SQP150 – Quiptic #29

Hello, Quipsters!

Today’s puzzle is 95.54% one-device-per-clue, which is to say I mistakenly put something extra into 1-Across and liked it too much to get rid of it. This darling lives! The rest is as straightforward as usual, and the “helpers” version will give you a boost by telling you what to look for. Thanks to Will for test solving. We’ve got something cool appearing elsewhere soon!

I’ll see you in two weeks with another quiptic, followed by an special cryptic treat the following week. If you’re looking for a stiffer challenge in the meantime, my Browser puzzle from this past weekend was a bit of a workout, or if you want to get more playful and do a variety cryptic, I’ve got something fun coming at Square Chase in one week.

Take care and enjoy the puzzle!

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution and explanations

SQP149 – Quiptic #28

Hello, Quipsters!

So good to see you. I’m back with another one-device-per-clue quiptic for you today. If you’re bewildered, why not try the “helpers” version, which tells you what to look for? I’d also like to take a quick moment to normalize revealing answers we can’t get to gain footholds in the grid. It’s absolutely how I learned to solve these puzzles, and thank goodness! I love cryptics so much. Thanks to Will Eisenberg for the test solving.

Speaking of getting into cryptics, Will Nediger and Hayley Gold will be streaming a variety cryptic solve-a-long with special celebrity guest noob solvers tonight at 9 PM ET.  They’ll be solving a Margaret Farrar themed cryptic to tie into Hayley’s graphic novel Letters to Margaret (available now here) and the sequel which teaches the reader how to solve cryptics and Will is puzzle editor on. I’ll be hanging in the chat, and hope to see you there!

No puzzle next week, but if you’re hungry for more, I’ll have a Browser cryptic and another variety cryptic coming at Square Chase in the interim. Take care, enjoy, and see you in two weeks with another quiptic!

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution and explanations

SQP148 – “Forward Roll”

Hello, Puzzle People!

Thanks for stopping by. Today’s puzzle is likely the last standard crossword you’ll see for a while on Square Pursuit. So much cool stuff has been happening for me in crossworld that I’m finding it a bit tough to keep up with everything. Here’s the plan:

I’m going to keep the quiptics coming on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month, because they’re a unique part of my constructing load and I know they’re a big solving ritual for a lot of folks. Full-sized and variety cryptics, like the standard crosswords, are going to pop up when it feels fun and there’s bandwidth on my end. It will end up being 2-3 puzzles per month instead of 4, but I’m always around! My cryptics will continue to run in The Browser and elsewhere, my variety puzzles at Square Chase, my themeless crosswords as part of the Newsday Saturday Stumper, and my themed ones when they come up in other newspapers. There will still be cool things on some Wednesdays here in addition to those quiptics, like a second Alphabetical Jigsaw in June!

Thanks to Brooke for the test solve!

Take care and enjoy the puzzle! I’ll be back in a week with a fresh quiptic!

solve online / puz / pdf / solution

SQP147 – Quiptic #27

Hello, Quipsters!

Nice to see you again. Today’s quiptic contains, as usual, only one device per clue. The “helpers” version reveals which device to look for in each. I hope it’s fun for newer folks and seasoned solvers alike. Thanks to Will for the test solve.

I’ll return next month with more quiptics and other crosswords, here and elsewhere. The fun also continues over at Square Chase, which is becoming a pretty lively community of variety cryptic solvers. It’s an honor to keep making those puzzles for everybody!

Take care and enjoy! I’ll see you next week with something completely uncryptic.

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution & explanations

SQP146 – Cryptic #17

Hello, Cryptids!

Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad to have a good old-fashioned blocked cryptic up for you today. This one should be a little more challenging than my Browser and AVCX puzzles, and I hope it’s fun! Thanks to Ben Zimmer for the tip on linguistics terminology and to Mental Playground for test solving.

Take care and enjoy the puzzle. I’ll be back in 7 with a quiptic!

solve online / puz / pdf / solution & explanations

SQP145 – Quiptic #26

Hello, Cryptids!

Thanks for dropping by. This week’s quiptic is a little funky. In an honest mistake, one of the clues contains (gasp) two wordplay devices: charade and letter deletion in one! I think it might actually be a cool thing to try for folks who have yet to venture beyond the quiptic realm. Generally speaking, most cryptic crosswords I solve involve more than one device in the majority of the clues. I hope this one proves more fun than frustrating. One more thing: sometimes a pair of cryptic clues will be joined in the surface… …like this. It’s there just for fun, and will have no bearing on how you solve each of them.

Thanks so much to Will for test solving, Marlowe for cat solving, and Chandi for helping to set up his modeling gig!

