Sunday, April 17, 2022

puzzle 195: "oh hello! (freestyle with ada nicolle)"

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back at it again with the white vans, and by that i mean with ada nicolle, who's had two puzzles on this blog previously. ada says "chris is incredible and gets me, and i'm so excited to be collabing with him again!!!"; i am also very excited and very glad to have had the chance to collab with ada again, and only wish i was anywhere half as prolific as ada (especially given the extremely high quality of puzzles; seriously, go click on the link above and subscribe to their patreon).

as for this puzzle specifically, ada started it off with the upper left, i had a few entries i wanted to use in the lower right and made that stack, and then we figured out how connect them together (a bit harder than it should've been, perhaps, because we couldn't let go of the central spanner, but i'm very glad we were able to get it to work).

also, uh, because i still can't be arsed to remove this part from copy/pasting the last blog post in as a template for this post, here's a reminder that i'm open to make custom puzzles for just about anything. alternately, if you want to throw some cash at me for non-custom puzzles, the arcseconds puzzle suite is still available for purchase.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

puzzle 194: "tabula rasa (ft. meatdaddy)"

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back with a collaborative effort with meatdaddy, but it's really part of a larger project—meatdaddy made the grid, invited a lot of people to clue it, and this is what i did with it. about the project, meatdaddy says:

"one of my favorite things about crossword puzzles is seeing the many ways that different constructors will clue a single word—for just a moment, you get to peer inside the mind of someone else and at the expense of sounding cheesy, it's a lovely, intimate moment. not only that, but i also frequently find myself thinking "man, i wish i would have thought of that cluing angle!" and it's a testament to the diverse skill sets and talent in our lil' community. the main goal of tabula rasa was to pick everyone's brains by sending them a silly grid with fun fill and words with a handful of different cluing angles. i also wanted to get new constructors involved—building your own grid for the first time is not only intimidating, but can also be cost prohibitive during *gestures at world events*. i wanted this to be an approachable opportunity for new constructors to get their foot in the door, and i'm very pleased to say that i think it was successful in that. ultimately, at the end of the day, i just hope everyone had a lot of fun doing this and i'm really grateful for everyone's enthusiasm about the project!"

i'm looking forward to going through and seeing all the other clues, and i encourage you to do the same! in the meantime, i continued my trend of getting weird as all get-out in the clues, and i don't apologize for any of it at all.

also, uh, because i still can't be arsed to remove this part from copy/pasting the last blog post in as a template for this post, here's a reminder that i'm open to make custom puzzles for just about anything. alternately, if you want to throw some cash at me for non-custom puzzles, the arcseconds puzzle suite is still available for purchase.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

puzzle 193: "hey, how about a nice hawaiian punch?"

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i'm back with a puzzle whose theme kinda just popped into my head; thanks to ada for the title, ricky for the absolute banger of a clue for 27-down, and adam for both the clue for 37-across and for making wordlisted, which made finding theme entries a lot easier.

anyway, as tends to be the case of late, i went all in on some of the clues; as always, enjoy! more soon, especially w/r/t the new and expanded avcx, where i'll be one of the editors for avcx+ (and can confirm we've got a lot of banger puzzles in the queue).

also, uh, because i couldn't be arsed to remove this part from copy/pasting the last blog post in as a template for this post, here's a reminder that i'm open to make custom puzzles for just about anything. alternately, if you want to throw some cash at me for non-custom puzzles, the arcseconds puzzle suite is still available for purchase.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

puzzle 192: "musical numbers"

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i've got next tuesday's 7xwords puzzle, which will probably be the most-hated puzzle i put out this month, although this one might be a very close second. i don't apologize for anything, and i'm looking forward to all the hate mail while i sit here and go "yes...ha ha ha...yes!" like the sicko i am.

in all seriousness, this puzzle started with the three seed entries, which of course i had to stack (hashtag nediger bait, since it's worked twice before; also shoutout to will and quiara for test-solving this and convincing me to maybe make it less unfair). the theme entries very much cater to my interests (especially the third; give that a listen after solving), as does the rest of the puzzle (i mean, bowie! talking heads! the unitaskers! ao3! obligatory car seat headrest clue! *resets the "weeks since making a gratuitous car seat headrest reference" sign to zero*)

so, lots of pop culture and trivia means massive YMMV w/r/t solving experiences, but ultimately i *think* the crossings are fair, or at least can be figured out via logic and/or magic. also, extra credit if you know other potential themers here.

finally, a reminder that i'm open to make custom puzzles for just about anything. alternately, if you want to throw some cash at me for non-custom puzzles, the arcseconds puzzle suite is still available for purchase.

oh, and as for the bottom middle of this puzzle: building around the stacked theme answers kinda forced a large chunk of black squares, but i decided i'd rather have a disconnected section just for funsies instead (it's not the first time i've done this, or the second, or the third, and each time there's been a different little something going on in those isolated parts).

Monday, November 15, 2021

puzzle 191: "if i only had a brain (freestyle)"

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bit longer than i'd anticipated since the last puzzle, which isn't to say that i haven't been making puzzles—they've just been submitted with fingers crossed that somebody likes them. a couple of commissions as well, which serves as a reminder that i'm open to make custom puzzles for just about anything. alternately, if you want to throw some cash at me for non-custom puzzles, the arcseconds puzzle suite is still available for purchase.

in other news, simon from cracking the cryptic solved the phistomefel crossword as a bonus video and called it "a very clever thing" and "really very fine indeed". the video itself is also very fine and a joy to watch, and i recommending doing so after the solving puzzle (if you haven't already). 

also, i've got the 7xwords puzzle on the 23rd, and i can't wait for all the hate mail i'm gonna get for that (insert evil laugh here). not saying my construction process was the "yes...ha ha ha...yes!" sickos meme, but not not saying that either.

as for this puzzle, it started from the seeds, which of course i had to intersect and then build a grid around, even though that made the whole process harder (when? when? when? when? when? when? when will i ever learn?). that said, i particularly like the entries surrounding the central intersection, and i kinda like the weird quote mark utah shapes floating in the middle of the grid—they've really grown on me. anyway, as always, enjoy!

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

puzzle 190: "phistomefel ring (feat. ricky cruz)"

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this puzzle is a semi-collab with ricky cruz (who i previously collaborated with on this puzzle). we've discussed the idea of a phistomefel ring crossword before, and i stole borrowed with permission the pair of seed entries (from here; spoilers, obvi) for an extra theme layer; ricky also provided a lot of valuable thoughts and feedback about how this puzzle works, without which this puzzle would be much, much worse. all in all, i really like how this one turned out.

since this puzzle contains bars, there's no puz or pdf file this week, though you can print it from the solver below. and, if you haven't heard of the phistomefel ring before or don't know what it is, there's an explanation here (but again, spoilers).

also, i had a collab with kate chin park at her site; we both had a lot of fun making it, and you should check it out if you haven't already! and finally, arcseconds, a puzzle suite consisting of twenty freestyles, is still available for purchase! 



Monday, September 13, 2021

puzzle 189: "arcseconds puzzle zero"

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exciting announcement: i've just released arcseconds, a puzzle suite consisting of twenty freestyle puzzles. more info on the tab, but suffice it to say i had a lot of fun making those puzzles. here's a teaser puzzle that's not part of that suite, but that very well could have been if i had chosen which puzzle to use on a different day. as always, enjoy!