Monthly Archives: March 2015

Archive of posts published in the specified Month

Written on Mar, 21, 2015 by in | 19 Comments.

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Time for a “Something Different” puzzle — with some hot triple- and quintuple-stack action! If you’re new to this kind of puzzle, here’s how it works: most of the answers are completely made up words and phrases that would never pass muster in standard crosswords, but you can still figure them out because the clues are straightforward enough to lead you to the correct answers. For instance, a clue like [Tool you might use to call a toy dog] might yield the answer PUG WHISTLE. The short answers are usually legitimate answers, so that’s where you should start to solve the grid. I wrote a couple of these puzzles last year, and it’s remarkably fun to create them — the vast, wide open space in the grid allows you to jam in some really insane answers, and the clues are just as crazy. Trip Payne has made other “Something Different” grids that you can check out here.

In other puzzle news: the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament is next week in Stamford, Connecticut. If you’re attending, come say hi to me there. That’s an order.

Enjoy the puzzle. There will be a new one on March 28 (and I’ll be handing out copies at the ACPT).

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Written on Mar, 14, 2015 by in | 2 Comments.

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Man. In the last three days I think I started and stopped maybe ten drafts of various puzzles that I had considered for today’s offering before settling on this one, several of which had completely different gimmicks. In fact, even before I could fill the puzzle and clue it (which obviously take a while too), just getting theme entries that I liked and a grid shape that I could work with were major struggles. I’ve got incomplete drafts of grids with 15×15, 17×17, 19×19, 15×17, and 12×19 (?!) dimensions still open on my computer. The final product has 79 words and is 16×15 in shape, in part because 12-letter answers can be a massive pain in the ass in normal-sized grids. Besides, it’s my house, so I’ll do whatever I want here.

When you’re done solving, feel free to add some similar potential theme entries of your own — there are some good ones I had to scrap, and there are almost certainly several fun ones that I missed entirely.

In other news, the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament is coming up in just two weekends. I will be in attendance, so come say hi to me there. I’ll also be handing out some materials about the Indie 500 Crossword Tournament for anyone who wants more information. Speaking of which, have you signed up for said awesome inaugural tourney run by a five-man indie puzzle conglomerate yet? Go do it here. If you’re still on the fence, allow me to submit Exhibit A for why you should go: There Will Be Pie. Yup, those four words oughta get you all excited, just like the words There Will Be Pi make math nerds everywhere salivate, especially today…..or maybe they’re salivating over actual pie. Probably both.

(Hat-tip to Matt Gaffney for his fine shout-out about the Indie 500 yesterday.)

Enjoy today’s puzzle. There will be a new one on March 21.

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