Sunday, February 28, 2021

PUZZLE #85: Themeless 24

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PUZ
SOLUTION to the last puzzle

Another themeless! I went down more rabbit holes than usual cluing this, and they were the kinds of rabbit holes you find and then really want to share with other people, so here's a doc with a few links to stuff I found cool (spoilers for the puzzle, so only click after you've solved).

Hope you enjoy,
Paolo

P.S. If you like cryptic crosswords but don't like the "word" part, try this all-emoji cryptic crossword I posted a few days ago. I'm also hearing from a lot of people that this was their first complete cryptic solve, so especially check it out if you're a cryptic beginner!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

PUZZLE #84: Themeless 23

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PUZ
SOLUTION to the last puzzle

Bullet points because I'm writing this while trying to figure out what "statistics" are:
  • Thanks for all the love the last puzzle has gotten!
  • Late to post about this, but read these Kameron Austin Collins notes if you haven't already.
  • Some puzzles from new indie sources that I've really enjoyed: this indie debut from Ryan McCarty, and this themeless banger from Mollie Cowger.
Normal themeless today, no tricks, but I feel like it leans into "modern" more than usual. Hope you enjoy!
Paolo

Saturday, January 30, 2021

PUZZLE #83: Entry-Level Stuff

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PUZ 
SOLUTION to the last puzzle

Happy Saturday! Gonna get right into a disclaimer:

This puzzle is best solved on the blog post applet (after the break), but there are .pdf and .puz files available if that's not an option for you. And, special thanks to Adam Nicolle for test-solving this week's puzzle!

Hope you enjoy,
Paolo

Sunday, January 24, 2021

PUZZLE #82: Themeless 22

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PUZ
SOLUTION to the last puzzle

Happy 2021! Late for the first post of the year, but I got caught up with the Mystery Hunt (fun! great!) and registering for classes (meh). Some notes:

  • Check out the new crossword feature at The Browser if cryptics are your vibe! I'm lucky enough to be one of the contributors, and the puzzles that have already come out are setting a high bar. 
  • The 7xwords project is underway, and all the puzzles so far have been bangers. I'd be remiss not to point out this one and this one, which were especially fun
  • Contribute to this form to help diversify wordlists!
Back to normal-sized themelesses; hope you enjoy the puzzle!
Paolo




Tuesday, December 29, 2020

PUZZLE #81: Themeless 21

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PUZ
SOLUTION to the last puzzle

It's Themeless 21, and the last puzzle before 2021, so why not make it a 21x? I wrote a few versions of a 2020 recap for this post, but they all boiled down to "if you're a solver, constructor, streamer, tournament runner, or any combination of those, thanks for making the crossword community the way it is." So I'm just going to say that.

As far as this puzzle goes, shoutout to Adam Nicolle, Sid Sivakumar/Brooke Husic, Ricky Cruz, and Evan Birnholz for their excellent work on 21x themelesses, which very much paved the way for this one.

Also, the pdf has a new look—many thanks to Nam Jin Yoon's excellent new puz-to-PDF tool for the new layout! 

See you in 2021,
Paolo


Sunday, December 20, 2020

PUZZLE #80: Malaika's Midi (by Malaika Handa!)

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SOLUTION to the last puzzle

Hello! Excited to be posting this guest puzzle by Malaika Handa, a rockstar constructor who recently started her own site (which just launched recently, but is already providing incredible content). Many thanks to her for sending it my way—you can see below that our interests and voices overlap in a lot of ways, and I'm honored to have this puzzle on the site! A few words from Malaika:

It is so exciting to be featured on Grids These Days! I love the chaotic-good energy of this site / Paolo and hope this puzzle channels some of it. Speaking of chaotic ideas, for some reason I thought it would be fun to cobble together a collection of every mathematically possible 7x7 crossword. (A pretty hefty project given that I've only been constructing for three months... But it's good to aim high, right?) If you're interested in contributing one, email me at handamalaika at gmail dot com!

I for one am excited to see the 7x7 project develop, so be sure to check out the link. If it's anything like this puzzle, the project is going to be bangers only.

Hope you enjoy the puzzle!

[UPDATE: Thanks Steve Mossberg for pointing out the download links led to the wrong puzzle! Fixed now]