Sunday, December 30, 2018

puzzle 89: "olin college"

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last puzzle of the year here, and i'm looking forward to what 2019 will bring. for sure, lots of puzzles, both here and elsewhere. fingers crossed that there will be a variety, both in terms of outlets and types of puzzles. speaking of which: last week's touchword was well received, and there will be more of those in the future. and: if you missed it, i had a guest freestyle puzzle with the american values club crossword. definitely proud to have a puzzle there, especially since they do such great work w/r/t many issues in the crossworld, and i'm hoping to have more there.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

puzzle 88: "touchword 1"

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variety puzzle! it's a touchword, which is a format i learned about from joon pahk's outside the box puzzles. instead of having words cross at the same letter, in a touchword, every letter is vertically adjacent to the same letter in at least one direction. the top row is considered adjacent to the bottom row, so the entire puzzle forms a nice cylinder.

bit oversized here, and probably on the harder side, but i think there's a lot of interesting answers in here. many thanks to paolo pasco for testing this and convincing me to flag multiword answers and ease up on some of the clues, especially around proper clues and tricky crosses touches.

in any case: this is the first variety puzzle i've had here on this blog, but i'd definitely like to have more in the future, and would love any feedback on what you liked or didn't like.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

puzzle 87: "we three songs (freestyle 83)"

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this is the quasi-themed holiday freestyle promised last week; you can probably guess what the theme is from the title alone. was really just going to have a freestyle with three grid-spanning entries, but unfortunately, i miscounted, and it turns out they weren't all the same length. fortunately, they intersected very nicely. made it a bit harder on myself by trying to get giant corners, which is never easy with two answers already in place in each corner, but somehow it came out pretty alright.

as always, hope you enjoy; mini from yesterday if you missed it, and variety puzzle coming tomorrow!

Friday, December 21, 2018

puzzle 86: "stocking stuffer"

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this is not one of the two promised puzzles from the last post, but a little something extra i came up with yesterday; people who know the history of crosswords and important dates and such might notice some things about this puzzle.

anyway: more goodies and presents to come this weekend, and next week as well!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

puzzle 85: "so it goes (freestyle 93)"

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as noted on twitter, this puzzle was delayed by the end of the semester, traveling home, and by the fact that this puzzle just would not cooperate. i'm still not completely satisfied with this, and apologize in advance if you consider anything here to be a natick.

however: as penance to make up for this, there will be two puzzles next week. one of them will be a quasi-themed freestyle; the other a variety puzzle (of which i'm looking forward to making more in the next future). there might also be more puzzles and/or surprises and/or presents under the tree as well.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

puzzle 84: "playback"

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one of the perks (if you can call it that) of doing my own thing here is that i can see something in pop culture and make a puzzle off of that reasonably quickly and get it out there while it's still relevant. which isn't to say that the inspiration behind today's puzzle is going away any time soon, as opposed to some other puzzles i've made. but still, it's something to look forward to, i think.

as for the puzzle itself, should be enjoyable, although your mileage may vary on the two incredibly mathematical theme answers in a puzzle whose theme has nothing to do with math.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

puzzle 83: "about time (freestyle 82)"

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once again, i found myself doing battle with across lite to get this one to work. if you didn't know, it has a limit of 256 characters per clue, which kinda reins in my tendencies to write really long clues. but for this, a themeless built around the really long clues for the seed entries, it almost caused some problems. ended up having to cut out more of the quotes than i would have liked, but it's probably for the best, to be honest.

(i should also note that the really long quotes are just two of the seed entries; there's four more shorter entries that also tie in to the mini-theme, and whose placement did not make things easier for myself.)

Thursday, November 22, 2018

puzzle 82: "tom tom club"

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another week, another puzzle with a weird grid and left / right symmetry. what can i say? i really enjoy doing some weird, unconventional things sometimes. i certainly didn't make this easy on myself, as evidenced by parts of this puzzle, but nevertheless, i'm pleased with how it came out.

also, any resemblance between this grid and a face is completely coincidental.

and, of course, happy thanksgiving to y'all. as always, i'm thankful to each and every one of you for solving these puzzles and continuing to put up with my particular brand of nonsense. although, that being said, i'm pretty sure there's no car seat headrest stuff this week for once. either way, i hope you enjoy this puzzle, and i hope you enjoy your holiday, wherever you may be, whatever you may be doing.

