Showing posts from January, 2024

Puzzle #42: Themeless

Back at it with a themeless that yes, started with the clue for 20-Across and grew from there. Enjoy! EDIT: This puzzle has audio upon completion! The audio was previously Very Loud; it has been adjusted to hopefully be at a more normal level (the wild overcompression is deliberate and remains.) Sincere apologies to anyone who solved before this! PDF PUZ Fullscreen

Cryptic #1: Uh oh, I Made a Cryptic

Sorry guys, I don't know what came over me. I think it's mainly because I realized I can have such a great cryptic pseudonym. A nom d'énigme , I think the French might say maybe. Anyway, this is my first cryptic and has only been lightly test-solved, so please let me know what you think (both like, your opinion, and also if there are egregious errors.) PDF PUZ

Miscellany #3: "Crossword Puzzles as Puzzles"

This is the first of a three-part series of essays on crossword puzzles. I recently realized that I don't often think about crossword puzzles as puzzles : as problems to solve. When I picture a crossword, I think of the beautiful completed grid, the pattern of interlocking words and black squares. Perhaps because I've been focusing a bit more on construction, I haven't thought of crosswords much as an experience from the solver's perspective. So, here are some observations that might be trite or obvious, but were new to me: A crossword puzzle is a series of questions. Questions are trivia (testing knowledge/memory) or riddles  (with wordplay and misdirection), or both. At the start, you only know each answer's length in letters. The questions vary considerably in their difficulty. You may get some answers immediately, and others after some thought. However, even in an easy puzzle, many questions are initially difficult, and might truly be impossible , due to having