SQP145 – Quiptic #26

Hello, Cryptids!

Thanks for dropping by. This week’s quiptic is a little funky. In an honest mistake, one of the clues contains (gasp) two wordplay devices: charade and letter deletion in one! I think it might actually be a cool thing to try for folks who have yet to venture beyond the quiptic realm. Generally speaking, most cryptic crosswords I solve involve more than one device in the majority of the clues. I hope this one proves more fun than frustrating. One more thing: sometimes a pair of cryptic clues will be joined in the surface… …like this. It’s there just for fun, and will have no bearing on how you solve each of them.

Thanks so much to Will for test solving, Marlowe for cat solving, and Chandi for helping to set up his modeling gig!

I’ll be back next week with a blocked, themeless cryptic, which should play a little harder than my Square Chase, Browser and AVCX+ puzzles — more like a mid-week UK cryptic.

Take care and enjoy the solve!

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution & explanations

SQP143 – Quiptic #25

Hello, Quipsters!

This puzzle marks a whole year of quiptics at Square Pursuit. Thanks for being along for the ride — it’s been marvelous to hear from all the folks who have actually learned to solve cryptic crosswords using my puzzles!

In case you don’t know the deal, each clue in this puzzle uses only one cryptic device, and the “helpers” version will tell you which to look for. Keep your eyes peeled for a reverse hidden clue. I’ve been on the fence for a long time about whether it’s one or two devices. Since it’s an anniversary, we’re going to give it a try today. Thanks to Will for the test solve!

Next week is the fifth Wednesday of the month, which I’ll be taking off from posting here. If you’re hungry for more cryptic content I’ve got a couple of exciting ones dropping soon at Square Chase next week. In the meantime I’ve got the AVCX cryptic tomorrow! If you haven’t had a chance to subscribe over there, I highly recommend it. It’s a fantastic venue that’s recently expanded into a great publisher of cryptics among all kinds of other great stuff. I’m also looking forward to being at the ACPT in Stamford, CT in 10 days, and if you’re there too I hope you’ll come say hi!

Take care and enjoy the puzzle! I’ll see you in April with something themed.

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution & explanations

SQP141 – Quiptic #24

Hello, Quipsters!

Thanks for coming by. I’m back at you today with another one-device-per-clue quiptic. While these are never gimmes, they’re geared toward newer solvers looking for a way into more difficult daily cryptic puzzles. The helpers version tells you exactly which device to look for each time. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks to Will for test solving.

Take care and enjoy the puzzle. I’ll see you next week with a surprise VC collaboration, and the week after with Quiptic #25 (which I can’t believe).

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution & explanations

SQP139 – Quiptic #23

Hello, Quipsters!

Thanks for coming by! Today’s puzzle is a gentle quiptic, which has a small grid and only one device per clue. The “helpers” version lets you know which device to look for in each entry. This one is on the easy side for Square Pursuit, but hopefully it’s entertaining for new and old solvers alike! Thanks to Will for test solving.

You’ll be able to find more of my cryptic and non-cryptic work in other venues in the next couple of weeks, which I hope you enjoy. Next month at Square Pursuit will bring a fun themed crossword and variety cryptic collaborations as well as two quiptics. Stay tuned!

Take care and enjoy the puzzle. Back in one week with the themed crossword collab, and in two with another quiptic!

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution and explanations

SQP137 – Quiptic #22

Welcome back, Quipsters!

It’s that time again! As usual, this quiptic is a small cryptic crossword that uses only one device per clue. If you want to know which one to look for, the “helpers” version provides that info. If #21 was on the easier end of these introductory puzzles, this one might be a bit on the harder side of them. Thanks to Will Eisenberg for the test solve.

Take care and enjoy! Since I have a nice tough themeless coming in print soon, it’s going to be a moderately challenging cryptic next week. See you then!

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution and explanations

SQP135 – Quiptic #21

Hello, quipsters!

Thanks for dropping by. It’s time for another quiptic, and as you may already know, that means it’s only got one device per clue. The helpers version tells you which one to look for. I hope it’s fun whether you’re just easing into cryptic solving or going for speed. Thanks to Will Eisenberg for test solving!

If you’re on the hunt for a stiffer challenge, I’ve got something a little bit trickier coming up in The Browser this Sunday. Its crossword alone is worth a subscription, in my opinion, if you’re looking for cryptics by some of the top US setters on a weekly basis.

Take care and enjoy the puzzle! I’ve got a super fun crossword collab dropping here next Wednesday.

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution & explanations

SQP133 – Quiptic #20

Hello, quipsters!

Glad to have you back for another round today. As usual, we’ve got a little cryptic here with one device per clue, and if you want to know which one it is, the helpers version has got you. I hope it’s fun for beginners and unbeginners alike. Thanks to Will Eisenberg for test solving.

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

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solutions & explanations

SQP130 – Quiptic #19

Hello, Quipsters!

Thanks for coming by. I’ve got another gentle quiptic for you today. You know the drill: one device per clue, and the helpers version tells you what it is. I hope you enjoy! Thanks to Will Eisenberg for test solving.

I’ve launched my Patreon for Square Chase, in which subscribers will get a fresh variety cryptic on the 1st and 15th of every month in 2022. I’m really humbled by the amount of people who have already signed up. If you like what you see here, I hope you’ll join us on the adventure!

Take care and enjoy! I’ll be back next week with a special kind of cryptic puzzle that will likely be new to many of my fellow Americans!

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution and explanations

SQP128 – Quiptic #18

Hello Quipsters!

Thanks for coming by for the first of two December quiptics. As usual, this one is aimed at solvers looking for more straightforward wordplay, and the one device used in each clue is revealed to anyone who likes in the “helpers” version. Thanks to Will Eisenberg for the test solve.

There’s no one right way to make a cryptic — even a relatively gentle one. One totally valid way to make a puzzle easier, very common in North America, is to hide things less on the surface. My strategy here is to simplify the wordplay instead while still hiding the definition a good deal. This might make my quiptics a touch harder at first than other gentle American cryptics. It’s the way I prefer to experience puzzles when solving, and I hope the beguiling experience is fun for you too!

Take care and enjoy the puzzle! I’ll see you next week with a variety cryptic and more news about my new Square Chase subscription series.

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution and explanations

SQP125 – Quiptic #17

Welcome, Quipsters!

It’s time for another gentle quiptic. Newer solvers, did you know that cross-referenced clues in cryptics are usually written more compactly than in their non-cryptic cousins? For example, this puzzle has a cross-reference referring to “8.” In a non-cryptic, that would be “8-Down,” but since there’s no across entry in the grid for that number, I get to be more succinct. Remember to check the “helpers” version if you want to see which device (only one per clue) is being used. I hope this is a fun one for everybody — remember to ignore that punctuation!

Thanks to Will for the test solve!

Take care and enjoy the puzzle. I’ll see you in 48 hours with a Variety Cryptic which is, in my opinion, very much on the gentle side as well.

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution and explanations