 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

puzzle 81: "from start to finish"

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a puzzle that is only slightly more orthodox than last week, if you can even say that. the seed entry is one that i've wanted to use for a bit; after that, i couldn't resist the urge to include yet another car seat headrest reference in another theme entry. (i am reasonably sure, however, that next week's puzzle will not contain any such references; it will also come out on thursday for what should hopefully be obvious reasons.)

in crossword news: less than two days left to back the incubator, if you haven't already. in addition, andrew ries has just dropped a new crossword suite "stretch", and it's also worth checking out.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

puzzle 80: "ex men"

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this puzzle's reveal is timely, topical, and worth listening to (after solving, of course). after that, it's also worth looking up the best memes associated with this. otherwise, i can probably promise that the next puzzle after this will be slightly more orthodox (emphasis on slightly). either way, as always, hope y'all enjoy solving this one.

edit: the original version had 24 down spelled wrong. after changing a good chunk of the puzzle, this has been fixed, but my apologies for messing that up in the first place. all files should be correct now.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

puzzle 79: "remember, remember (freestyle 72)"

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not to be confused with the similarly-named puzzle from a few weeks back. pleasantly surprised that most of the seed entries (both those related to the mini-theme and not) for this interlocked so well, and allowed for some nice corners to boot. i certainly had some fun making this, and a lot more cluing it, and i hope you enjoy it as well.

also, regarding 43-down, i am not resetting the "weeks since making a gratuitous car seat headrest reference" sign to zero...if only because it's already at zero from last week.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

puzzle 78: "a few times i've been around that track"

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last chance to hit up the tip jar for the bonus puzzles from this decorative gourd season (decorative gourds not included). as always, thanks to those who've donated so far. and, speaking of donations, the inkubator has smashed its target and, hopefully, will smash the patriarchy. it's not too late to get in on it, and i highly recommend doing so.

apologies for the relative lateness of this puzzle; had a few others that, for various reasons, haven't fully cooperated yet. here's hoping i can wrangle them into shape here in the next few weeks. meanwhile, this one's pretty straightforward, but which i made harder on myself by stacking the theme entries for absolutely no reason at all, and then dropping down to seventy words. but there's some nice bonuses in this puzzle, and i think you'll enjoy it.

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.

Friday, August 31, 2018

puzzle 70: "close shave"

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some puzzle news: one, as you can see below, i've added in-browser solving courtesy of amuse labs. two, adam nicolle, who you might remember from this puzzle two weeks ago, is reviving his site; there's already a few really nice puzzles there, and he should be dropping a new one come monday, which is labor day. speaking of which: mark halpin's labor day extravaganza drops this weekend; check it out as well.

otherwise, as far as this puzzle goes, a bit unusual to have the reveal come first...but it's the sort of thing that i have no qualms doing when it suits the theme. and it's the sort of thing that's a lot easier to get away with in an indie puzzle, and one of the many reasons why i continue to enjoy making puzzles.

Friday, August 24, 2018

puzzle 69: "nice"

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consider this puzzle to be my take on will nediger's excellent puzzle of the same number and name. i must admit that i tried using the same grid in the beginning, but with black squares around everything to really make the numbers pop. but then i realized that i could just as well make the numbers with the black squares themselves. lots of trial and error to get a grid that looked like the numbers and that could be filled nicely, but here we are.

in other news, i realized this blog is now one year old! technically the birthday was like a month ago, but i completely forgot about it, what with the school year starting and me missing boston and lolla and all. still, i'm glad that i've been able to bring y'all nearly seventy puzzles so far, including quite a few i'm proud of.



Thursday, August 16, 2018

puzzle 68: "wot in alternation (with adam nicolle)"

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another collaboration, this time with adam nicolle, who says:
i have the hardest time coming up with ideas for themed puzzles, so i rarely construct them, but i'm glad this one was able to happen and i think it came out well. you were a hoot and a half to work with!
i have very little to add to those comments, other than to echo them and say: it me.

(also i am not at lollapuzzoola this weekend and it's killing me and i forgot to arrange printing in advance so i won't even have copies there. so if you're there, have fun, solve puzzles, spread the word, and have fun.)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

puzzle 67: "my shot (freestyle 10)"

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this one comes from the category of puzzles i'd almost forgotten i'd constructed. it's also, as one test-solver pointed out, a puzzle whose mini-theme feels less created than discovered. here's hoping y'all find it as amusing as i do.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

puzzle 66: "t men"

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a simple theme this week, and a bit of a weird grid, but hopefully it's not any less fun than usual. and it is nice to have a themed puzzle again. there's a few more of those coming up, including another collaboration or two. i enjoy doing them, and would love to keep doing those, so if you're interested, definitely let me know.

