Puzzle #36: “Nature Show”

Hello, crossword travelers!

This week’s themed puzzle is wholly autobiographical, though there’s not much about me in there — it’s really all about the nature show. We’re heading into a stressful period in a lot of ways right now, so I hope this one serves as a good opportunity to pause and enjoy a moment with a grid.

Thanks very much to the wonderful Brooke Husic for the test solve! In case you missed it, we made this themeless together a while back, but I highly recommend you take a look at what she just made right here.

I’m back with a themeless next Wednesday, which I can only imagine we’ll tackle with bleary eyes. Take care, enjoy, and I’ll see you on the other side!

Note, this puzzle looks MUCH prettier in the Solve Online mode.

Solve Online

.puz

.pdf

.pdf SOLUTION

Puzzle #35: Themeless #18

Welcome, Crossfolks!

It’s another themeless Wednesday! I’ve been experimenting very unscientifically with some weird grid shapes lately and today I submit one for your consideration. My sole criterion is often that it looks fun, and I think the results this time are interesting at the very least!

I am sad to report that there is not a single big cat in this week’s puzzle, but it’s got some fun phrases and plenty of delicious food! May the challenge be sufficiently stiff, the smiles plentiful and the payoff satisfying. I really appreciate you stopping by to solve these things like you do!

And with that, the crossword has landed! Enjoy, take care, and I’ll see you in one week with a themed offering!

Solve Online

.puz

.pdf

.pdf SOLUTION

Variety Cryptic: “Wild Night Out”

Welcome back, intrepid puzzlers!

For this October bonus, we’ve got a variety cryptic! For those who haven’t done one yet, that means that this is a barred (not blocked) puzzle with a sneaky meta-like challenge involved.

This particular construction had to motivators. First off, I’ve been itching to make a barred grid, and I found the challenge rewarding! Secondly, it became clear to me through feedback that the October cryptic was REALLY HARD. I decided right away to give you folks something much more approachable and to not make you wait a month for it. I don’t think this one’s a gimme by any means, but I hope it’s lots of fun for everybody. Thanks so much to Avid (have you solved his amazing collaboration that dropped last weekend?) and k0rmad, who I hope makes a puzzle soon so that we can all solve it and grow our brains to massive proportions.

Because of the barred grid, there’s no .puz file this week. I think the .pdf looks nice, and printing it to solve may make the variety element a bit easier to work out. The puzzle plays just fine to with the “Solve Online” option too. If you’re stumped or curious, the solution, as always, contains a parsing of each clue and an explanation of the variety element.

Take care, enjoy, and see you next week with a themeless that should be a stiff challenge.

Solve Online

.pdf

.pdf SOLUTION (with explanations)

Puzzle #34 “Big Cat Energy”

Hello, puzzle folks!

If you like cats, big cats, puns or big puns, this one is likely for you. It comes to us from my archive of summer puzzles that never went anywhere. It wasn’t quite right for the publisher I originally had in mind, but as a cat lover and silly person, I felt it needed to see the light of day. In blog form I got to get a bit extra eccentric with it. I hope we’re on the same wavelength today!

Speaking of whimsy, I’m offering a bonus puzzle this coming Saturday. I’ve never done this exact format, though it’s cryptic-adjunct. Since the September monthly cryptic ended up being so punishing, it’s going to be very much on the easier side. If the last one didn’t make you feel welcome, I hope this one does the opposite. If none of that funny business with the clues is your bag, I’ve got a crisp, autumnal themeless landing for you next Wednesday.

That’s that! Enjoy the cat-thing, take care out there, and I’ll see you on Saturday with something different.

Solve Online

.puz

.pdf

.pdf SOLUTION

Puzzle #33: Themeless #17

Hello, crossword people!

I’m writing to you in the wake of a stormy first night of the Boswords Fall Themeless league. I was lucky to escape the tricky first puzzle without any errors, even if I was a bit slower to solve it than I would have liked. Naturally, I’m very much in the mood to share my latest themeless puzzle with you.

A couple of entries I’ve wanted to include for a while popped up in the news this week, so I was excited to slide them into a grid. I expect this one to play hard (but fair). As always I’m interested to hear how it was for you!

Thanks for stopping by. Take care, enjoy the solve, and I’ll see you next week with a regularly-scheduled themed crossword!

