writing this post between puzzles in the crossword tournament from your couch, which (if you're not solving already) you should be; i believe puz files will be posted at some point. will have more to say about the tournament later, but so far it's good, even if i had a typo on the first puzzle because i wasn't quite acquainted with the interface yet. it's my fault for not checking, but i blame the two warmup puzzles; because they were so easy, i didn't get any practice with erasing wrong answers while speed solving, and that's pretty much what bit me. (not that i was gonna make the finals anyway, but it's always nice to have a clean yet fast solve.)
anyway, this puzzle isn't a crossword, but a variety puzzle known as a touchword. it's 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.
it tends to be a theme with touchwords to have the first entry related to touching; here, i started with the first and last rows, and only noticed that i could tie in the first entry when i got around to cluing this. lots of fun across entries here, as well as a pair that i'm not as fond of, but needed to get some of the nicer across entries in while still keeping it a touchword. both should be fairly
as always, enjoy! and i'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this, and what you liked or didn't like.