Friday, July 27, 2018

puzzle 65: "total football (freestyle 64 with jenna lafleur)"

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incredibly proud to have a collaboration w/ jenna lafleur, solver, streamer, and constructor extraordinaire. unlike me, she's at boswords this weekend (with copies of both this puzzle and last week's), and i have full faith that she's going to kill it. and if you're there as well, maybe say hi to jenna, and good luck on all the puzzles—i'll be solving from home, but with the list of constructors, i can't see these being anything less than a bunch of excellent puzzles.

some more thoughts + background on this puzzle from jenna herself:
freestyle construction has always seemed like a pretty daunting task to me, but recently i figured i should try giving it a serious shot. i emailed chris with the seed entry and asked if he wanted to collab and/or give advice. he replied with some very helpful tips that helped me get a start on the grid, which we then filled in and clued via several different modes of communication—a google hangout, then twitter dms, and finally back to email. this puzzle has some clues in it that i'm really proud of—hope it's an enjoyable solve!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

puzzle 64: "go to sleep (freestyle 54)"

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those of you that solve fireball crosswords might find this feels like a peter gordon themeless, in that it combines two of his trademarks: unusual marquee entries, and seed entries that have something superficial in common. no prize for guessing which two entries fill those roles in this puzzle, but it was interesting to build a grid around making sure the first of these entries was crossed fairly, and then trying to fill in the other half around a rather interesting pattern. i think this one ended up pretty decent; there's a few entries i don't completely care for, but given the constraints, i think they're worth the fill in this case (though i certainly don't plan on using them again anywhere in the near future).

in other news: i will not, as i had planned / hoped to, be at either boswords or lollapuzzoola this year, which is extremely disappointing for me for many reasons. i would still like to have a presence there, so if you can help with printing puzzles, it'd be greatly appreciated.

edit: the clue for 35A should properly read "like the valkyries"; the current files should be correct.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

puzzle 63: "jailhouse rock"

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not much to say about this week's puzzle, except that jenna lafleur will be solving and livestreaming crosswords later, including this one. details at her twitter; you should watch (after solving, of course). and no worries if you can't watch it live: she puts up the recordings afterward.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

puzzle 62: "in memory of"

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sorry for the (unplanned) absence of a puzzle last week, but hope y'all enjoyed the LAT + NYT puzzles i had in the meantime. quite a few of y'all emailed / tweeted / texted / carrier pigeoned / smoke signaled support, commentary, and feedback, and it's much appreciated, as always.

somewhat ironically, one of things i mentioned in my commentary on the NYT puzzle was that i always try to keep things as clean as possible. and yet, this puzzle has a few answers that i'm not particularly enamored with. but, it's a trade-off, and i can live with those in return for cramming in a few more quasi-theme entries and such, in much the same way that (as a solver) i can live with a bit of meh fill in service of a particularly exceptional theme or flashy freestyle, but don't care for it when it could (and, in my opinion, should) be easily improved.

in other news, i am (finally) including solutions to puzzles, and will add solutions to old puzzles in the near future.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

puzzle 61: "cortez (freestyle 49)"

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amusing coincidence: i was already planning on using this awesome cover of cortez the killer for music for some puzzle, and then wikipedia tells me the number 58 has significance to the story of cortez, and this puzzle has 58 words, so there's the title for you.

but yeah: a 58 word freestyle. granted, the grid is slightly smaller than a normal grid, and there's a few more black squares than i'd like, but it came out well. reminds me a bit of this kameron austin collins puzzle, which also has a really low word count, lots of black squares, and which remains one of my favorites from him.

in other news, there's a lot coming up in the next few weeks. first, i have the thursday (6/28) puzzle in the la times. then on saturday (6/30), i'll be filling in for rex parker for a day. and on the tuesday after that (7/3), i'm making my new york times debut, and i have high hopes that it will not tuez. after that, there's a few more with as yet unconfirmed dates other than "sometime this fall", but i'll definitely let y'all know when and where.

