Wednesday, July 22, 2020

PUZZLE 27: CLOUT STRIFE (themeless)

Solving Music: Vaudeville Revival - Back to Bed
(This is my friend Luke's band; their new album "The Death of Los Angeles" is out now, and you can give it a listen on Spotify!)

Been a while since I've done a classic corner-stack setup, and with 1-Across and 65-Across being the same length, I thought it'd be a nice set to work into a themeless. This ended up being a really fun construction; lots of good bonuses, and not as much glue as I've been using recently. I've once again opted for some brutal cluing, so let me know how your experience goes.

By the way, if you haven't heard, Boswords is coming up this Sunday! The tournament will be held online this year; signups are only up for a few more days, so if you're interested, definitely head over to the website soon. At the time that you're reading this, the first practice run has probably already happened, but there'll be another one happening on Saturday before the tournament kicks off on Sunday. The tentative tournament schedule shows things running from noonish to 5 PM Eastern time, but it's probably good to plan a few hours around that just in case. I'm currently making arrangements to have a Boswords hangout area in the Crossword Discord (newly named "Crosscord") where people will be able to talk about stuff during and after the tournament. Click the link to Crosscord at the bottom of this blog post to join the server, especially if you're gonna be here for Boswords; hope to see you there!

Enjoy the puzzle!


Thursday, July 9, 2020

PUZZLE 26: THE BIG CHUNGUS (themeless)

Solving Music: Eve - As You Like It

The title has absolutely nothing to do with any entries in the puzzle. It's more representative of what the puzzle is: a 21x Cruzzles themeless, a big chonker of a grid crammed with gaming references and memes. It is the Big Chungus of puzzles. I'm so sorry.

This was a very fun one to construct; I took a similar strategy to what Byron Walden did for his themeless for the Couchword tournament. The puzzle was seeded with the four 14-letter words pinwheeling in the center: 52A/73A/10D/48D (the second half of 48D actually changed to improve fill, but it's all the same). All four were taken from the 14s section of my wordlist, which is the sad place where entries that are *almost* 15s go to die. I figured a chonky themeless would be the perfect place to finally use some of those 14s, and it definitely worked out. This is gonna play way harder if you aren't up on your pop culture; the center-right chunk in particular is filled to the brim with games/cartoons/comics stuff. Hopefully it's not all too niche.

Gonna use this space here to plug Grids For Good (let's be honest though, if you're following this blog, you've probably seen it shared around already). It's a collection of 42 puzzles from 44 constructors, available by forwarding them a receipt for a donation of $10+ to a COVID-related or racial justice organization (they have recommendations for orgs on the site). It's a great cause, so I'd highly recommend getting in on that soon (especially since some of those puzzles are metas with a contest deadline of the 18th).

Happy solving!