Category Archives: Spicy

Written on Aug, 22, 2015 by in | 6 Comments.

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Devil Cross 60 Merl Reagle

It feels very strange to be posting a new puzzle right now. I got to celebrate two of my good friends’ happiness and new life together at their wedding last night. And this morning, just as I was getting ready to post this puzzle, I awoke to the sad news that Merl Reagle suddenly passed away. I hope that his family can accept my sincere condolences for their loss. I didn’t know him well personally; I’d only introduced myself to him for the first time last March at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. But he seemed to be a very warm person, and I knew he had an incredibly colorful imagination that always shone through in his puzzles. He was a master of the “story” type of crossword theme, where the longest entries would be part of a long-form joke that he’d tell using fill-in-the-blank punny phrases. His fairly recent meta puzzle “Book Notes” was remarkably clever; you can read a review of it here.

So following a last-minute editorial change, I gave Merl a nod in one of my clues — it’s a small way to pay tribute to his life’s work.

Rest in peace, Merl. Enjoy the puzzle.

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Written on Aug, 08, 2015 by in | 3 Comments.

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It’s a Saturday in August, which means Lollapuzzoola 8 (a.k.a. Lollapuzzocho) is upon us! I’m here at the tournament, solving some puzzles (hopefully solving them well) and helping to promote indie crosswords throughout the land. Come say hi to me if you’re here.

As for today’s 68-word themeless: I’m not sure why, but I’m a fan of the unusual looking grid structure. I’ve used it once before, in Themeless 10. If you tilt your head 45 degrees to the right, it sorta looks like…..I dunno, maybe a fist? Yeah, let’s go with that — it’s a fist that punches you in the face with Word Chicanery! Also, yes, the clue for 23-Across was a little wink from me, and I realize that I put 27-Across in a fairly recent Devil Cross puzzle. I needed it to help me out of a jam on this one.

Last thing: in case you missed it, I was quoted alongside many other fine crossword constructors in Caleb Madison‘s recent BuzzFeed listicle of indie puzzlers’ favorite clues. Don’t worry if you have trouble figuring out the answers to that quiz — I think I got maybe just four of them, not counting my own. I’m looking forward to seeing BuzzFeed puzzles…..PuzzFeed, if you will.

That’s all for now. Good luck to everyone at Lollapuzzoola, and I’ll see you all with a new puzzle next week.

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