oh, and also: boswords is open for registration. it was a blast last year, and i should be there again this year.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

puzzle 60: "fifty-fifty"

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between father's day, the u.s. open, and the world cup, i hope y'all are enjoying your weekend. also hope y'all enjoy this puzzle, which is, quite frankly, a bit out there. just look at it. it certainly wasn't my intention for it to end up that weird, but that's one of the perks of running my own site--if that happens, it happens. started with the central reveal and decided to triple stack it, similar to this andrew ries puzzle from a few years back. really put an emphasis on clean and interesting fill through that area, and that ended up expanding the grid a fair bit. at that point, the only real way to fit in theme answers would be with intersecting pairs in each corner, so i went all out. way too many cheater squares, and quite a bit of long fill that's as long as (or longer than) theme entries. both of these are, to some degree, frowned upon, but i think the end result stands up, even if it's a bit out there.

Monday, June 11, 2018

puzzle 59: "home at last (freestyle 29)"

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finally home from the indie 500, which was a lot of fun. saw a lot of old crossword friends, made some new crossword friends, had a stupid error on the fifth puzzle that knocked me out of the finals, and overall had a lot of fun. if you haven't already solved the puzzles, ten dollars will get you a lot of fun. for what it's worth, my favorites were the final puzzle, by lily silverstein and erik agard, and puzzle three, mall shook up, by laura braunstein.

speaking of laura, she blogged my fireball meta from last week, which i'm pretty sure i forgot to plug last week. if you're a fireball subscriber, i'd love to hear what you thought of the puzzle, good or bad; if you're not, you should be.

now, for some thoughts on this puzzle, which was a long time in the constructing. as you can probably guess, the center stack was the seed for this. the main problem with building around themed stacks is that there is no flexibility in switching out words, so you have to work with all the letter combinations that you're given. and odds are, with two long entries, that they won't all be nice. in this case, the first pair constrained a lot of things, and quite a few of the rest had few options given the length + two letters already present. (as a side note: i had the same challenges in my themeless in the queer qrosswords pack.)

and i'll be honest: i did not expect this grid to work at first. it didn't work when i had triple eights in the upper right and lower left corners (fun challenge: figure out what that first down entry in the lower left would've been), and making hard corners bigger rarely works. usually you change the square pattern: move them around, add in more, or both. but, somehow, going to triple nines worked, and the rest came together, and here we are. i hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

puzzle 58: "fudge factor (with jesse lansner)"

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proud to present this puzzle in collaboration with jesse lansner, who is also here at the indie 500, and who will probably finish ahead of me. this is partially because he's pretty fast, but also because i'm pretty error-prone and don't really solve crosswords on paper that often. that said, i'm still going to enjoy the day and have lots of fun, and i hope to see some of y'all there.

Friday, June 1, 2018

puzzle 57: "three-peats"

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apologies for not having a puzzle up last weekend--was in chicago for memorial day weekend, then busy with prep and travel for this weekend's indie 500 tournament. this puzzle was going to run last weekend, except i didn't have it clued before chicago, and it turns out a puzzle with a similar theme has run in a major paper recently. which, you know, things happen. it's not the first time puzzles with similar themes have come out in different outlets close to each other, and it won't be the last. i hope you enjoy this puzzle anyway.

as a side note: if, like me, you're at indie 500, there will be paper copies available, so don't worry about tracking down a printer or anything. (there will also be another new puzzle, of which more tomorrow.)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

puzzle 56: "working blue"

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warning: as the title implies, there's some slightly indelicate language in this puzzle; apologies in advance if this bothers you. i certainly don't intend to do this very often, but i thought the idea was amusing enough to not pass up.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

puzzle 55: "it's all greek to me"

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i have always found the article behind this puzzle's theme amusing; i hope you do too (spoilers and more info here).

also: a very fun (but spoiler filled) puzzle from chris king that you should definitely check out.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

puzzle 54: "tubthumping (freestyle 39)"

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first off: if you haven't already, get women of letters, which i've finally started working through, and which is good

secondly: i have today's psc crossword, which is available online for the next little while. also a freestyle

thirdly: i promise i will have an actual, honest to god themed puzzle here soon. it's been a busy and stressful semester, but it's almost over, and things should be slightly less busy and stressful. fingers crossed, at least

fourthly: if you're going to be at the indie 500 and / or want to collaborate, hit me up and let me know

fifthly: if your company is hiring and you think i'd be a good fit, definitely hit me up and let me know

Sunday, April 29, 2018

puzzle 53: "i thought this was speed dating (freestyle 23)"

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another puzzle, also inspired by events of today.

if you're curious about the answer to the mini-meta from last time, here's the answer in rot13: gur gjb ybatrfg nafjref va gung chmmyr obgu pbagnvarq gur yrggre x svir gvzrf; v svavfurq zl svir xvybzrgre enpr guvf zbeavat va gjragl-guerr zvahgrf naq sbegl-gjb frpbaqf (nyy bs juvpu jnf fcrag ehaavat vagb gur jvaq).

