SQP075 – Themeless #28

Greetings, Crossfolks!

I’ve just finished the process of cluing an extremely hard themeless, and I am thinking, why not do something a little gentler for the blog this week, so you’re getting one! If you’ve been finding the challenge extra steep lately, this one shouldn’t give you nearly as much trouble. That said, I’ve done a few devious things and there’s definitely some broad factual content in there as well.

Thanks to Brooke Husic and Will Eisenberg for test solving! May their suffering make this one smoother for you all. I’ll see you next week for a variety cryptic that I quite like! After that it’s a fifth Wednesday, and I didn’t make any plans for what to put out on fifth Wednesdays! Should I try something new?

Take care, enjoy, and let me know what you think!

solve online / puz / pdf / solution

Puzzle #53: Themeless 27

Hello, crossword people!

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Square Pursuit is one year old today! 12 months and 70 puzzles later, this thing is still happening! Thanks so much for being a part of this project of mine — it’s so cool to know that people come back weekly to solve my puzzles. More about year two after the jump!

Today’s themeless puzzle pays tribute to one of my greatest inspirations as a young composer and keyboardist. He passed away a couple of weeks ago, and I’m very glad to get him into the grid. Thanks to Brooke Husic and Will Nediger who tackled this thing with the hard clues. Unlike them, you get to choose your own adventure, but neither path is a pushover this week.

My main goal in creating Square Pursuit was to give myself an outlet, hold myself to a schedule, force myself in front of an audience, and get better as a constructor. I’m very happy to continue the project for another year, but I’m going to be posting somewhat fewer puzzles, in order to allow myself more time for other venues, collaborations, and experimentation. Here’s how it’s going to go starting next week:

  • First Wednesday of the Month – Themed Crossword
  • Second Wednesday – Blocked Cryptic
  • Third Wednesday – Themeless Crossword
  • Fourth Wednesday – Variety Cryptic
  • Bonuses and other fun stuff when the time is right!

Thanks again for being part of this awesome crossword ride. See you next week with a themed puzzle!

Solve Online harder/gentler

PUZ HARDER!!!/gentler

PDF harder/gentler

PDF Solution

Puzzle #51: Themeless #26

Hello, fellow crossworders!

I’ve been thinking a great deal about challenging puzzles lately and figured I’d set myself the challenge of trying making something harder than usual! It turns out it’s quite a difficult thing to keep things fun and fresh while also giving folks a really hard time. I don’t think I’ve achieved pure, unmitigated, evil yet, but I do think it stands a chance to entertain you!

The inspiration for using two sets of clues, of course, comes from friend and collaborator Brooke Husic, whose devious puzzles are no secret to connoisseurs. Thanks to Brooke for the encouragement and test-solving as well as Andrew Bradley and Mike Lieberman, who also suffered for the cause.

I’m two weeks out from the one year anniversary of Square Pursuit, and it with it will come some changes to the blog’s format, but I can promise there will still be lots of good puzzles coming in year two!

Take care and enjoy! I heard there was an interesting cryptic collaboration dropping soon…

Solve Online – HARDER

Solve Online – GENTLER






Puzzle #49: Themeless #25

Hello, cross people!

I’m so excited to share this one with you! I’m constantly inspired by the amazing themeless game in the indie crossword community, with veterans turning out great work time and time again and lots of fresh voices to enjoy and learn from. I hope this one brings you joy.

I’ve got lots of fun stuff coming up in crossworld! Next week on this site I get to publicly share something I’ve made with one of my favorite puzzle people and collaborators. I’d like to thank Will Nediger and Brooke Husic for the test solve this week! The 27th is Brooke’s themeless day, so after you solve this one I hope you’ll head her way for a super-fun super-stiff challenge!

That’s my story! Take care, enjoy, and I’ll see you with another puzzle soon!

Solve Online


PDF Solution

Puzzle #47: Themeless #24

Hello, Crosspeople!

It’s themeless time again and I’ve got one that I’m extra fond of to offer you! There’s been some spirited discussion about a lack of hard puzzles in the crossword solving community lately, and while this is no Saturday Stumper (RIP), I hope it gives you a little (pleasurable) trouble.

