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Devil Cross 48 Themeless 21


Two other things related to the best crossword tournament in Washington DC on May 30: first, we will be releasing our meta suite soon, so stay on the lookout if you’ve purchased yourself a copy (and if you haven’t gotten it yet, just head right to that link above; we’re offering it on a pay-what-you-want basis, but with a minimum request of $1). You don’t need to be a tourney competitor to solve the suite, but it’ll be a fun challenge regardless. Second, if you’re coming to DC next weekend for the Indie 500, be sure and stick around the area for the annual Post Hunt on Sunday, May 31. It’s a team puzzle-meets-scavenger-hunt event around the city with some very tough riddles. I did it last year with Vicki, Erik Agard, and Andy Kravis, and had quite a good time despite getting a nasty-as-all-hell sunburn.

About today’s puzzle: I’ve been waiting for three years to drop the clue for 1-Down. I’m not kidding. My first crossword ever accepted for publication in Ben Tausig‘s Twenty Under Thirty originally had that answer and clue, but they got left on the cutting room floor when I needed to revise the grid. The answer has not appeared in any of my puzzles since, and because it’s a short entry, I never went out of my way to drop it into a new puzzle — but I resolved to use that clue at the first chance I got. Then, the answer showed up in my first draft of last week’s puzzle! Better yet, despite the three-year gap between my submission to Twenty Under Thirty and now, I still couldn’t find anyone who had used that clue previously. I was all pumped to go ahead and show it to the world and then…..I had to cut it again. I had a disastrous repeat of a separate answer in the grid, which forced me to get rid of it. So, enough was enough: I made 1-Down a seed entry today. Yeah, it’s an easy-ish clue relative to the rest of the puzzle, but I don’t care. Totally worth it!

Enjoy today’s puzzle. I’ll see you next week at the Indie 500, and yes, I will be publishing a new puzzle on that day.