Saturday, April 28, 2018

puzzle 52: "michael scott's dunder mifflin scranton meredith palmer memorial celebrity rabies awareness pro-am fun run race for the cure"

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because when you have the opportunity to have a super long title, you have to do it.

also, a mini-meta: as hinted at by two answers in this puzzle, what, exactly, am i doing sunday morning?

Sunday, April 22, 2018

puzzle 51: "count on me"

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this one turned out interesting. turns out four grid-spanning entries in an oversized puzzle isn't the easiest to work with. but i'm mostly happy with how this turned out.

also, *after* solving the puzzle, i recommend reading this story (which has nothing to do with the theme, but whose title does include a word appearing in the grid).


Saturday, April 14, 2018

puzzle 50: "x japan gon' give it to ya (freestyle 42)"

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puzzle constructed and clued while i'm waiting for x japan to show up on stage. really enjoyed david byrne's set, and i'm kinda disappointed i won't see him when he comes through my neck of the woods, because i'll be at the indie 500. if you haven't signed up yet, you should. and if you have, say hi if you see me there.


Sunday, April 8, 2018

puzzle 49: "a tradition unlike any other"

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perhaps a few more words than i'd like, but if that's the price for clean fill, so be it. though, to be fair, i didn't want any across answers longer than the theme answers, even though it's clear what's theme and what isn't...but when you have seven letter theme answers, that restricts grid options slightly. (there's also a twelve split six and six in the center row, but i'm not counting that as two different answers.)


Saturday, March 31, 2018

puzzle 48: "all for one (freestyle 31)"

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although neither of them were the seed entries, i'm rather proud of both elevens in this puzzle. in any case, as always, i hope you enjoy this puzzle, which is definitely a normal puzzle with normal answers for a normal day.


Saturday, March 24, 2018

puzzle 47: "slimming down"

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puzzle somewhat inspired by my ongoing weight loss efforts...but this puzzle is also the yin to yesterday's yang (as if the musical choices didn't give that away). so, uh, good luck, and i hope you enjoy it anyway.

also, if you're at ACPT, first of all, good luck with whatever goals you've set for yourself, but also remember to have fun. secondly, you might be able to find a print copy of today's and yesterday's puzzles, courtesy of dan felsenheld.

Friday, March 23, 2018

puzzle 46: "one weird trick?"

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puzzle somewhat inspired by my ongoing weight loss efforts. should be pretty easy...but stay tuned for tomorrow.

also, if you're at ACPT, first of all, good luck with whatever goals you've set for yourself, but also remember to have fun. secondly, you might be able to find a print copy of today's and tomorrow's puzzles, courtesy of dan felsenheld.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

puzzle 45: "how i want a mathy crossword"

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shout-out to the wonderful paolo pasco, whose input was immensely valuable, especially in the planning stages of this theme, and who i am looking forward to, eventually, working with on a full-fledged collaboration.

(speaking of collaborations: there's one coming soon, probably by the end of this weekend. and, as always, i am open to working with any constructor at any level of experience.)

anyhow, in case today's puzzle didn't whet your appetite enough, here's another delicious puzzle from last year, in pdf and puz. this puzzle was originally published in the chronicle of higher education and is shared here with permission from editor brad wilber.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

puzzle 44: "one shining moment"

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kicking it off tonight with the radford highlanders--because there can be only one.