I’m enjoying a nice leisurely winter cruise to the one-year anniversary of Square Pursuit and have been revisiting some of the old stuff, just for my own curiosity’s sake. Let’s just say that it took a while to get to where things are. My quality control thanks this week go to Brooke Husic, Quiara Vasquez, and Andrew Bradley, who may not remember this, but actually test solved my very first grid, long before I had a newspaper byline or blog.

Enjoy the puzzle! I’m back with a variety cryptic this weekend and a themed puzzle next Wednesday!

Solve Online



Puzzle #45: “Big Themeless”

Hello crossfolks!

Seeing as this year has been so long and the coming occasion so big, I felt I should make this one big as well, so it’s 21×21. It’s also on the tough side, but I think it’s certainly doable, and hopefully more fun than flummoxing to grapple with. Thanks for coming by all year long. This blog has been a big deal for me as a constructor and your part in it as solver means a lot!

I’ve really enjoyed some 21×21 themelesses from members of the constructing community lately and looked to them for how I might make this big thing work. For taking on the big test solve, I’d like to thank Brooke Husic and Will Nediger. I’m very happy to be able to throw this first 21x themeless effort on the pile with some of the gems that are coming out this week.

Have a happy New Year, and I’ll see you on the other side with the January cryptic, which drops on Saturday.

Take care and enjoy!

Solve Online



Puzzle #43: Themeless #22

Hello everybody!

Thanks for dropping by! This week’s themeless is another adventure in mirror symmetry. I think there’s some fun stuff in there and a few challenges as well. Hopefully it’s a satisfying one. Special thanks to Brooke Husic and Will Eisenberg for test-solving!

I’m feeling very happy to be closing out a wonderful 2020 in crosswords (glad it’s wonderful somewhere) and have some fun things coming down the pike. There’s a variety cryptic popping up here soon, a U.K.-style cryptic collaboration that’s been really fun to make, and of course next week’s freewheeling themed puzzle. Looks like the last puzzle of the year is a themeless. Should I try to do something special with it?

Well, there it is! Take care, enjoy the puzzle, and see you in a few with a variety cryptic.

Solve Online


Puzzle #41: “Themeless #21”

Hello, crossword folks!

Happy December! It’s themeless day at Square Pursuit, and I’m very happy to offer you the first puzzle I’ve ever made with diagonal symmetry. Yes, I’m late on this particular train, but the ride was a lot of fun, and I hope you enjoy it too. Special thanks to three great constructors, Mike Lieberman, Quiara Vasquez, and Paolo Pasco for the test solve. Feeling all kinds of love from the internet crossword community.

The coming week is going to be the busiest yet on this site. We’ve got the first-Saturday cryptic and then another bonus on the way soon after. Expect guest appearances and other related mayhem in the near future.

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the puzzle, and I’ll see you on Saturday with a gentle-ish cryptic.

Solve Online




Puzzle #39: Themeless #20

Hello, puzzle folks!

Look, it’s big number 20! It’s been so fun to hone my themeless-making skills on the blog this year. Thanks for solving along — I think you’re going to like this one! I’m never sure quite what to say ahead of time about this sort of thing because I’d rather not tip my hand, but I can say I’m proud of the shape and glad to be able to debut a couple of phrases that make me smile. Thanks to Brooke for being this week’s test solver!

In other news, in light of all the kind feedback and requests I’ve gotten following my variety cryptic last month, I decided to make another one. It’s on its way to you this weekend. I hope you’ll come by and give it a try — it’s geared towards folks who are still getting their feet wet in cryptic land but should still have enough spice for the rest of you!

That’s my piece. I hope you enjoy! Take care and see you Saturday for that cryptic business and next Wednesday with a dastardly themed puzzle!

Solve Online




Puzzle #37: Themeless #19

Good morning, exceptionally well-rested crossword solvers!

I can’t really say why, but I feel like today is the day for a themeless crossword shaped like an adorable bobcat’s face. And so, here’s a themeless crossword shaped like an adorable bobcat’s face.

The shape of this grid led to more short and medium-length entries than I typically use in themeless puzzles, and it was fun to try out some new stuff I haven’t clued before. Special thanks to Brooke Husic for helping me with the science entry in the grid. I think it’s cool to ask people who have a lot of knowledge in subject areas for advice when making puzzles. If anyone ever has jazz or other music questions for me when constructing, bring them on! I’m happy to help.

It’s a new month, so I’ll be back here with a lighthearted and fairly approachable cryptic on Saturday. Take extra care of yourselves and enjoy the puzzle.

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