Category Archives: Medium

Written on Sep, 19, 2015 by in | 3 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.

Devil Cross Spice Rating Medium Header


Another Sunday-sized puzzle? Yes indeed. It’s funny; just the other day, Brendan Emmett Quigley wrote that he sometimes likes to write puzzles with lower word-counts so that he can save some time on the clue-writing front. I can dig that — clue-writing often takes me longer than building the grid itself. But sometimes, I just feel like expanding a regular theme to a bigger grid, and strangely enough, I find that I can bang out a large set of clues faster since I already know the task is more daunting. Besides, I’m enjoying writing the 21×21 puzzles, so why not?

Oh, and this upcoming Friday’s my birthday. One of my presents appears to be the impending visit of a certain pope-like character in Philadelphia. Something tells me that Devil Cross won’t be the first website he visits when he gets here.

Enjoy the puzzle. There will be a new one next week.

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Written on Aug, 15, 2015 by in | 6 Comments.

NOTE: Today’s puzzle contains visual elements that cannot be reproduced in electronic format. I’d recommend printing out the PDF to get that visual aspect, though you can still fully solve the puzzle as a PUZ…..and actually, the puzzle will probably be more challenging in PUZ format. I dunno. Your call.

Devil Cross PUZ button    Devil Cross PDF button    Devil Cross Spice Rating Medium Header

First: see note above. Also, one of those visual elements appears in the clue for 30-Across, though it’s not thematic. I discovered that photo and…..well, I just had to drop it in somehow. If you’re solving the PUZ, you can either copy the URL for that clue in a separate browser, or just fill in the answer from crosses. It’ll probably be an auto-fill for experienced solvers, regardless.

Second: huge, massive thanks to Brian Cimmet and Patrick Blindauer for putting on yet another fun show in New York City last weekend at Lollapuzzoola 8. The puzzles were all fiendishly clever, with some really pushing the boundaries for tournament-style crosswords. I came in 38th place (out of 200+, though some were team solvers) and, for the second tournament in a row in which I was a competitor, I finished with no mistakes!….. Well, no mistakes that counted in my ranking, anyway. The tougher version of the final puzzle was an absolute monster that kicked every part of my ass. It was clever, no doubt, but…, did it drive me crazy.

Still, the real reason to go to these things is to chill with other puzzle people, both old friends and new. Here are Sara Nies and Andy Kravis making mince meat out of my puzzle from last week:


Here’s Ben Tausig leading the room in a fun music game, with Brian (standing on the right) having a brief moment of uncertainty/coldness/danger (?).


And here’s a long shot of the three Express Division finalists Francis HeaneyErik Agard, and Trip Payne working on the final puzzle.


Just like the 2015 ACPT, this tourney had another down-to-the-wire finish (which you can watch here), with Francis pulling out the win with 9 seconds left on the clock! ‘Twas pretty amazing.

Congrats to all the winners, and let’s do this again next year, shall we?

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You now have 30 lives.
Use them wisely, my friend.

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