Wednesday, January 10, 2018

PUZZLE #24: Personal Space

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SOLUTION to the last puzzle

Surprise, it's an off-week, non-Sunday puzzle! Today's puzzle is about a subject near and dear to my heart, and I hope you enjoy it. Fair warning: if you don't get the theme when you're done, it might take some Googling. Or, to cut the hassle, just click here (SPOILERS for the puzzle, of course).

Also, check out this link, which talks about part of an initiative by Erik Agard and Will Nediger, among others, to reduce the (horrific, IMO) gender imbalance in crosswords and puzzles in general. Check out the linked Facebook group for more information, especially if you're a female-identifying/otherwise underrepresented individual who wants to construct puzzles. My line's always open as well-- email me at the address in the sidebar if you're interested in collaborating.

As always, enjoy the puzzle!
-Paolo

Sunday, January 7, 2018

PUZZLE #23: Themeless 7 (and an announcement)

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LAST PUZZLE'S solution

It's been a while, solvers! First, apologies for the unannounced Christmas/New Year's break; school happened, then I had to play catchup for a little. So you don't get burned again, but I can still stay sane, I'm going to ease up on the schedule a little: as of today, Grids These Days will be publishing every other week. This is hopefully going to be a temporary measure-- going biweekly would let me build a puzzle backlog up again.

In other news, shoutout to the American Values Club crossword for allowing me to trick them into joining the team. You'll be seeing some of my puzzles there in the future; if you like the pop culture deal of this blog, smash that subscribe button. You won't be disappointed.

Onto today's puzzle: another themeless, with a very clear seed entry. After you're done solving, click here (SPOILERS) to see the origins of that entry, and its usage since then.

Also, a non-spoiler thing that's still very cool, that test-solver/very good constructor Chris Adams pointed out: Pyeongchang, the site of the 2018 Winter Games, is adopting the internally-capitalized name PyeongChang. The reason: to avoid confusion with Pyongyang. It's factoids like these that make the blurbs on this site worthwhile.

Enjoy the puzzle!

Best,
Paolo

Sunday, December 17, 2017

PUZZLE #22: Themeless 6

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SOLUTION to last week's puzzle

Welcome back, solvers! It's been a few months since the last themeless; here's a puzzle to break the theme hegemony.

If this still doesn't satisfy your themeless fix, check out this erik agard collaboration. You know as well as I do that the man's a crossword wizard. Just look at that puzzle's 1-Across clue (which was all him) and let your jaw drop.

Anyway, enjoy the puzzle!


Sunday, December 10, 2017

PUZZLE #21: "Yes, And..."

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SOLUTION to last week's puzzle

Hello! Late puzzle, but better late than never.

This is a puzzle from the "write what you know" division. Last Friday, I played in a showcase for my school's improv team for the first time. Long story short, it was insanely rewarding, I loved it, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. So, here's a puzzle based on that, titled after the golden rule of improv.

Hope you enjoy!
-Paolo


Sunday, December 3, 2017

PUZZLE #20: Steep Descent

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SOLUTION to last week's puzzle

Hello again, solvers!

First: to bring closure to the story arc introduced in the posts for puzzles #17 and #18, I am pleased to announce that I have finally finished the second season of "Stranger Things." I'm still emotionally drained after that finale, but I won't burden you with that. (but also WOW what an episode)

About the puzzle: wackadoodle theme, but what is the vibe of this site if not "wackadoodle." Puzzles like this really demonstrate why I'm liking the freedom of indie crossword construction-- you'll see why when you solve it.

Hope you enjoy!

-Paolo

Sunday, November 26, 2017

PUZZLE #19: Roamin' Empire

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SOLUTION to last some week's puzzle

Hello!

Sorry for the puzzle absence over the last two weeks; school got really busy, and I burned through my backlog of crosswords pretty quickly. The good news is, now that Thanksgiving break is here, I've had the time to make a few puzzles to get back into the routine of things. Things should be good for the next week or two; if not, I'll let you know. No secrets between us, I promise.

Thanks for understanding, and enjoy the puzzle!

Best,
-Paolo



Sunday, November 5, 2017

PUZZLE #18: Play Again (and last week's meta results)

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Hello, solvers!

Last week's meta was a layered one. 31 solvers sent in the correct answer-- but how did they do it? Let's find out!

In this "Stranger Things"-themed puzzle, solvers were prompted with "Researchers of this grid have discovered the existence of an alternate dimension, which some have called the Upside Down. The scientific world is abuzz-- but there's rumors that they also discovered something else in the puzzle. What did they find?" In doing the crossword itself,  two things became clear:

  1. The bottom half of the grid is a mirror reflection of the upper half. More tellingly, though, the down answers in the bottom half of the grid had to be flipped (indicating that this is the Upside Down), as were the clues for that section of the grid (at least in the pdf).
  2. Two answers (COME THROUGH and ONLY CONNECT) had starred clues.

So, where to go from there? Nudged by the two starred answers, solvers noticed that the "normal" side and the "upside down" could be connected. When certain letters are added between the two halves, words are created in the Down direction that work equally well for the given clues. More specifically:
[Common means of getting to work] could clue CAR or CARPOOL
[Operating smoothly, say] could clue WELL or WELL-OILED
[Place to crash] could clue BED or BEDROOM
[Place to grab lunch] could clue CAFE or CAFETERIA
[Beat a retreat] could clue RUN or RUN AWAY
[Chap] could clue GENT or GENTLEMAN


The added letters, as shown above, reveal the PORTAL that connects our dimension and the Upside Down (and, incidentally the meta answer). It was a big part of season one, but I've only seen two episodes of the latest season. So, I don't know how relevant it still is, but whatever. Also, I'd like to extend a thanks to all the entrants this week, for not spoiling the new season. What a courteous bunch you all are. Of those entrants, this week’s winner is... Nathaniel Lee! Congratulations, Nathaniel, and thanks to everyone who sent in comments. They’re very much appreciated.

Smaller puzzle today; I've been busy at school, so here's a lil' grid with a lil' theme. I really like it though, and I hope you do too.

-Paolo