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

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

SQP138 – Cryptic #16

Hello, Cryptids!

Thanks for coming by! It’s been a while since I’ve done a straight-up blocked cryptic here so I felt today was the day. Little did I know it would be part of this little cryptic streak; Monday I had a fun themed collab with Liari on her site (UK vocab/abbreviation warning!), Tuesday I dropped a variety cryptic I’m proud of Square Chase, and here we are on Wednesday.

As for today’s offering, standard US cryptic conventions apply. Expect something maybe a tick harder than what I’d make for the Browser, but nothing too intense. Speaking of which, I’ve got more cryptics and themeless crosswords coming out in the wild pretty soon too. Stay tuned!

Thanks so much to k0rmad for test solving this, like so many other puzzles the entire length of my cryptic-setting journey thus far.

Take care and enjoy! Quiptic in 7, US themed crossword in 14.

solve online / puz / pdf / solution & 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

SQP136 – “It’s-a Meal!” with Mike Lieberman

Hello, crossword fans!

What a treat for me this week — I get to share a puzzle I made with the great Mike Lieberman! I got the invitation to work on this theme idea of his because he very rightly pegged me as the guy who makes all the puzzles about food. Mike and I share an affinity for punny themes, and he’s dropped a lot of puzzles with terrific ones in the New York Times and elsewhere. If you want to see what I’m talking about, you can find his work in all the best newspapers, or if you’re feeling daring (and you know you are!), why not go after one of his lemon-fresh Puns and Anagrams puzzles? This one is his most recent banger from the NYT, and this one is a smaller gem, co-constructed with the wonderful Kate Chin Park.

Here’s Mike:

It’s such a privilege to collaborate with Steve and such an honor to make an appearance here at Square Pursuit! All of the wonderful things you’ve heard about Steve are true, and working with him on this puzzle was an absolute pleasure. Enjoy the puzzle and then go subscribe to Steve’s Patreon!

Take care and enjoy the puzzle! Cryptic folks, I’ve got you covered for the rest of the month with two quiptics, one big-ol cryptic, and another collab in the pipeline!

solve online / puz / pdf / pdf SOLUTION

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

SQP134 – Themeless #37

Hello, cross people!

This week’s offering is a moderately challenging themeless crossword. I’m thinking of making this third week slot a place for whatever you’re seeing less of from me in other venues. Since I’ve got a cryptic dropping elsewhere in a couple of weeks, I think this is a good time to hit folks with something like this. I hope you enjoy!

Thanks to Brooke for test-solving!

Take care and enjoy the puzzle. Next week is quiptic week!

solve online / puz / pdf / pdf SOLUTION

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

SQP132 – “Starting Over”

Hello, crossfolks!

Thanks for coming by. I’m glad to be starting 2022 out with a good old-fashioned US crossword. I hope you all like it! Thanks to Brooke for the test solve.

This past Saturday, Square Chase subscribers received their first variety cryptic of the year. I won’t be plugging it much on the blog from this point on, but you can always find the link on the left side of the page. If you haven’t started solving cryptics yet, I recommend you give some a try this year — they’ve made my life so much more fun!

Take care and enjoy the puzzle. I’ll be back in seven with a gentle quiptic.

solve online / puz / pdf / solution

SQP131 – Alphabetical Jigsaw #1

Hello, cryptic folks!

Jigsaw puzzles are a New Year tradition in the Mossberg house, so this time I’d like to share one with you in cryptic form. Alphabetical Jigsaws have a long puzzling past overseas but are seldom seen stateside. The premise is that the clues are listed in alphabetical order with no numbers. The solver needs to use inference and solving power to figure out where to place them in the grid. I recommend beginning with the two pairs of clues that share the same starting letter, using the grid shape and enumerations to locate them. Thanks to K0rmad for the test solve. Good luck!

The first Square Chase variety cryptic goes out to subscribers in 3 days! I’m really excited to share this series of twice-monthly VCs with folks, and if you want to get in on the fun, I hope you’ll join us by signing up.

Take care, enjoy, and have a Happy New Year! I’ll be back in a week with your standard themed offering for January.

ipuz by Alex Boisvert (solve in squares.io) / solve online (make a copy of the google sheet) / pdf (recommended) / solution and explanations