Monthly Archives: October 2015

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Written on Oct, 31, 2015 by in , | 6 Comments.

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And now for something completely different.


It’s time for another “Something Different” puzzle! If you’ve never tried one before, here’s how it works: most of the answers are made-up, nonsense phrases. But you can still solve the puzzle since the short answers are often legitimate words and the crazy clues are generally straightforward enough to lead you to the correct answer. If you have the clue [Sort of like Republican presidential candidate Donald], the answer might be TRUMPISH. Just make sure to keep an open mind while you solve and, most of all, have fun with it; these are remarkably fun to write, after all.

On a more somber note, you may have heard the sad news that the crossword world lost another giant: Henry Hook recently passed away at the age of 60. I did not know him personally; I never spoke to the man in person. But I do know that he had a very, very creative imagination for puzzles. I also learned that Henry was a pioneer of the “Something Different” puzzle along with the late Merl Reagle. Obviously I owe both men a lot just for that alone. With both of these puzzle legends passing on within two months of one another — along with the fact that today’s a day for dressing up and being a little crazy anyway — today seemed like as good a day as any for a crazy crossword.

Enjoy the puzzle. Rest in peace, Henry.

(Tip of the hat to Erik Agard, whose puzzle this week has a similar shape.)

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Written on Oct, 24, 2015 by in | 6 Comments.

Important Note: Puzzles #62-68 have been removed from Devil Cross for the time being because they may become future Washington Post puzzles. My apologies for the inconvenience. Puzzles #1-61 and #69 are still available to solve.

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Photo credit: Denise Carbonell

Photo credit: Denise Carbonell

Coming up with a title for a crossword is really, really hard for me. I often like to start with the title and build a theme from there, but this time it was the other way around. I couldn’t think of one immediately, but while we were waiting in a hotel parking lot, I was chatting with my wife’s parents and siblings a couple of days ago about what today’s puzzle was going to be, dropping a few theme answers here and there. Then all of a sudden, my mother-in-law — brainstorming theme answers of her own — blurted out the phrase “square dancing.” My eyes just lit up. That was the title right there. Actually, I’m told my brother-in-law said it first, but he was sitting in the car and I couldn’t hear him. Oh well — they each get credit.

Oh, and I wrote yesterday’s New York Times crossword! Check it out if you haven’t gotten to it yet. Thanks for the various shout-outs on the web and elsewhere.

Enjoy the puzzle. There will be a new one on Halloween.

(Hat tip to Raymond Hamel for his CrosSynergy puzzle from March 2012).

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