Solve Online

.puz

.pdf

.pdf SOLUTION

Cryptic #3

Hello, cryptic crew!

It’s time for the third installment of the Square Pursuit monthly cryptic. This one’s a themeless and features an open grid with some really long entries. There are few real challenges among them, and I hope its filled with funny “aha” moments for you.

In other puzzle news, last month’s cryptic got a nice mention in Will Nediger’s Indie Puzzle Highlights: September 2020. I mention this because I’m immensely flattered to be in the company of the other constructors on the list (and Will himself) and also because I want to recommend it to solvers who haven’t checked it out. I’ve been reading the list since before I started making indie puzzles. There are two other very approachable cryptics on there this month — both excellent, as well as some really masterful regular grids.

Thanks for coming by! I hope you enjoy the puzzle. I’ll be back on Wednesday with your regularly-scheduled themeless.

Solve Online

.puz

.pdf

.pdf SOLUTION + EXPLANATIONS

Puzzle #32: “Literary Sendups”

Welcome back, crossword folks!

It’s themed week here at Square Pursuit and I’ve got something for the bookworms this time around. It’s a mildly challenging romp which I hope succeeds to divert. I managed to get one of my favorite authors into the grid today too — seeing her in puzzles is always a good time, in my book.

This being the end of a month, I’m up with a cryptic as well this week, which will hit on Saturday. I’ve really been enjoying tackling cryptics from crossword friends lately, as well as regularly having my nose in the British papers to try some of the elegant puzzles from their motherland. I hope to see you back here to give mine a try this weekend.

That’s all from me this time. Thanks for solving! I’ll be back in a few with the October cryptic and again next Wednesday with a themeless crossword.

Solve Online

.puz

.pdf

.pdf SOLUTION

Puzzle #31: Themeless #16

Greetings, crossword folks!

Today’s themeless Wednesday has a shape that keeps making me think of the situation pictured above, though it contains no references to anything of the sort. It was fun to try to lay things out a bit differently this time.

Thanks for trying my holiday puzzles out last week! I don’t think I’ll be doing any more this year, because too much of a good thing, but you never know! There will be plenty of fun stuff to come though, which is important to me in these unmistakably heavy times. I’m glad to help facilitate a moment of escape for you.

There it is! Enjoy, take care, and see you in one week with a themed offering.

Solve Online

.puz

.pdf

.pdf SOLUTION

Bonus Crossword: Talk (Trash) Like a Pirate Day

Ahoy, puzzle mateys!

That’s right, it’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and Square Pursuit has got you covered with a bonus grid. This being a Saturday, and a puzzle about pirates, it’s fitting that there would be a bit of extra sting in the tail, and while it’s not as rough as the ones published in the papers today, it should give you a bit of a workout.

For those of you who came looking for the Rosh Hashanah puzzle, it’s here. I realized yesterday that those of you (and there were many) who chose “Solve Online” got a puzzle that was missing the 54 circles that make the theme explicit. My apologies! It’s all fixed now, so if you want another look, it should make a bit more sense. No circles in today’s grid though — this one’s just serving up cannonballs and plank-walking, baby!

Take care, enjoy, and see you on Wednesday with your regularly-scheduled themeless offering!

Solve Online

.puz

.pdf

.pdf SOLUTION

Puzzle #30: “New Year’s Nosh”

Shanah tovah, puzzle fans!

It’s a holiday puzzle for you this week! If you’re like me and celebrate Rosh Hashanah, you might be finding it hard to ring in 5781 in the usual ways this year. I hope this one makes things a bit more festive for you. If this holiday’s not yours, never fear! You don’t need to know anything about Rosh Hashanah to solve and enjoy, so I hope you have a blast! Besides, I’ve got another puzzle coming on Saturday for a different holiday that I’m pretty sure everyone in the world will be celebrating.

Speaking of holidays, today is Mexico’s Independence Day, and puzzle friend Enrique Henestroza Anguiano has got an amazing pack of Mexico-themed midi puzzles available over at Datalexic with a donation to a worthy cause — relief for farm workers and their families. This is an awesome set of puzzles, and I hope you’ll head over there and give them a try.

Take care and enjoy! Back on Saturday with a bonus themed crossword for yet another great holiday!

Solve Online

.puz

.pdf

.pdf SOLUTION