This collaboration began with a tweet:
Mike replied with a friendly explanation, a link to more info, a DM with even MORE info, and an invitation to collab on a midi, which when you consider that this literally came out of me saying I didn't even know what a p&a puzzle WAS, was pretty generous.
If you're new to this puzzle form, I'll refer you to Mike's tweets for a sincere explanation. Since I am no expert, I will simply say that they are half anagram clues where you don't have to look for Pre-Approved Anagram Indicators, and half the type of "bad" pun that in a regular crossword I would follow with about five question marks (i.e., one of my favorite types of clues).
Mike was a total and complete joy to work with throughout this process, and I'm super-duper happy with the puzzle we put together - really fun with a definite indie vibe. Enjoy!
More from Mike:
What Kate describes as an act of generosity was mostly just me being really excited about the possibility of collaborating with her. Her extremely good clue-writing for standard puzzles unsurprisingly translated into extremely good clue-writing for p&a puzzles, and I really love the result - enjoy!
Crossworld achievement unlocked this week via collaboration with Christopher Adams! Christopher is brilliant in a way that makes me want to lie about, e.g., having just this summer realized that "Adam Ant" = "adamant," or the fact that I *barely* get the clue he wrote for 20-Down. (Please don't tell him. I want him to think that I am smart.) The timing of this is fortuitous, because Christopher just released a puzzle SUITE (OOOoooOOO) which you can purchase on his site! (Humblebrag: I totally understand the meaning of the suite's title. #math)
The idea for (and our collaboration on) this puzzle was born in the chat of one of Chris Piuma's Twitch streams, which Christopher followed up with a cute little 12x14 grid that we've managed to shove about a zillion words of cluing into. I think the resulting puzzle might be fairly hard, depending on your cultural knowledge base, but/and there are some FIRE clues in there, so I hope you persevere and enjoy!
I don't have much to add to that! This has been absolutely fun, Kate was exceptionally wonderful to work with, and all the best clues are hers (Ed. note: agree to disagree).
Phew, it's been a minute since I made a solo puzzle. But I've gotten to work on a ton of fantastic collaborative efforts! To wit:
A themed puzzle with the brilliant and lovely Alex Boisvert (extremely fun theme was all Alex, I loved working on it with him)
A themeless with the inimitable Norah Sharpe, hosted by the very good folks over at Crossweird (Norah churned out that grid in like an hour and sent it over and I was like YES)
A themeless with Brian Thomas as part of the incredible These Puzzles Fund Abortion effort spearheaded by Rachel Fabi (I clued this in some sort of highly enjoyable fugue state)
A themed puzzle with Rachel Fabi herself (Longer side note here: any and all compliments for this little number belong to Rachel, along with my deep, deep gratitude for inviting me to work with her back in April when I had absolutely NO construction experience. If she hadn't been such a mensch when I asked her to look at my first-ever puzzle, would I ever have created another one?!)
If you solved any of these, I hope you enjoyed them!
So without further ado, here is my latest! It's a themeless 66-worder anchored around a couple of 14s, and it's a smidge on the hard side. Many thanks to Will Nediger and Alex Boisvert for test-solving and providing much thoughtful feedback. I truly love this one, and hope you do, too!
Well color me delighted, Brian Thomas of Puzzles That Need a Home made a puzzle that needed a home! Brian and I grew up in the same hometown, so it feels cosmically appropriate to be crossword buddies. I'm chuffed he let me adopt this this puzzle, which is SUCH A HOOT. Enjoy!
Brian's constructor notes: constructor notes are for squares
The inspiration for this puzzle veritably fell out of the sky and bopped us on the heads. I don't want to say more and spoil it!
What I will say is that this puzzle was a much-sought-after collaboration with Rebecca Goldstein! With respect to the many hyper-talented theme specialists out there, I think Rebecca may be my favorite constructor of themed puzzles out there right now. Her recent Inkubator puzzle, "It's a Rap," and her guest puzzle on Just Gridding, "I Could Go Either Way," are two fab ones that come to mind, and she also has the USA Today crossword today. Rebecca is the genius who wrestled this puzzle's constraints into a fun, clean grid (I can say that because it wasn't my work). She was SO much fun to work with.
More from Rebecca:
Super grateful to Kate for 1) inviting me to collaborate, 2) the existence of her blog so that puzzles like this can exist, and 3) accidentally (?) coming up with the idea for this puzzle. I had an absolute blast working on this grid with her and hope you enjoy solving!
Puzzle (and puz) after the jump, as well a little spoilery postscript you can check out after solving, if you're interested in the origin story :) Thank you to the inimitable Rachel Fabi for test-solving!
My friends Abigail and Simon created this rows garden puzzle a year ago as part of a puzzle suite I curated for my partner's birthday. I came across it again recently, and thought to myself that more people should have a chance to enjoy it, so I got their permission to post it here!
This puzzle is a meta, and there is a very rudimentary answer checker here. And when I say "rudimentary," I mean it: it's just a Google form. Type in your answer, hit Submit, and then click the View Accuracy button to see whether it's correct.
Enjoy!! And be sure to tell me if you like it so that I can pass on your feedback.
(I'm including the image of the puzzle so you can see it at a glance, but you'll probably want to download and print (or solve on tablet) the PDF linked below.)
It's been awhile (cue Staind), but I am excited to have something to post again. So grab your favorite tropical drink and enjoy this puzzle in celebration of hot vax summer.
Thanks to the great Alex Boisvert for test solving!
This lucky duck got to collaborate with @rafaxword!! Rafa made his publication debut at Universal last month and has followed it up with two simply killer themelesses at Happy Little Puzzles and 7xwords. He also just today put out a #crosswift midi collab. Check out all his work! And follow him on Twitter, where he is one of my favorite xword presences :)
Rafa created this [open mouth emoji open mouth emoji open mouth emoji] grid with 8 (!!!) spanners and did me the incredible honor of inviting me to work on the cluing. He has been an absolute delight to work with and I hope this is the first of many collaborations! Enjoy!
I didn't think I'd have anything to post this week, but some happenings this evening prompted me to dash off a little tribute. Enjoy!
A themed puzzle for your Sunday night / Monday morning! I ended up having a lot of fun with this one, despite feeling like a clue robot when I started it. I hope you enjoy! Leave a comment or find me on Twitter if you have feedback; would love to hear from you.
Many thanks to Alex Boisvert, Kim Vu, and Norah Sharpe for test-solving.