Hello, cryptic fans!
This final quiptic marks the end of an era. When I made the first of these, the cryptic crossword landscape in North America looked fairly different than it does today. I started the series to give folks a chance to sharpen up their skills so they could begin tackling the British puzzles I like so much. We now have a much stronger solver base here than we did before, and more in the way of quality cryptic options as well.
In truth, my taste still leans towards the British crossword, and I think that’s what makes this bunch of 39 puzzles unique. Always straightforward, never a pushover, and constructed in the spirit of the clue writers I admire most. 39 quiptics on the site should be a good amount for anybody looking to run the gauntlet on their way to whichever puzzling destination they’d like.
I’d like to give my appreciation to Will Eisenberg, who somehow managed to test solve every single one of these things. He’s a thoughtful constructor and crossword theorist, and the sort of person I’d trust 100% with one of my puzzles in his hands.
With this last quiptic, Square Pursuit is going to become a “puzzles will appear whenever I’ve got something cool to share” project. Thanks to the folks who have come by on the regular in the past. Though the schedule won’t be static, I’d love to use this space for some cryptic collaborations and variety puzzles next year, and am especially excited to be bringing you “Eight Cryptic Nights,” a midi variety cryptic meta suite with an installment dropping each night of Chanukah in December.
Aside from Square Pursuit, I invite you to give my Patreon variety cryptic service Square Chase a try. I’m bowled over by how big it’s become in its first year and am endeavoring to make each puzzle as good as I can. The volume of solvers engaged with these puzzles is not lost on me, so I’m really pushing. And yes, it will continue through 2023 as well.
You’ll also be able to see me in the Browser, where I continue to offer tough 15x non-variety cryptics. You can find my non-cryptics in the Newsday Saturday Stumper once a month. More of both kinds of puzzles should be popping up in other places too. I’m looking forward to stretching out next year — maybe I’ll even have a crack at the UK papers someday!
Take care and enjoy the puzzle, stay tuned for “Eight Cryptic Nights,” and look out for me in the wild tomorrow. Big cryptic day.