Happy Sunday, cryptic fans!
I’m trying something new with today’s bonus offering! It’s a midi-sized cryptic aimed at beginning solvers. I’m hoping that folks who struggle to complete the typical cryptic may be able to finish it, and that more experienced folks will be able to enjoy a quick solve with some laughs and aha moments.
The term “Quiptic” is not mine — it comes from a weekly full-sized Guardian puzzle in the UK which is also aimed at newer solvers. The smaller size idea comes from The Times’s “Quick Cryptic,” which is a weekday offering with a slightly larger grid than mine. Both of these puzzles are excellent, and I highly recommend them with the caveat that their difficulty level is more in line with a typical US cryptic, perhaps edging slightly harder in the case of The Guardian, depending on who’s doing the setting.
I can’t believe the amount of joy I’m getting from solving UK cryptics daily. It’s made me a much better solver, thus enabling me to solve more puzzles in a shorter time and have more fun. I perceive there to be a good deal of solvers in the US who might like a gateway puzzle into the harder stuff. I realize that my blocked cryptics (but not my variety cryptics) have been skewing a little harder lately, so here we are! Thanks to Will Eisenberg and my wonderful wife Arielle for test solving.
There are two versions of the puzzle, the straight up version, which I hope is one of the easiest puzzles available in the States to prioritize a smooth and misleading surface reading. The second version contains “helpers,” which reveal the clue type for each entry, like “anagram,” “double definition,” etc. I recommend this version for those who would like an extra boost to get them there.
I hope it’s fun! Take care, enjoy, and I’ll see you on Wednesday with one more non-cryptic variety puzzle.