Forsooth, It's a Boy Forsyth!
"Midrash" by George Barany (November 2003; updated January 2013)

As you probably figured out by now, this puzzle celebrates the birthday (read "day of birth") of Nicholas C. Forsyth, son of two of my best friends and colleagues at the University of Minnesota Department of Chemistry through much of 90's and first few years of the new millennium. I was one of the very few people who knew ahead of time what the lad's name would be, and it occurred to me to write a crossword puzzle that would reveal this closely guarded secret. Not really knowing how to go about this on my own, I had the good fortune to make the cyberspace acquaintance of Michael Shteyman, then an undergraduate neuroscience major at the Johns Hopkins University. I thought of some theme entries, Michael filled a grid according to a remarkable gimmick, and then we both worked on the cluing with an eye to customizing as many as possible to the "situation." The puzzle was released at Karin's baby shower, which was attended by numerous additional colleagues.

Click here for graphical clues, which were shown alongside the presentation of the puzzle. Below are NCF's birth announcement (left) and a December 2012 photo (right) taken in Columbus, Ohio. Click here for a family picture taken in Patagonia, Chile, in 2012. Go back to this puzzle's main page for a picture of Nicholas, taken shortly before his twelfth birthday, along with the family Samoyed, Lola (8 months old at the time).

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