David Quarfoot @ UCSD

Other Things That Interest Me

Crossword Puzzle Construction

A summary of my 40+ crosswords published in the New York Times can be found here. This is a list of the answers I debuted in the New York Times crossword.

I have written the championship puzzle for the Boston Crossword Puzzle Tournament,BosWords , for several years.

If you buy access to ESOPUS magazine, you can read my article on the art and science of crossword construction here.


I am an active member of the Super Mario Maker community. I play mostly expert and super-expert one-screen puzzles and kaizo levels. My SMM bookmark page is here. You can see the levels for which I hold world records here. I follow several SMM streamers on Twitch, including CarlSagan42 and GrandPOObear.

I am currently working toward 100% completion for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Classical Music

I've played violin, viola, and cello for over 25 years and continue to practice and play in chamber ensembles. Some of my favorite artists include violinist Gil Shaham, violinist Hilary Hahn, pianist Daniil Trifonov, pianist Lang Lang, cellist Raphael Wallfisch, and composer Max Richter. I appreciate classical music because learning an instrument is a long-term endeavor; you don't get good after a few weeks or years. It is the antithesis of instant-gratification culture and trains attention to detail, develops emotional maturity, and connects players to each other and audiences.