Saturday, February 22, 2020

puzzle 153: "schoolhouse rock (freestyle 137)"

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this is probably the second to last reminder for the month that any donation of $10 or more to the tip jar gets you a pair of bonus puzzles (a themed 15x25 and a freestyle 17x17). many, many thanks to those who've already donated.

otherwise, here's a freestyle that started with the lower right corner; i wasn't planning on having a fifteen cut through the diagonal of black squares, but i couldn't pass up the opportunity, and so here we are. as always, enjoy!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

puzzle 152: "picture perfect"

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mini 9x9 puzzle because why not? some nice longer answers in here, and with one third as many clues to write as usual, had some fun with a few of them.

also, the bonus puzzles (a themed 15x25 and a freestyle 17x17) are still available for any donation of $10 or more to the tip jar. as always, many thanks to those who've already donated.

otherwise, full-sized puzzle again next weekend!

Friday, February 14, 2020

puzzle 151: "finish lines"

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happy valentine's day to those who celebrate, and to those who don't, at least there's half-price chocolate at the end of the tunnel of crassly-commercialized holidays. still, no matter how you feel about it, here's a crossword puzzle.

another puzzle whose theme might fit today is this one from two years back with allegra kuney, who also has an inkubator puzzle that you should check out as well.

also, to be perfectly clear, there's no subtext or hidden message with today's puzzle, and this wasn't commissioned by anybody. but: if you would like to commission a puzzle for this purpose, i'd love to help. and if you'd like a custom puzzle for any other reason, or for any event, i'd love to help as well—email me and we'll work something out.

and, if you'd just like to throw money at me for puzzles, a reminder that there's still half a month left to get a pair of bonus puzzle. any donation of $10 or more to the tip jar gets you a themed 15x25 and a freestyle 17x17 as the reward. many thanks to those who have already donated, but if not, you've still got plenty of time.

and if that's not enough? i've heard from a number of people* that the squarefree suite makes a great gift.

(*that number is zero.)


Monday, February 10, 2020

puzzle 150: "quick study"

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reminder that the tip jar is open for the rest of this month, with a themed 15x25 and a freestyle 17x17 as the reward for any donation of $10 or more; additionally, many thanks to everybody who's already donated.

as for this puzzle, came out a lot better than i thought it would while making it, especially considering the [redacted for spoilers] and the fact that [redacted for spoilers]. still, there's a lot to like here, and i had fun cluing this while watching the oscars (and even more fun watching bong joon-ho win approximately all the oscars). as always, enjoy!

[edit: the original puzzle contained an egregious error that has now been fixed; the files are all now correct. mea culpa, and thanks to everybody who pointed this out.]


Saturday, February 1, 2020

puzzle 149: "cha cha now y'all (freestyle 135)"

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low word count themeless? yup. wasn't planned, but kinda just happened, and i like how it turned out.

also, this sunday's new york times puzzle is a collaboration between brian herrick (who you may remember from this puzzle) and myself; if you haven't already solved it, i think you'll like it.

additionally, since it's been a hot minute since i last did this, i'm opening up the tip jar for the entirety of the month of february. strictly speaking, it's always open, and the site is always free, but any donation of $10 or more this month will be rewarded with a lot of gratitude and a pair of bonus puzzles—a themed 15x25 that's pretty fun and a freestyle 17x17 that's hard as all get-out. puzzles will be sent out by tuesday, if not sooner; i'll be pretty busy the next few days with a 5k race, the super bowl, and then flying back home to caucus. i might be able to find some time (and an internet connection) during all that, but if not, rest assured that the puzzles will be worth the wait.

also, answer to last week's brainteaser, encoded in rot-13: ehtol synaxref

Sunday, January 26, 2020

puzzle 148: "scarlet letters"

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bonus brainteaser: what sport and position within that sport could have been used as a semi-cryptic title to hint at this puzzle's theme? (probably could have worded this slightly better, but you'll know the answer once you see it.)

otherwise, enjoy this puzzle; more fun stuff coming next week!

Monday, January 20, 2020

puzzle 147: "split decision (freestyle 131)"

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freestyle this weekend; some fun answers in there, and as always, hope you enjoy! as for me, been busy with a lot of stuff, including quite a few collaborations, but there's some good stuff coming up in the near future (including a soon-to-be released collaboration that i'm pretty excited for).

Thursday, January 9, 2020

puzzle 146: "a bully is always a coward"

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guest puzzle this week from adam aaronson, who you may recognize from his nyt debut a week ago. definitely a good constructor; give him a follow on twitter (where he's already posted this puzzle) if you haven't already. as for this puzzle, adam says: "after a friend reminded me of a certain classic sentence (spoilers / explanation here), i decided to whip up this twisted quip-style puzzle. hopefully it doesn't bully you too hard."

elsewhere, crossnerds just had a nice podcast episode with chris king; check it out when you have the time.

and finally, i have today's la times crossword, which can be solved online here; i think you'll enjoy that one as well.

Monday, January 6, 2020

puzzle 145: "spanner in the works (freestyle 95)"

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i have this thursday's la times puzzle, in case y'all would like to solve that. as for this puzzle, it started with what is now 32-across, except it was the full name as a grid-spanning answer. but sometimes you finish a puzzle and it just doesn't feel good (iffy fill, tough crossings, etc.)...so i scrapped the spanner, kept what i could (and what i liked), and redid most of the rest. this is the result; as always, hope you enjoy.