SQP142 – Variety Cryptic #16 – “Take Your Time” with Nate Cardin

Hello, Cryptids!

Have I got a treat for you today! It’s a variety cryptic I made with the wonderful Nate Cardin!

Nate and I are both teachers and began making cryptics around the same time. We’re regular co-conspirators behind the scenes, test solving each other’s work, kicking around clues, making cool puzzle plans and the like. You can find our stuff in some of the same venues outside of this blog as well. Nate’s a tremendous force for representation and empowerment in our field — he’s always working to lift up others and dismantle inequitable structures in crossworld and beyond. The Queer Qrosswords packs he helped put together were hugely educational and enjoyable solving experiences for me back before we even connected (if you missed them then, please stop reading this and go try them now). In addition to being a great supporter of his fellow constructors (myself included), Nate’s a cryptic wiz, as you’ll see in today’s offering.

Here’s Nate:

How lucky am I to get to collaborate with Steve on a variety cryptic?  He has been such an invaluable sounding board as I’ve gotten into cryptics and I respect him so much, not only for his puzzling talent but also for his thoughtfulness in the types of clues and answers he does (and doesn’t) include in his puzzles.  I’ve enjoyed solving his puzzles throughout his cryptic evolution and will one day be brave enough to explore British cryptics like he has been.  πŸ™‚  Fun fact:  My path as a crossword constructor started with meta crosswords, then onto themed and themeless crosswords, and THEN onto cryptic crosswords.  Seeing how I started with metas, you’re right to wonder why it took me so long to write a variety cryptic (which essentially pairs meta aspects with a cryptic crossword), but here we finally are, thanks to Steve’s encouragement.  I sent him the idea for this puzzle and we were off to the races.  We hope you enjoy the puzzle!

Thanks so much to Mental Playground and Hayley Gold for test solving this one. I’ll be back in a week with a gentler quiptic. Take care and enjoy the puzzle!

solve online / pdf / solution & explanations

SQP140 – “Couldn’t Have Said It Better” with Brooke Husic

Hello, Puzzle People!

It’s been a while, and I couldn’t be happier to bring you another collab with longtime puzzle friend Brooke Husic today! This one’s pretty gentle as our constructions go, and I hope you enjoy it. Thanks to Mike Lieberman for the test solve.

Here’s Brooke:

“It’s always a joy to team up with Steve β€” one of my first collaborators when I just was getting started two years ago! β€” and I was reminded of this when we were polishing up the clues this weekend! Hope you have as much fun solving this as we had making it.”

There’s always a ton of great Brooke work to check out, but I’d like to put in a plug for the excellent puzzle pack “These Puzzles Fund Abortion Too,” which Brooke co-edited with top constructors Rachel Fabi and Claire Rimkus. It features great puzzles from many of my pals in crossworld. Brooke has also written a poignant companion puzzle here, which should prove instructive for anybody wanting to learn more about reproductive justice and why this suite is so important.

Take care and enjoy the puzzle! I’ll be back with a quiptic in one week and a very special variety cryptic collab in two!

solve online / puz / pdf / solution

SPG003 – Demi by Will Eisenberg and Brooke Husic

Hey, Crossfolks!

I’m thrilled to be hosting a mid-sized banger today by two of my favorite people in crossworld! Once you’ve solved this one, I highly recommend going here and here for more excellent puzzles. I’ve had a blast collaborating with Brooke and Will in the past and I really value their advice on my own work.

Here’s Brooke:

“It was such a joy to write this puzzle with Will! He came up with the awesome seed at 16a and I love his fun clues for 11a, 27a, 28a, and 34a!!!! Just to name a few. Many thanks to Steve for running this and for being an awesome test solver and friend!”

and Will:

“Super thrilled to be collaborating with one of my absolute favorite constructors, and doubly so to see it run on one of my favorite blogs! Brooke’s clue for 32a is a straight banger. Thanks to Steve for testing and hosting!”

That’s it from us! Take care and enjoy the puzzle. I’ll be back on Wednesday with my August themeless!

solve online / puz / pdf / solution

Bonus: LL Themeless by Brian Thomas

Hello, cross folks!

It’s unusual for me to put up a crossword on a Tuesday at Square Pursuit, but I received a mysterious puzzle in my inbox from Brian Thomas this morning, and thought “hey, what’s the harm in just posting it?” I suppose I should also tell you that Brian is my top-of-the-table opponent in LearnedLeague today, which is probably relevant — not sure though. Typical banger from Brian despite a bit of fill that I find objectionable! Why not see what he’s up to on his own site afterwards?

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy this mysterious puzzle…

Solve Online




Guest Puzzle #1: “Smashing!” by Enrique Henestroza Anguiano

Happy Saturday, puzzle heads!

It’s my distinct pleasure to introduce the very first guest puzzle on Square Pursuit, by my esteemed constructing colleague Enrique Henestroza Anguiano!

I’ve been enjoying Enrique’s puzzles for quite a while! I solve them regularly on his blog Datalexic, which I discovered after doing his excellent A.V. Club debut puzzle earlier this year. One personal favorite of mine is this midi, which I appreciate in particular for its appealing theme and oblique cluing which make it a pleasure to figure out. We recently got to collaborate on a grid which I sincerely hope you all get to enjoy somewhere down the road! It was a blast.

From Enrique:

“I’m excited to have this tricky, but uplifting, puzzle featured on Square Pursuit. Steve and I have a simpatico perspective on crosswords and cultural references, I think, which has made his puzzles a joy to solve and has also led to some fruitful collaboration. I’ll say that this puzzle has something in common with one of my favorite puzzles this year, which coincidentally you can solve on this here site! Hope you enjoy!”

Solve Online