Wednesday, August 17, 2022

🎂 Birthday Vowelless 🎂

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Happy August! I'm celebrating a big birthday this month, and you can probably guess what it is based on the grid shape... For my birthday I've decided to make a vowelless crossword with a hidden ✧bonus answer✧!

In a vowelless crossword all vowels are removed from the answers in the grid. For example, the entry MIND-BLOWING would become MNDBLWNG, and I HAVE NO IDEA would become HVND. To avoid complications, no entries will contain the letter "Y". The enumeration of each full entry is listed after its clue for assistance. 

The (hopefully) apt bonus answer is a famous time in history.

Thanks to Will Nediger for test solving. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Collab № 3 (Themeless w/ Adrian Johnson)

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Hi everyone - we're back with another collab! Apologies for missing the typical post on the 17th - I got busy with vacation and work obligations, but hopefully this puzzle makes up for it!

Excited to collaborate with Adrian, whose themeless puzzles have been everywhere lately (LA Times, Universal, & AVCX to name a few), and for good reason with such great entries and clever clues. He also has some older puzzles on his site ajxwords. This puzzle with its unusual 15x16 shape was quite a lot of fun to put together.

A note from Adrian:

Ryan is a true wizard of the crossworld, and it was a privilege to collaborate with him on this funky puzzle! As soon as one of my favorite songs burst out from my bottom seed corner, I knew I had to make a puzzle work. Who better to help me see it through than one of the greats?

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, June 17, 2022

Chasm № 12 (Themeless)

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Happy June! A Chasm this month with one of my favorite open middle grid patterns.  I'm happy with the variety of lively answers I was able to squeeze into this one.

Thanks to Quiara Vasquez for test solving. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Chasm № 11 (Themeless)

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Happy May! It's been a busy month so far, but I really love this time of year as everything begins warming up.

This month's chasm puzzle grew from me wanting to include a reference to "Heartstopper," the LGBTQ+ webcomic turned Netflix show.  The show came out earlier this month when I was having a pretty stressful week, and turned out to be one of the most heartwarming things I've watched in a long time.  Naturally, I went and tore through the entire webcomic in a couple of sittings as well... 

I've recently been trying to consume a lot of feel-good queer content, which I didn't have growing up and would have really helped with my own coming out experience around ten years ago.  "Heartstopper" is a series I connect with in particular because I relate strongly with both of the main characters - Charlie in his physicality, love of music, and general nerdiness, and Nick with his coming out journey that echoes mine.

Anyway, enough waxing poetic. I'm happy with the way this puzzle came out - it's a 17x17 with some fun clues and interesting entries. The corner quad stacks were a bit of a challenge to put together, but they eventually worked out :-)

Look out for a mainstream collab later this week... Thanks to Will Nediger for test solving. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Vowelless № 1

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Happy April and happy Easter Sunday! Coming at you with a 15x15 vowelless puzzle today which includes at least one Easter-themed entry.

In a vowelless crossword 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". The enumeration of each of the full entries is listed after its clue for assistance. 

Due to the lack of vowels, these puzzles tend to play a bit harder than standard crossword puzzles, so if you get stuck feel free to check/reveal letters or reference the solution which contains all of the answers spelled out.

I've also recently received my copy of Letters to Margaret, the wonderful crossword-themed graphic novel created by Hayley Gold.  If you're interested in snagging a copy for yourself, take a look here!

Thanks to Will Nediger for test solving. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Chasm № 10 (Themeless)

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Happy March! Another Chasm this month - this one a bit larger than usual, and perhaps with more video games references as well.  I have the New York Times Saturday puzzle this week and it also features a very similar wide open middle. I constructed that one a while back, and have since constructed and posted more puzzles on this blog with this trademark intersecting-quintuple-stagger-stack design.

Thanks to Will Nediger for test solving. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Chasm № 9 (Themeless)

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Happy February! It's officially been one year since I started this blog and made my foray into the indie crossword community both as a constructor and a more frequent solver. I've enjoyed the ride so far, and plan to have many more Chasms, Asyms, and others in the future 😀

Today's puzzle is a 60-word Chasm - a bit scary, perhaps, but hopefully not too scary.

Thanks to Will Nediger for test solving. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, January 17, 2022

Chasm № 8 (Themeless)

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Happy January! More snow than usual in the DC area this year, but I'm not complaining :-) Another Chasm this month, seeded by 36-Across and built out from there. The clues also feature a timely MLK quote.

Thanks to Will Nediger for test solving. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, December 17, 2021

Asym № 3 (Themeless)

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Happy December! This whirlwind of a month is finally slowing down with the holidays coming up next week. I'll be spending time away from home with family, and hopefully get some free time to finish constructing a bunch of in-progress puzzles! That and catch up on my puzzle backlog which has only grown since last month...

This asymmetric offering today began with the vertical stack in the NW and grew out from there. Thanks to Will Nediger for test solving. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Chasm № 7 (Themeless)

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Happy November! The last month really flew by. In addition to being busy with work, I've filled most of my free time again with singing to make up for all of the lost time during lockdown.  Though my tired voice tells me I may have gone back a bit too hard, the recent soul-stirring concerts have made it all worth it.

This puzzle ended up turning into a wiiiide boy, but doing so helped make the center come together!  

Thanks to Will Nediger for test solving. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Chasm № 6 (Themeless)

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Happy October! I'm doing a range of autumnal activities today - pumpkin picking, cider tasting, corn mazing, etc. etc. 'Tis the season. This chasm has some fun entries I'm excited to include, mixed with some common entries that may have some stretchier clues than usual (you can be the judge.)

Thanks to Will Nediger for test solving. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, September 17, 2021

Chasm № 5 (Themeless)

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Happy September! This month's puzzle is another Chasm, pretty similar to the grid I used for Boswords this past spring with the intersecting septuple stack middle that I keep coming back to. It's become one of my favorite grid designs. Registration is open for the Boswords 2021 Fall Themeless League by the way, so go sign up if you haven't already for a bonkers roster including some of my literal favorite constructors. 

In other fun news, I have the NYT Saturday puzzle tomorrow! It should be a memorable one 😜

Thanks to Will Nediger for test solving. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Chasm № 4 (Themeless)

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Happy August! Another Chasm this month - this time with a septuple colonnade crossing a triple stack of 11s. A couple of rarer entries in here - sort of necessitated by the grid design, but I'm all for that 😉

Note that Lollapuzzoola is this weekend! If you haven't, you should sign up for what looks like an incredible suite of puzzles.

Thanks to Will Nediger for test solving. Hope you enjoy!