Monday, August 30, 2021

PUZZLE 52: SWEET MUSIC (themeless)

Solving Music: Snail's House - Cocoa

It's another puzzle! I can't remember the last time I had two puzzles drop this close to each other; this might be the first time that's happened since the first week of the blog. This one's just a regular themeless; I seeded with 34-Across, which I have a feeling may have been used before, but this was a cluing angle I desperately wanted to use. This is a 72-worder, but hopefully the interlocking 15s make up for the lack of longer fill. Hope you guys enjoy!

Saturday, August 28, 2021


Solving Music: Macross 82-99 - Cool Soda

It's another Cruzzles cryptic! This one's got a very funky theme; I normally wouldn't choose to use 3-letter words in a cryptic, but it should be pretty apparent why they're there as you solve. Not much else to say about this one; hope it's fun.

Small plug: I made a sudoku puzzle called Stitches that was solved a few days ago on Cracking the Cryptic; go check it out! (There's a solve link in the video description if you want to take a crack at it before you watch).

Enjoy the puzzle!

Friday, August 20, 2021

PUZZLE 50: OKAY BUT WHAT IF (themeless)

Solving Music: Ricky Cruz - RHYthm (Full EP)

Long time no puzzle! Here's a themeless idea I've had floating around for a while, and finally made happen this week. (Little disclaimer: this is another one of those "basically a themeless but there's a gimmicky thing going on" puzzles; you'll see.)

Solving music for this week's post is my newly released mashup EP, RHYthm! It's been in the works for a few months now (and is a big reason for the delay between puzzles on the blog this time). It's available for free over on Bandcamp as well; there's a link in the description of the YouTube video embedded above.

Enjoy the puzzle, and good luck to everyone participating in Lollapuzzoola tomorrow! We'll probably be arranging some fun and games over in Crosscord after the tournament tomorrow; link below if you want to join the server. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

PUZZLE 49 (w/ Ricky Billingsgate): YOU WOULDN'T GET THIS FROM ANY OTHER GUYS (+ Meta Contest Results!)

Solving Music: Masta Ace - Born To Roll

Hey guys; today's a collab with Ricky Billingsgate, because this was kind of an inevitable co-construction if we're being honest. This one's been in the works for a while, so it's really nice to finally have it out there. Hopefully the title doesn't give too much away :)

And of course, it's time to share the results of the "X Games" meta contest! Results and solution are below the break.

Friday, July 16, 2021


Note for applet and PUZ solvers: the solution grid is not included in the puzzle file (the encoded solution is just a grid full of Xs), so the program won't show your solution as correct. Feel free to Google any answers you're unsure of; the solution grid will be provided in the blog post for the next puzzle.

Solving Music: The War On Drugs - Under The Pressure

It's time for a meta contest! Solve the puzzle above and work out what the meta answer is, and submit it for a chance to win a one-year subscription to Crucinova, a newer outlet for unconventional crosswords. My guess (which may be *way* off) is that the meta will only be moderately tricky; solving the puzzle itself may prove more difficult. Here are the details:

TO SUBMIT: Send the meta answer to my email ( by 11:59 PM Pacific Time on Monday, July 19th, and provide some information to show you understand the mechanic and that you didn't just guess the answer (it can be as simple as "X part of the meta was cool/weird/bad/interesting/sensual", as long as it's clear that you get it). Put something like META CONTEST ENTRY in the subject line, that way your entry doesn't get lost in my inbox. It'd be appreciated if you included a name you'd like to go by in the event you win; I plan on announcing the name of the winner, but if you want to be anonymous or something, just let me know. If you want to be notified some way other than email in the event you win, let me know that as well.

I'll send a reply to all entries to verify that I've received them (said email will not confirm whether or not the solution is correct); if it's been a day or so and I haven't replied, email me again or DM me on Twitter (link below), and I'll make sure your entry is counted.

The winner will be selected randomly from the pool of correct entries received before the deadline. Only the first submission I receive from each entrant will be accepted, so make sure you're confident about your answer before you send it in!

STREAMERS: I'm totally cool with (and encourage!) streaming this and working out the meta solution on-stream with chat. If someone is watching a stream and decides they want to enter the contest, even if they didn't work out all of the solution themselves, that's totally fine by me. As long as nobody's publicly posting hints or a completed grid, I'm gonna be pretty lax with submissions; I trust y'all to play fair.

Again, I won't be verifying correct meta solutions by email, so if you don't want to enter proper (because of course you're already subscribed to Crucinova), but want to know if your meta guess is correct, please wait for the results to be posted, and don't submit a formal entry (though emails complimenting my Escherian meta constructing skills are always welcome). I'm also open to gifting the subscription to someone else, if that's something that interests you.

That should do it for all the details! I'll post any clarifications and updates over on my Twitter; if you have any questions, feel free to DM me there, comment below (no spoilers!), or shoot me an email. The meta solution will be included in the blog post for the next puzzle, which *should* be on Tuesday. Good luck everyone, and enjoy the puzzle!

Friday, June 25, 2021

PUZZLE 47: WE'LL BE SEEIN' YA (themeless)

Solving Music: Retrofile - Two Words

Really happy with how this one came out; I wanted to construct and didn't have my laptop with me, so this puzzle was gridded entirely on paper. Always nice to flex the manual filling muscle; a lot of autofill softens that skillset, and it's good to build it back up.

I seeded this with 4-Down; such a fun entry, and the letters are too good to pass up. The rest of this fill worked itself out fairly smoothly and allowed for some really fun fill, though there are a couple of gluey bits that I think are worth it. Cluing is pretty brutal this time, especially in the northwest, unless you know a lot of niche stuff (the usual here, really). Hope y'all enjoy.

Friday, June 11, 2021



Solving Music: Powfu - mario kart (feat. Travis Barker)

Welcome to Cruzzles sudoku! I've been posting most of my sudoku puzzles in the Cracking the Cryptic Discord server, and it's about time I start posting them here as well.

This puzzle was made the other day for a speed-setting contest in the CTC server; we were given the Liar Killer and Missing Arrow rulesets to work with, and had 70 minutes to put together a sudoku. This puzzle got 2nd place, and I'm quite proud of it. Hope y'all enjoy it too!

If you like this one, the winning puzzle by TotallyNormalCat is absolutely fantastic as well; you can solve it here (rules are the same as this puzzle).

If you're into the whole variant sudoku thing, you may have already seen Simon solve my puzzle Bubble Bath on Cracking the Cryptic earlier this week; give the video a watch if you haven't! (There's a solving link in the video description as well if you'd like to take a crack at it before you watch.)


Join Crosscord, the Discord server where we talk about puzzle solving and construction!