Sunday, October 21, 2018

puzzle 77: "bare necessities (freestyle 80)"

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first things first, an announcement from laura braunstein + tracy bennett. they're launching the inkubator: crossword puzzles by women. among many other things, the goal is to publish more women, and they plan on being an ongoing twice-monthly subscription service. the kickstarter just went live today, and you should back it as soon as you can.

in other news, erik agard was on jeopardy! friday; if you missed his show (or want to watch it again), here's a link.

also, the tip jar is still open; as always, thanks to those who've donated so far (and received two bonus puzzles).

as for this puzzle: the two seed entries (both ten letters) have been on my list for awhile; the grid itself was built both for aesthetics but also for flexibility, giving multiple spots to put the seeds. it turns out putting them vertically in the middle worked best; my hunch is that the middle would have been hard to fill in anyway, given the number of long entries going into it. soseeding on the top and bottom, or down the sides, meant that i would have had to build around two seeds *and* get those to work, while seeding down the middle allowed me to fill around that and spill into the corners without as much difficulty.

anyways, i think it came out pretty well; here's hoping you enjoy it too.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

puzzle 76: "plus fours"

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this theme started with the clue for the last theme entry, and then i realized the first theme entry was the same length. then, for once, i ignored the urge to stack them in a freestyle, and instead went for a low word count with a minimal theme. the black square placement, especially in the upper left, didn't help too much, but i'm pleased with how this turned out.

a reminder that the tip jar is still open. thanks to everybody who's donated so far; if you haven't, there's still a chance to get two bonus puzzles.

Friday, October 5, 2018

puzzle 75: "hot tea (freestyle 59)"

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three quarters of a way to a century, and i honestly didn't realize it until i put the number in. it's the part of the semester where everything is getting busier. but it's also the part of the semester where the leaves are changing colors and it's getting nice and crisp out and all that jazz.

so a freestyle, then, which i thought came out well, and which i find aesthetically pleasing. and if you're so inclined and would like to tip your constructor, i'll send you my thanks. i'll also send not one, but two, bonus puzzles—one a straight freestyle, the other with a bit of a mini-theme but still very much a freestyle.

(edited to add: the original file, which was also the file sent via email, was missing the clue at 48 down, which is "topic currently being discussed. it should now be fixed above. mea culpa.)

Saturday, September 29, 2018

puzzle 74: "statesmen"

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pretty straightforward theme today. it shouldn't be too hard to figure out what the seed entry for this theme was, but it's kinda fortuitous that the lengths and letters worked out enough for the intersections here. otherwise, had some fun making this, especially with some of the clues. as always, hope you enjoy!

  

Friday, September 21, 2018

puzzle 73: "remember (freestyle 36)"

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thank you to everybody who solved last week's meta puzzle! thirty-three people emailed me with the correct answer, which will be spoiled at the end of this post. of those, jesse lansner, who you may remember from this collaboration, was the lucky recipient of will nediger's suite sixteen, which you can (and should) get if you haven't already.

anyway, this was fun, and i'm looking forward to doing it again. fingers crossed that i can finish off a suite of my own in the near future so i can make that the prize. in the meantime, though, freestyle this week, and i've nothing to say except that the below image is lovingly stolen from andy kravis.



<spoilers> there were five long across entries in last week's puzzle, all of which were two words where one word contained -ei- and the other contained -cie-. which is to say that all five of these answers broke the rule "i before e, except after c" in both possible ways, and which means that weird science is your meta answer. </end spoilers>

Thursday, September 13, 2018

puzzle 72: "repeat offenders (meta)"

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meta puzzle this week! the meta answer is a movie from the 1980s that would have made a good theme answer for this puzzle. submit your answers to me via email by next wednesday at noon central time (five pm utc) for a chance to win will nediger's wonderful suite sixteen collection. and if you've already bought that, no worries--you can still enter, and we'll work something out if you're the one lucky solver.

also, very exciting news on a personal front: i have begun working as a crossword editor for spyscape, an interactive museum headquartered in nyc. if you're at all interested in contributing, email me at this address for a full spec sheet, etc. i especially encourage you to do so if you are a newer and/or traditionally underrepresented constructor.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

puzzle 71: "america (freestyle 70)"

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freestyle this week, followed by a contest meta next week, then some more puzzles, and stuff like that. surprised how nice, generally speaking, this one turned out, given the five (!) seed entries, all interlocking, and four of them grid-spanning. stretches a bit in places, but overall, it still works.