Thursday, June 29, 2023

PUZZLE #0014: A Marry Occasion

DIFFICULTY: Probably the harder side of Wednesday

Hey Constant Puzzlers, back at it with a new themed puzzle, this time a "quip" inspired by a Stephen King tweet. After some further digging, I am not entirely sure if King was the first person to use it, but it's funny anyway, so I made a puzzle around it.

.pdf file | .puz file | solve online | solution and notes

Of course, reception is mixed on quip puzzles. I personally enjoy them and think of them as a fun little Wheel of Fortune-like exercise. The problem is, it's very easy for naticks to slip into them. For my peace of mind, I've had a few more people than usual test this puzzle, and I'm happy to report that they were all able to solve it without outside help. So yaaaay. That being said, some knowledge of internet culture may be necessary to solve.

Enjoy the puzzle. See you again soon. --H.A.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

PUZZLE #0013: -- Sorry, I Zoned Out There (Themeless #9) -- and Recs for Pride Month

Hello again, dear solvers! It's been awhile. I hope this themeless makes up for it.

I honestly don't know how I managed to pull this one off -- in addition to falling under the 72-word limit, it has two really nice 10-stacks, perhaps a record number of entries from my seed list, a nice spanner that made its way in there by happy accident, and what I think is an aesthetically-pleasing grid pattern. I hope you like.

.pdf file | .puz file | solve online | solution and notes

Also, if you're reading my blog of all things, chances are you're deep enough into crosswords to know where to find the best queer-inclusive puzzles... but just in case, I'm gonna recommend some of my own favorite LGBTQ+ indie constructors:

  • Frisco17 (Good Clues for People Who Love Bad Clues) -- Puzzles full of meme references, good music recs, and off-the-wall (and occasional P&A) clues.
  • Ariel Haymarket (Haymarket's Squares) -- Clues that lean hard-left, are full of personality, and often approach Saturday Stumper territory.
  • Spencer Leach, a.k.a. Thoron (Power Grids, Crosshare) -- Clever themes that I often kick myself for not coming up with, and the themelesses are impressively smooth, even when they're wide open.
  • Ryan McCarty (McGrids) -- Tough grids full of sparkling answers, including such things as... Well, just do the 9/18/2021 NYT.
  • Ada Nicolle (Luckystreak xwords, Patreon, Xtra Magazine) -- Every. single. grid is super-lively and full of fun Gen Z stuff.
  • Be sure to tip your constructors where possible.

    There's also Queer Qrosswords, a project spearheaded by the fabulous Nate Cardin. There are two suites out, and by donating $10 or more (plz more) to an LGBTQ+ charity of your choice, you get a pack of queer-themed puzzles constructed by some of the best.

    Incidentally, Cardin had a cryptic in the Browser this last Sunday. The puzzle is a hella-queer masterpiece (no surprise there) and is free for all. Here's the .puz file.

    See you again soon. --H.A.