HE/HIM - CONSTRUCTOR
is a stay-at-home dad and puzzlemaker from somerville, ma. he writes a weekly rows garden and other variety puzzles for outside the box puzzles, and has previously constructed crosswords for lollapuzzoola and boswords. you can find him on twitter @joonpahk and occasionally on twitch streaming downs-only crosswords with andy kravis.
Claire Rimkus
SHE/THEY - CONSTRUCTOR
is a chemist from Massachusetts who enjoys both making and solving puzzles.
Sample Puzzle
Queer Qrosswords 2: Ride Sharing (PUZ) (PDF)
Sid Sivakumar
HE/HIM - CONSTRUCTOR
is an MD/PhD student and crossword constructor originally from the DC metro area, now based in St. Louis, MO. He is the editor of The Juggernaut Crossword and runs his own indie puzzle site, Sid's Grids. If he's not working on research, puzzles, or music, he's probably eating your food.
Wyna Liu
SHE/HER - CONSTRUCTOR
is an associate puzzle editor at The New York Times and assistant editor at American Values Club Crossword. Her puzzles have appeared in The New Yorker, NYT, and AVCX, among other venues. She is thrilled to join the incredible lineup of constructors for this year's Indie 500 pack! When she's not thinking about puzzles, she makes jewelry, tensegrity objects, and enjoys learning fabrication techniques like machining and neon. Her work can be found at wynaliu.com and on Twitter and IG @wynaliu.