Monday, March 1, 2021

Vowelless Mini № 1

PDF PUZ Solution

Happy March!

This is the first of a series of vowelless mini puzzles. I've been inspired since working through Frank Longo's pioneering Vowelless Crosswords book to give these types of puzzles a try. I also thought they would work well in a mini format, allowing for some more colorful phrases with fewer boxes.

For those of you who haven't tried vowelless crosswords before, the concept is pretty simple: all vowels are removed from the answers in the grid. For example, the entry MIND-BLOWING would become MNDBLWNG, and AVERAGE JOE would become VRGJ. To avoid complications, no entries will contain the letter "Y".

These puzzles can be pretty tough because of all of the missing letters and difficulties with pattern matching. As a result, the cluing will be more straightforward for the most part. Though this first one is fairly challenging, I'll also try to make some easier ones in the future.

I'm pretty new to working with vowelless grids, so let me know if you have any feedback, and if you'd be interested in seeing these more regularly!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Asym № 1 (Themeless)

PDF PUZ Solution

Hello Crossworld!

I'm super excited to be debuting my indie crossword blog McGrids!  I've been making crosswords for a few years now, with several dozen published across various publications.  My specialty has been themeless puzzles, particularly those with wide-open grids and low word counts.

For this blog I'm looking to continue exploring crossword construction beyond standard formats and expectations.  I'll be grouping these puzzles into several parallel series—some will be more familiar, some more experimental.  This puzzle is the first of the Asym series of themeless puzzles with deliberately asymmetrical grids. 

As of now, I'm planning to post a new puzzle monthly on the 17th plus whatever else I feel like/have time for in between.

Special thanks to Brooke Husic and Adam Nicolle for their help and advice with putting this together.  Please check out their puzzles if you haven't already!

Hope you enjoy!