I’ll be back next week with a blocked, themeless cryptic, which should play a little harder than my Square Chase, Browser and AVCX+ puzzles — more like a mid-week UK cryptic.

Take care and enjoy the solve!

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution & explanations

SQP144 – “Figures”

Hello, Crossfolks!

Thanks for coming by for the monthly non-cryptic crossword. I had an absolute blast speaking to so many crossword folks this past weekend at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, and it really got me fired up to share a puzzle of this sort. It was exceptionally cool to meet so many of my constructor friends in person, finally. Thanks to Brooke for the clutch test solving on this one.

Speaking of puzzle people, the crossword graphic novel “Letters to Margaret” by longtime cryptic test solver Hayley Gold is finally here! If you haven’t yet, go check it out!

In cryptic news, I’ll be back later throughout the month with two quiptics and a blocked cryptic, which I hope you enjoy as well!

Take care and enjoy the puzzle! I’ll see you in seven with a gentle quiptic.

solve online / puz / pdf / solution

SQP143 – Quiptic #25

Hello, Quipsters!

This puzzle marks a whole year of quiptics at Square Pursuit. Thanks for being along for the ride — it’s been marvelous to hear from all the folks who have actually learned to solve cryptic crosswords using my puzzles!

In case you don’t know the deal, each clue in this puzzle uses only one cryptic device, and the “helpers” version will tell you which to look for. Keep your eyes peeled for a reverse hidden clue. I’ve been on the fence for a long time about whether it’s one or two devices. Since it’s an anniversary, we’re going to give it a try today. Thanks to Will for the test solve!

Next week is the fifth Wednesday of the month, which I’ll be taking off from posting here. If you’re hungry for more cryptic content I’ve got a couple of exciting ones dropping soon at Square Chase next week. In the meantime I’ve got the AVCX cryptic tomorrow! If you haven’t had a chance to subscribe over there, I highly recommend it. It’s a fantastic venue that’s recently expanded into a great publisher of cryptics among all kinds of other great stuff. I’m also looking forward to being at the ACPT in Stamford, CT in 10 days, and if you’re there too I hope you’ll come say hi!

Take care and enjoy the puzzle! I’ll see you in April with something themed.

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution & explanations

SQP142 – Variety Cryptic #16 – “Take Your Time” with Nate Cardin

Hello, Cryptids!

Have I got a treat for you today! It’s a variety cryptic I made with the wonderful Nate Cardin!

Nate and I are both teachers and began making cryptics around the same time. We’re regular co-conspirators behind the scenes, test solving each other’s work, kicking around clues, making cool puzzle plans and the like. You can find our stuff in some of the same venues outside of this blog as well. Nate’s a tremendous force for representation and empowerment in our field — he’s always working to lift up others and dismantle inequitable structures in crossworld and beyond. The Queer Qrosswords packs he helped put together were hugely educational and enjoyable solving experiences for me back before we even connected (if you missed them then, please stop reading this and go try them now). In addition to being a great supporter of his fellow constructors (myself included), Nate’s a cryptic wiz, as you’ll see in today’s offering.

Here’s Nate:

How lucky am I to get to collaborate with Steve on a variety cryptic?  He has been such an invaluable sounding board as I’ve gotten into cryptics and I respect him so much, not only for his puzzling talent but also for his thoughtfulness in the types of clues and answers he does (and doesn’t) include in his puzzles.  I’ve enjoyed solving his puzzles throughout his cryptic evolution and will one day be brave enough to explore British cryptics like he has been.  🙂  Fun fact:  My path as a crossword constructor started with meta crosswords, then onto themed and themeless crosswords, and THEN onto cryptic crosswords.  Seeing how I started with metas, you’re right to wonder why it took me so long to write a variety cryptic (which essentially pairs meta aspects with a cryptic crossword), but here we finally are, thanks to Steve’s encouragement.  I sent him the idea for this puzzle and we were off to the races.  We hope you enjoy the puzzle!

Thanks so much to Mental Playground and Hayley Gold for test solving this one. I’ll be back in a week with a gentler quiptic. Take care and enjoy the puzzle!

solve online / pdf / solution & explanations

SQP141 – Quiptic #24

Hello, Quipsters!

Thanks for coming by. I’m back at you today with another one-device-per-clue quiptic. While these are never gimmes, they’re geared toward newer solvers looking for a way into more difficult daily cryptic puzzles. The helpers version tells you exactly which device to look for each time. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks to Will for test solving.

Take care and enjoy the puzzle. I’ll see you next week with a surprise VC collaboration, and the week after with Quiptic #25 (which I can’t believe).

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution & explanations