Dearest Readers,

It’s with great excitement that I introduce the newest incarnation of the Portland Mercury, which is bigger, easier on the eyes, and published on a biweekly schedule (that’s every other Thursday, 26 times per year). You’ll find lots to get hot ’n’ bothered about in the new Mercury, including beefier news stories and features, calendars that span two weeks (so you can make your entertainment plans early), new columns (like the one you’re currently reading, Elinor Jones’ This Too Shall Pass, and... a new sports column?? WHAAAT THAAA FAAAAACK?!?!?!), plus the usual gang of whip-smart critics who make sure your valuable weekends don’t turn into a dumpster fire trainwreck.

Oh, right... and then there’s the new crossword puzzle.

I’ll be honest with you. I fucking HAAAAATE crossword puzzles. In fact, when I was designing the first-ever Mercury back in 2000, multiple people asked if we’d be adding a crossword to the mix. My response: “As god as my witness, I will NEVER put a crossword puzzle in the Mercury, and don’t EVER ask me again!” Unfortunately, you ignored my explicit wishes, and kept asking for a crossword puzzle... for 18 freaking years.

So yeah, I’ll admit it! You wore me down. Congratulations, squeaky wheels of the world! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! (That’s a sarcastic ovation, if you didn’t know.) Thanks to your incessant nagging, I’ve betrayed my strongest belief, exposed myself as a hypocrite, and lost the hard-earned respect and goodwill of an entire city. And it was all so YOU can become another coffee-shop-lounging waste of space, spending hours diddling away at a pointless puzzle that you think makes you look smart, when in fact everyone assumes you’ve been stood up on Tinder.

I DON’T LIKE CROSSWORD PUZZLES, and for two very good reasons: (1) Puzzle people are like those happy bike riders who pedal by my house on Sunday afternoon while I’m mowing my stupid grass or enduring some other act of torture. HOW DO YOU PEOPLE HAVE SO MUCH FREE TIME?? I’m busy as fuck 24-7, and yes, I resent everyone who isn’t... and I’m looking at YOU, puzzle people! And (2): Hey, crossword puzzle makers! Instead of asking me to figure out what you mean by “a seven-letter word for Hippolyta’s Warriors,” why don’t you cut out the passive-aggressive bullshit and just tell me?

BUT... the decision is made, reader! I compromised my values, and you got your stupid crossword puzzle. AND I HOPE YOU ARE OHHHHHHH SOOOOOOO HAPPY. (Again, sarcasm.) But as long as you’re here, how about checking out some of our other articles as well? They actually tell you the answers instead of making you guess at them. And, as always, if you have any thoughts or feelings regarding the Mercury, feel free to share them with me at (but not on Facebook, I don’t read that shit). So until next time, have a very nice nine-letter word meaning “a period of two weeks, or popular video game.”

Yer pal,
Wm. Steven Humphrey
Portland Mercury