Saturday, April 9, 2022

puzzle #16: doubling season (with totcho)


hi all! this puzzle comes to you from the minds of me (as usual) and totcho, who among other things is known for being good with photoshop and being familiar enough with magic: the gathering to have incepted this puzzle in crossweird's chat. that was almost two months ago and i honestly forget exactly how it happened but i'm glad it did because i think this puzzle turned out really well!

this was totcho's second time constructing - the first being Tabula Rasa - and honestly he's a natural. tons of the good, clever, funny, etc. clues in this puzzle are from him. we refined it all together but he came up with some fantastic cluing angles. i don't know if he plans to get into puzzle construction himself but you all better keep an eye out just in case!

this puzzle is very heavily themed around magic: the gathering, a card game that's too complicated for its own good and too expensive to get into. however, you need not be familiar with it to solve the puzzle.

this puzzle is called doubling season after an iconic (and much too expensive) magic card (unofficial printing shown above), because it has double the constructors, double the themes, and probably around the same amount of fun. we hope. and thanks to slugbiker for the very helpful test solve!

lastly, it's totcho's birthday today!! what better gift could i give than to give him his crossword constructor debut right here on this blog? so if you like this puzzle, tell us! the birthday boy deserves it. i will humbly accept the praise along with him, of course.


.ipuz | .puz | .pdf | puzzleme fullscreen

 or click the link below. enjoy!

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

puzzle #15: Tabula Rasa (with meatdaddy and 18 other people, kinda)

hi everyone! march has been a busy month between work and a week-long vacation but puzzles are back in a big way. today marks the release of Tabula Rasa, a project headed by meatdaddy69420, in which they gridded a puzzle and sent it out to whoever wanted to participate to write clues for it. it's been super cool to see everyone's takes on the entries (and how much overlap there is in some cases).

i'm super grateful that i'm not considered too annoying by the community at large to participate in something like this yet, and it was fun to try and write unique clues for the puzzle. normally there would be a lot more "boring" clues in my puzzle than this, but that's what's fun about a project like this: everyone is trying to stand out! it's a great way to get everyone's voice to come out in their writing which has been tons of fun to see and do.

meatdaddy says the following:

One of my favorite things about crossword puzzles is seeing the many ways that different constructors will clue a single word - for just a moment, you get to peer inside the mind of someone else and at the expense of sounding cheesy, it's a lovely, intimate moment. Not only that, but I also frequently find myself thinking "man, I wish I would have thought of that cluing angle!" and it's a testament to the diverse skill sets and talent in our lil' community. The main goal of Tabula Rasa was to pick everyone's brains by sending them a silly grid with fun fill and words with a handful of different cluing angles. I also wanted to get new constructors involved - building your own grid for the first time is not only intimidating, but can also be cost prohibitive during *gestures at world events*. I wanted this to be an approachable opportunity for new constructors to get their foot in the door, and I'm very pleased to say that I think it was successful in that. Ultimately, at the end of the day, I just hope everyone had a lot of fun doing this and I'm really grateful for everyone's enthusiasm about the project!

many of the finished puzzles will be posted on the constructors' respective blogs, and the others are posted on meatdaddy's blog here, which includes links to the blogs as well. as for mine, i can't imagine too many people will be doing this one over all the others, but if you do, let me know what you think. 

.ipuz | .puz | .pdf | puzzleme fullscreen

or click the link below. enjoy!

Monday, February 7, 2022

puzzle #14: the noblest profession [acrostic]

my second one of these nice crossword-adjacent puzzles! Alex Boisvert has done a lot to facilitate making these, including but not limited to a stream where he demonstrated constructing one! it's worth checking out if you have any interest in it, it's much easier than you might think.

i don't want to spoil anything for this one, but i came across the quote while watching Alex's construction stream and knew it had to be done. Alex test solved this one as well, so really if you like this puzzle it's all him.

.jpz | Crossword Nexus fullscreen

or click the link below. enjoy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

puzzle #13: hell, i could eat

not much to say about this one. i made this puzzle as a distraction from working on another puzzle, so i guess that's where i'm at now. i have, like, 4 puzzles up in the air currently, which is funny because 2 weeks ago i had about half of one.

thanks so much to Ariel for the test solve! as always, if you solve it, like it, love it, hate it, stream it, let me know! i'd love to hear your thoughts and/or watch the solve.

.ipuz | .puz | .pdf | puzzleme fullscreen

or click the link below. enjoy! 

Thursday, January 27, 2022

puzzle #12: themeless #1

oh my god. i cannot believe this crossword is seeing the light of day. i came up with the seed entries for this one (hint: they're the massive ones) back in... october, i think. i spent a few days trying to make a grid that fills well, got nowhere, and repeated that a few times. one time i got an insanely ugly grid with way too many black squares that filled kind of poorly and was rightfully told by many in the crosscord server that i should rework it. but last night i decided to sit down with it again and somehow came up with this, which i think looks pretty good and filled... fine. either way i think we ended up with something pretty good!

thanks to Alex Boisvert for the test solve, and to everyone in the community who gave me such strong FOMO that i decided to go back into the mines to hammer this one out.  

.ipuz | .puz | .pdf | puzzleme fullscreen

or click the link below. as always, if you solve this on stream somewhere, let me know via discord or twitter, i'd love to watch! happy solving!

Sunday, November 21, 2021

puzzle #11: patriotism [acrostic]

wow it's an acrostic! i've been solving a lot of these lately and they're super fun. so i decided to make one! by which i mean i had Alex Boisvert's Acrostic Generator do it for me. amazing tool and i hope more people get into these neat crossword-adjacent puzzles because of it!

if you like this (or if you don't) i highly encourage you to check out other puzzles of this ilk, including Alex Boisvert's and No-Feet McGee's (they're free despite the patreon hosting!). they both have pretty distinct voices as acrostic constructors, imo, and their puzzles are very good (they also both do crosswords!)

as always, if you solve this on stream somewhere, let me know, i'd love to watch!

.jpz (openable in XWord or Crossword Nexus) | Crossword Nexus fullscreen

or click the link below (though i recommend the fullscreen link above). enjoy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

puzzle #10: cryptic #1

completely incidentally, i decided to do something special for my tenth puzzle! i've been interested in cryptics for a long time (longer than i've been interested in american crosswords, frankly) but they never really stuck. i've been getting more into them lately though and i just had to make one after thinking up one particular clue in this one. 

writing cryptic clues is a lot harder than writing normal ones but it's so much more fun and rewarding, i found. i'm super excited to make more of these. in the meantime, if you have any feedback, positive or negative, about this one, let me know! it's my first one so it's probably a little rough but i hope i did okay.

.ipuz | .puz | .pdf | puzzleme fullscreen

or click the link below. as always, if you solve this on stream somewhere, let me know! enjoy!