Themed puzzle today, whose title you could think of as a sort of meta (or maybe dad-joke punchline is more accurate).
I had a lot of revisions on this one, so I'm grateful to the small army of people who tried it out at various stages.
Hope you like it!
Welp, I achieved a crossword-constructing milestone. That's right: I stole a grid from Patrick Berry. (Classic misdirect.) Caveat: I removed two black squares from the original grid and placed two new ones, so if you hate this grid design, blame me, not him.
I was beyond lucky to get two amazing test-solvers for this puzzle: Will Nediger (with whom I had a collab with a couple weeks back and therefore felt bold enough to go crawling back to for more - and good thing, because he caught a massive problem that meant I had to re-do practically the entire grid!) and Nate Cardin (who reached out via Twitter recently to volunteer, as did a few other folks whose work I love! what an amazingly supportive community this is!). Nate also, helpfully, shares my love of several cultural references in this puzzle - so, you know, woe betide any solvers who underappreciate Fiona Apple. As ever. Anyway, the point is: thank you a million times to both Will and Nate!
Including a puz file this time, as well as the PuzzleMe, but a quick technical heads up: a few of the clues are, uh, indulgently long. So depending on what program/device you're solving on, they might get truncated.
I hope you enjoy this puzzle! Happy to receive feedback in comments or tweets.
I don't have anything pithy to say about this one. I just hope you enjoy! Feedback welcome, as always, in comments or on Twitter.
A very exciting thing happened to me this week: I got the chance to collaborate with Will Nediger!! And as a result, I'm posting my first collab puzzle (first on this site, that is; I had a great time working on clues with Norah last week for a puzzle on her site).
It's obvious that in addition to being a brilliant crossword constructor, Will is a super-awesome and generous person. The central idea behind this puzzle originated in Will's dazzlingly warped mind, and I'm the lucky person who got to benefit from working on it alongside someone who, to say the least, knows what he's doing. Thank you to Will for reaching out, and I hope you all enjoy!
Wait where are you going come back!!!! Knowledge of the musical Cats is NOT required to solve (or enjoy!) this puzzle. I wrote it assuming most people wouldn't have any (even though I'm *sure* that more of you have watched it stoned than will admit it), and therefore all the long theme answers should be gettable through crosses - mainly because, in general, the Downs will be much easier than the Acrosses.
This puzzle is "mostly" themeless because the seed entries are all references to The Americans, possibly my favorite TV show of all time. But knowledge of the show is in no way required to solve; it probably wouldn't even help that much.
My test solver says this is a *fairly* challenging puzzle. Enjoy! I'd love to hear feedback if you have any - leave a comment or find me on Twitter!
Well, it didn't take me long to get out of the habit of doing post-puzzle write-ups. But I'd like to try and make it a practice, for my own benefit more than anything else. The idea for the theme of this puzzle had been brewing for a little while, and I'd tried several variations on it, but could never make anything fit into a 15x15 grid. Then, one night, after the Oscars I think, I tried a different arrangement, a couple slightly-modified seed entries, and managed to come up with fill I mostly really liked! Not that I think it's an entirely successful puzzle; more after the jump.
I made another puzzle! Phew, I thought maybe I'd run out of inspo after two! This one is somewhat challenging; I'm still working on understanding the difficulty level of my own puzzles...
The phrase revealed by reading the circled letters from top to bottom is a hint to the themed entries, vis a vis the info clued in the two parts of each parenthetical.
This one's a tad clunky (hey, it's only my second one! go easy on me!). It was an idea I got excited about and wanted to see through, and it ended up being a good exercise in stacking longer entries; ultimately a good challenge in a few ways. I hope folks are able to enjoy!
The response to my first puzzle was amazing! I had zero expectations, I just wanted to put something out into the world that I really enjoyed making, and the fact that people actually looked at it at all is incredible to me. The kind words from other xword fans and constructors were (incredibly heartening) icing on the cake.
Some thoughts on the puzzle after the jump.