Saturday, March 27, 2021


Solving Music: chelmico - Easy Breezy

You'll notice that there's no Across Lite or PDF links for this puzzle. You'll also notice that the grid in the applet is absolutely terrifying to look at. This puzzle is meant to be solved in the applet, so I've decided to leave out the links this time.

It's pretty difficult to talk about this puzzle without spoiling the revealer/theme, so I'm gonna openly talk puzzle spoilers (and explain the theme if you're out of the loop) below this break:

Thursday, March 25, 2021

PUZZLE 42: THE LARGE MAN (themeless)

Solving Music: Vaudeville Revival - Meanwhile at Saddle Ranch!

It's that time again: SUNDAY SIZE THEMELESS TIME, baby.

Some entries in my themeless seed list are there because I have a sick cluing angle for them (these are usually left out of my publicly available seed list unless I think the entry itself is cool enough to warrant being a seed in its own right). 63-Across in this puzzle is one of those entries. Last time I did one of these, I tried throwing some seeds in a pinwheel shape, but this time I went for a modified version of a center stack with a 21 running down the middle and used entries from my seed list wherever the opportunity presented itself. 21x themelesses are cool like that; there's so much more space to play with in terms of grid structure than in a standard 15x, where you usually end up with some form of stacks in the corners, maybe the center, and a few other nice long entries thrown in.

I threw some image clues in this time to spice things up for applet solvers (I also set a quick 65-Down puzzle just so I could use it for its own image clue; if those are your thing, there's a solving link in that clue).

Enjoy the puzzle!

Saturday, March 20, 2021


Solving Music: Skrillex - Breakn' a Sweat

Been a while since we've done a nice stagger-stack, so here's one I'm happy with! Seeded this one with 36-Across; I've been getting into chess videos a good amount (despite being pretty garbage at it), and this entry was too good to pass up.

I'm also experimenting with multimedia clues on this one; the browser applet has a video clue for 20-Down; I'll probably be doing other clues like that in the future. I tried making that clue a pure audio clue, but there's nowhere I can host an audio file that'll be compatible with the applet, so I decided to edit that video together.

Not really an announcement, but a reminder for anyone who isn't already aware: the Boswords Spring Themeless League is still going on, and if you're in Crosscord, we have a channel for talking about the league puzzles. Swing by if you're taking part!

Enjoy the puzzle! I've also just finished gridding another 21x21 themeless, so after that gets clued, it'll probably be up here in the coming week. Stay tuned! 👀

EDIT 3/20: This puzzle originally cited the wrong artist in the clue for 36-Down; this has been fixed in the applet, PUZ, and PDF. Let me know if those didn't update or anything.

Saturday, March 13, 2021


Solving Music: Neil Cicierega - The End

Welcome to the first installment of Cracking the Cruzzles!

Okay on second thought, no, please never call it that, I don't want that to be a thing.

This is my first cryptic, and I'm pretty happy with it, considering I'm pretty new to writing these. I normally tag puzzles with a difficulty tag, but I honestly have no idea how hard this plays as a cryptic, so I'll leave this one untagged. More than usual, I'd love to hear your feedback on this! Half of the battle here was getting the clues to work at all, so any advice on making the puzzle as a whole better would be a big help (especially from experienced cryptic setters). Oh yeah, did I mention this was themed? 👀

Enjoy the puzzle!

Tuesday, March 9, 2021


Solving Music: Hachioji-P, kz - Weekender Girl

GUYS IT'S MARCH 9TH!!!!!!! IT'S MIKU DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now you might be asking, "hey Ricky, I thought Miku Day was back in August when you did that other puzzle to celebrate it. what the heck." What you don't understand is that August 31st is Hatsune Miku's birthday. Today is Miku Day, and while I would love to explain to you why today is significant, that would spoil the puzzle. So solve the puzzle. Do it.

In non-crossword news, I made a Frogger-themed Sudoku for the Cracking the Cryptic Discord's monthly puzzle prompt a couple weeks ago, and Simon solved it on the YouTube channel the other day! I'll embed the video here; if you're into sudoku, give it a watch! And I think I've mentioned it here already, but I have a couple of puzzles in the upcoming Cracking the Cryptic book, which you can order here.

Enjoy the puzzle!