SQP101 – Variety Cryptic #10 – “Fun in the Sun”

Hello, cryptic fans!

I’ve got a summery one for you this week. It’s a variety cryptic on the lighter side of things. If you’ve been enjoying the quiptics and are considering trying a harder puzzle, this may be a reasonable step up for you. There’s enough in there to please experienced solvers too, I hope!

Thanks to Nate Cardin and Hayley Gold for the test solve!

Take care, enjoy, and see you this weekend with a surprise!

solve online / pdf / solution & explanations

SQP100 – Quiptic #9

Dear Solvers,

It’s a century, people! Thanks so much for coming by and solving my first hundred puzzles. It’s been really fun making these things and meeting so many amazing crossword folks. It’s made me a better constructor too.

Today’s puzzle is a beginners quiptic with only one wordplay device per clue. I hope it’s fun for everybody! Thanks to Will Eisenberg for the test solve.

In other cryptic news, I had a guest puzzle in The Browser yesterday. If you don’t know already, they offer a weekly blocked cryptic edited by Dan Feyer and created by a roster of some of the best American setters. They’re easier than what I typically offer here but a nice step up in difficulty from my quiptics or the New Yorker cryptic. Here’s a copy of my puzzle if you want to give it a try. If you like it, please consider subscribing. I’ve been a member since day one and love solving it every week!

Take care, enjoy the puzzle, and see you with a summery variety cryptic on Wednesday!

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution & explanations

SQP099 – Themeless #32

Hello Crossfolks!

Number 99! This week, we’ve got a themeless with a classic shape. It should be reasonably challenging, but nothing too wild. I’m very happy to get the names of artists who mean a lot to me into this grid!

Thanks to Brooke Husic for the test solve, and to you for coming by. I’m so thrilled to keep having this puzzle conversation with the folks who visit the blog.

Next week is a cryptic week! There’s a variety cryptic on the way, and possibly a quiptic as well. I’ve been grateful to hear that those are working nicely for newer solvers!

Take care, enjoy, and see you in a few!

solve online / puz / pdf / solution

SQP098 – Uninspired Cryptic

Hello, cryptic fans!

I’ve got a themed puzzle for you on this fine summer day. It should be a decent challenge. I hope it’s lots of fun!

Thanks to k0rmad for the excellent test solving, as always!

We’re getting pretty close to 100 puzzles on Square Pursuit! Number 99, a non-cryptic themeless, will drop next Wednesday.

Take care, enjoy the puzzle, and see you in a week!

solve online / puz / pdf / solution & explantions

SQP097 – Quiptic #8

Hello cryptic folks!

I’ve got another beginner’s quiptic for you today, though I hope it’s fun and funny for everybody. You know the drill: one wordplay device per clue, and the helpers version tells you the device being used in each.

Thanks to Will Eisenberg for the test solve!

A tougher themed cryptic drops in two days. Take care and enjoy!

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution & explanations

SQP096 – Cookout

Hello, crossword folks!

I hope everyone who wants to has been able to get some grilled goodness lately. I found myself inspired to do this puzzle while enjoying an absolute bounty of meats and other delicacies. This non-cryptic crossword is about as gentle as they come on Square Pursuit, and I hope it treats you right.

Thanks to my wonderful partner Arielle and Brooke Husic for the test solve!

Take care and enjoy. Next week is a cryptic week. See you then!

solve online / puz / pdf / solution

SQP095 – Quiptic #7

Welcome back, cryptic buds!

Just dropping off a little puzzle today in the middle of some summer vacation fun! As usual, the wordplay of almost every clue has only one step to work out, and the helpers version lets you know which device is being used. I’m hoping it’s fun for new and experienced solvers alike.

Thanks to Will Eisenberg and teamcrazymatt for the test solve this time around.

Take care and enjoy! I’ll see you next week with a themed crossword, and the week after with a blocked cryptic. I’ve got some cool puzzles coming in different venues as well this summer.

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution & explanations

SQP094 – Variety Cryptic #9 – I Think We’re Done Here

Hello, cryptic friends!

It’s always a joy when variety day rolls around, and I hope today’s offering doesn’t disappoint! It’s easy-moderate in difficulty. International solvers, you’ve probably got this on lock, but you may need to peek at a reference at a couple points. Americans, you have no excuse (I kid, I kid).

Thanks to Nate Cardin and Hayley Gold for the test solve this time around!

Take care and enjoy the puzzle! Next week is a fifth Wednesday, and I may be taking it off or might have something cool to share. If not, see you on the 7th of July with a themed crossword!

solve online / pdf / solution and explanation

SQP093 – Themeless #31

Hello, Crosspeople!

I haven’t made a themeless puzzle by myself in a while! So many people do it so well these days, it begs the question: what is there to add in this golden age of indie crosswords? I’m not sure I know the answer, so I decided to just go with things that make me smile and try to apply my style honestly. I hope it’s as fun to solve as it was to make! I hear it’s pretty challenging, so if you’d prefer a gentler ride, there’s a version with a few of the hardest clues changed.

Thanks to Brooke Husic for the insightful test solve and for recommending I make a gentler version. Any bad decisions in either puzzle are entirely mine!

I appreciate you coming by! Take care and enjoy. I’m back with variety cryptic in one week!

harder: solve online / puz / pdf

gentler: solve online / puz / pdf

solution

SQP092 – Cryptic #11

Hello again, cryptic lovers!

Well, it’s been one day, and we’re back with a stiffer challenge. No theme or funny business here, just pure cryptic goodness (I hope you agree)!

Speaking of which, one of the beautiful parts of cryptic land is that folks don’t always agree on what’s fun! At this point in my cryptic journey I’d say I’ve become a mostly Ximenean setter, but my feeling is that if I don’t try to push things a bit, then I’m missing out on a creative opportunity.

Some things that folks have loved and hated in my puzzles (mild spoilers here) include that tiny hidden indicator, the trick with the chemical symbol, the reverse clues, the double letter homophone that time, and the general use of vernacular terms in my wordplay. I promise that when you see a clue that works in an unfamiliar way, it’s been crafted with care and consideration!

I’m so lucky to have had Will Nediger, Paolo Pasco, and k0rmad test solve this one. Thanks all!

Take care, enjoy, and see you next week with a non-cryptic themeless!

solve online / puz / pdf / solution & explanation