Thursday, January 23, 2020

PUZZLE 10 - OOOOOOOOOOH! (themeless)

Solving Music: Amherst - Pop Rocks

If this puzzle looks like it was made the same way the last themeless was, it's because this puzzle was made the same way the last themeless was. This time, all three entries in the stair-stack were pulled from my personal list of themeless seeds, so I'm pretty happy with that stack as a whole. This format seems to be working fairly decently while still allowing for colorful answers elsewhere in the puzzle.

I'm looking to maybe get this blog on a consistent upload schedule (once a week, probably) sometime soon, but I'll need to figure out the best time to post. I'll probably do something like get everything written up and scheduled the night before, and then manually do all my social media sharing when I wake up (I get up extremely late :P). We'll see. Enjoy the puzzle!
(also let's forget about the four-letter word crossing itself in two entries I'd like to forget I did that thank you)


Saturday, January 18, 2020



Solving Music: WEDNESDAY CAMPANELLA - Shakushain

VARIETY PUZZLE! I'm not sure how often these will be coming around, but I hope you guys enjoy them as a departure from the usual.

This puzzle is called Now You See It, named after the bygone game show of the same name (I recommend it; it's pretty entertaining. I think they had a reboot of it recently? Not sure how well that one did; hopefully well). It's all explained in the puzzle page, but the rules are simple; find the answer words (all reading left-to-right) in the grid. I added the leftover letters element to give it the depth it didn't need as a game show, but needs as a puzzle.

The fun of this format construction-wise is in finding words with unique overlaps (BACARDI/CARDINAL, e.g.), and words containing other words (the Norse god in Grid 2 being where it is, e.g.). It's already giving me some ideas for crossword themes.

As always, let me know what you think in the comments. Also, come join the crossword Discord server for solvers and constructors! (Probably gonna start plugging this in each post now, in lieu of a YouTube channel to ask you to like, comment, and subscribe to :/ )


Thursday, January 9, 2020


SOLVING MUSIC: Savant - Starfish

This puzzle was in the works for a while; I stopped working on it after I ran into a roadblock with the fill, and I got back to it a few days ago looking through my unfinished puzzle files. I had started making it with the intention of submitting it to the NYT, but I figured 55-Across was probably too niche, so I decided to just make it for the blog. I also went easier than usual on the cluing, since this is pretty much an NYT Tuesday theme, and also because I'd like to even out the hard-to-easy ratio on the blog a little. Hope y'all enjoy.


Monday, January 6, 2020


SOLVING MUSIC: Tobacco - Father Sister Berzerker

We're back to themelesses; this one was seeded with a couple of 11-letter words from my personal wordlist (30- and 32-Across). There was a good amount of time where I thought this grid was going nowhere, but with the help of a really kickass SW corner that worked itself out and some admittedly bleh words in the north, I pulled this together in a couple nights. I think it's my favorite of the themelesses I've done to this point.

This is another one where I really got to indulge myself in lots of gaming references, and I took a few opportunities to get silly with my cluing. I think "silly" is probably the direction I'm going with my cluing voice; I'm also finding more and more with themelesses that my favorite entries and seeds are childish, and I'm definitely gonna keep running with it.

Enjoy the puzzle, y'all.


Sunday, December 29, 2019


SOLVING MUSIC: Earth, Wind & Fire and The Emotions - Boogie Wonderland

WARNING: You're definitely gonna want to solve this on paper. It'll solve in Across Lite just fine, but you can't discount the tactile feel of turning a page grokking this puzzle's theme.

It's another impulse crossword, but this time it's themed! Gridded last night, clued this afternoon. I've tagged this one as Hard not because of anything clue-related, but mainly because I think footholds in this grid might be tricky. Let me know what you think in the comments, over on Twitter, or in the crossword Discord server (y'all should join that server regardless, whether you're a solver or a constructor). Merry Christmas, and a happy new decade as well!


Wednesday, December 18, 2019


SOLVING MUSIC: Yuma Yamaguchi feat. Haru - Mewton

Here's an impulse crossword I made last month; you may have seen me live-construct this on Twitter already (puzzle spoilers at that link). As with the last puzzle, this one was made when I realized at 4AM that 39-Across is 15 letters; the rest is history. If all the gaming stuff in the last puzzle turned you away, this puzzle doesn't have nearly as much, so it may be more palatable. Enjoy the puzzle, and happy holidays!


Monday, December 9, 2019

PUZZLE 5 - GOTTEM (themeless)

SOLVING MUSIC: TJH87 - Deadlock (Robotaki Remix)

Here's an impulse crossword I made after realizing that 34-Across is 15 letters. If you follow me over on Twitter, you might have seen me realize this. This is the first impulse crossword I'm posting, so be wary that this is going to be way more pop-culture heavy than most of the puzzles I've posted, especially in terms of video games. Also, dupes between phrases (I wouldn't dupe full entries) might end up happening (this particular puzzle has a 3-letter word used in 3 different entries and I didn't notice until after I finished filling :/), so you've been alerted.

I'm particularly pleased with this themeless; I pushed the pop-culture-y answers up to eleven on this one, and I like how the fill worked out, aside from the triple-dupe. I might try a similar grid pattern to this in a NYT submission soon, as it made for some lively 8-stacks and gave nice opportunities for scrabbly letters. That, and the grid shape is really aesthetically pleasing. Hope y'all enjoy.