Hello, crossword folks!
I’m pleased as punch to share this new themeless puzzle that Brooke and I made! She pitched me 33-Across as the seed, and I agreed it was a valuable thing to give real estate in a grid. Brooke is a great friend and collaborator, and it’s always a learning experience when we work together. She’s a great role model in terms of intention and rigor when it comes to construction, and I think her influence is apparent in the way a lot of folks in our community are making puzzles these days. I’m sure you already know this, but in addition to her published work and other collaborations, Brooke posts a very hard experimental puzzle every 27th of the month at her own site, which I highly recommend.
Collaborations with Steve have invariably been supremely fun and this was no exception — he set up this architecture around our seed entry (or, as my friend says, “anchor entry”) and I love all the great stuff we got in there without sacrificing Steve’s trademark hyper-cleanliness. I super love our cluing teamwork on 44D and Steve’s fresh takes on 12D and 42D. As always, I’m extremely grateful for Steve’s friendship/support and for all the extremely thoughtful 57A and discussions we have when creating puzzles together. Beyond this puzzle, I’ve so far shied away from cryptics but I really enjoyed Steve’s first quiptic, which I was able to finish!
Thanks to Will Nediger for the thoughtful test solve, and to you for taking the time to try our puzzle. I’ll be back in a week with a variety cryptic (and a gentle quiptic) and in two with a themed non-cryptic puzzle. Don’t forget to visit Brooke next week as well for an innovative challenge! Take care and enjoy!