Friday, July 29, 2022

PUZZLE 0008: Cryptic #5

PDF file | PUZ file | Solve online | Solution, clue breakdown, and notes

"F***ing cryptics – how do they work?": a primer

It's been a while since I set a cryptic, but I think my cluing has improved sharply from the first four attempts (three of which the more daring of you will find on my Crosshare page).

Some other favorite things about this grid:
  • No 3-letter entries
  • Wide range of vocabulary
  • Lots of different types of wordplay
I'm still a bit intimidated by full 15x cryptic grids, so for now the grid stays at 13x. But that might change with cryptic number six, now that I'm getting the hang of this.

In an effort to fine-tune my skills and get some insight into different cluing tastes, I reach out to a different test-solver for each cryptic. This puzzle's test-solver was George Ho of Loplop Crosswords, who provided thorough clue-by-clue feedback on the rough draft, which was greatly appreciated. Be sure to check out his page for more cryptics – "Spitting Straight Fire," along with his recent collab, "In One Basket," are both A+ solves.

Enjoy the puzzle! See you next Saturday with something new. –Hoyt

(UPDATE: One clue has been edited for accuracy. My apologies for any confusion.)

Saturday, July 23, 2022

PUZZLE #7: Have You Herd This One?

PDF file | PUZ file | Solve online | Solution and notes


It's not every day I come up with an actual theme, so I'm very excited to see this one out in the wild. Not much to say about it; I think I'll let it — ahem — speak for itself.

Enjoy! See you soon. —Hoyt

Saturday, July 16, 2022


PDF file | PUZ file | Solve online | Solution and notes

Brand new puzzle for your weekend solving. This one's been said to be tougher than usual, maybe approaching Saturday territory.

Enjoy! —Hoyt

Saturday, July 2, 2022


PDF file | PUZ file | Solve online | Solution and stats

Presented here, a Friday-level themeless for your solving pleasure.

I'm always on the lookout for grid patterns that not only catch the eye but look easy enough to fill. This puzzle's grid is based on a 74-word layout that I found in a Dell magazine. After plugging in the spanner at Row 3, some playing around with Compiler, and a couple of black square migrations, somehow I ended up with this. I'm so quirky.

As always, thanks to the test solvers — their feedback is a big help in gauging the difficulty and solvability of any of my puzzles.