(although, let's be honest, i actually watched their conference championship game and was genuinely looking forward to picking them, except they're in a play-in game, and it's against LIU, who i was also really looking forward to pick because a fellow grad student actually played soccer there in undergrad, so i can't really pick either side now, and to boot they're playing for a sixteen seed, so i can't even pick the winner of this game in their next game. sigh.)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

puzzle 43: "pick sixty eight (freestyle 27)"

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had to get the marquee entry in a puzzle, and it looks like i'm getting this puzzle out about five minutes before said entry ends. well, five minutes before it ends in central time, which would be ok if i wasn't actually on the east coast right now. but i'm counting it anyway.

puzzle 42: "in search of lost time (freestyle 24)"

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sorry for the hiatus between puzzles. thankfully it is now spring break and i am hoping that this will be a very productive week (but also a very relaxing week as well). that said, between travel and daylight savings, i'm not 100% which time zone my body is in right now, but whatever.

anyway, i had some fun with this one: four seeds, all fifteens. came out alright, i think. as always, hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

puzzle 41: "jumping for joy"

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if you feel inclined, buy your constructor a cup of coffee. why? this puzzle might help you figure it out. anyhow, if you do, you'll receive my thanks, as well as a bonus puzzle.

also, thanks to the people who test solved this and/or any other puzzles of mine over the last couple of weeks. it's always much appreciated, and it's always helpful.

Monday, February 26, 2018

puzzle 40: "believe it! (freestyle 21)"

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puzzle forty! this is not the puzzle i thought was going to be number forty, especially since i just made this in the last few hours. what can i say? i really wanted to get 36A in a crossword before somebody else (probably BEQ) does.

btw, great puzzles from chris king and paolo pasco out this weekend. go solve them if you haven't yet.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

puzzle 39: "swedish-ish"

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thank you to everybody who emailed in w/ kind words about the previous puzzle. would definitely love to run more collabs, especially with newer constructors. so, if you're interested, let me know!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

puzzle 38: "some say love, it is a puzzle (with allegra kuney)"

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pleased to share with you all a puzzle made in collaboration with allegra kuney. had a blast working on this, and i hope you all enjoy this puzzle as well.

in other news, there will be a lot more puzzles soon. also, if you're going to the acpt, consider checking out the cru dinner, and contact me if you are a position to distribute a bunch of puzzles for me at said tournament--i won't be there, but i'd love to have a presence.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

puzzle 37: "look out ahead"

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had some fun with the grid on this one, in terms of how visually appealing it is.

anyhow, it's snowing here, so i'm going to put on some relaxing music and stay warm and maybe solve some crossword puzzles. or construct some. i've got six half-completed puzzles all open right now that i've worked on recently, plus another half dozen from somewhen in the last few months or so also open, but minimized. they're sitting there in much the same way a textbook sits next to you when you go to the bar to "study": it's there in case you actually decide to work on it. but don't kid yourself. you won't.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

puzzle 35: "fourteen by four (freestyle 18)"

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freestyle with slightly odd dimensions...well, even dimensions, if you want to be technical. no quad stacks, as the title might imply, but a pair of double stacks, all fourteen letters long. and all pretty fun, if you ask me. the clue for the first of these (16A) references the below gif.



via GIPHY

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

puzzle 34: "school daze"

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today was 18A for me (and i suspect a good number of other people as well). even if it's not, i hope y'all find this puzzle enjoyable, and a distraction from whatever weather you have in your neck of the woods.

errata: the clues for 37-across and 40-across cross-reference the wrong clue numbers, mea culpa.


Friday, January 12, 2018

puzzle 33: "b team"

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good news: this was going to be a triple pangram until i came to my senses.

btw, y'all should solve this great paolo pasco puzzle if you haven't already.

re: last post, join the puzzle collaboration directory.

Monday, January 8, 2018

puzzle 32: "xx-mas (freestyle 5)"

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totally forgot to put out a puzzle on the weekend because it's winter break and i've lost track of what day it is. also meant to put this one out closer to christmas. oh well.

important: erik agard has recently made a post that is well worth checking out. gender inequality is one of the many issues in crossworld today, and it's something we need to address. i'm committing to doing what i can to increase visibility for female constructors--whether it's test solving, collaborating, or just advice in general, i'm glad to help. and so are many other talented constructors out there. (e.g. see erik's post, or the below tweet, etc.)
in other news, i've recently seen i, tonya, and besides adding it to my wordlist, i'm wholeheartedly recommending it (as well as the sufjan song below, because i have an aesthetic to uphold)

Thursday, January 4, 2018

puzzle 31: "the white stuff"

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unplanned puzzle that became planned when i learned 13A and just had to get it in a puzzle.

also, apologies to anyone who was unfairly naticked with 21D in the last puzzle. mea culpa.