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

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

SQP129 – Variety Cryptic #15 – “Present Day”

Welcome back, cryptic fans!

Today’s offering is another fairly gentle variety cryptic which I hope suits your December mood. Thanks to Hayley Gold and Nate Cardin for the test solve!

If you like the variety cryptics here at Square Pursuit, I invite you to subscribe to Square Chase, in which I will provide a fresh variety cryptic on the 1st and 15th of every month in 2022. Think of them as a continuation of what I’ve been posting already, with difficulties ranging from easy to moderate and even more interesting variety devices. I hope you’ll consider joining in on the fun!

If you’d prefer to keep coming here and solving for free, you totally should! There will still be a themed crossword and two quiptics every month, with a fourth puzzle which will likely be a themeless crossword, blocked cryptic, or yes, a whole other variety cryptic.

Take care and enjoy! I’ll be back next week with a quiptic and the following with a type of puzzle you might not have seen before if you’re American like me.

solve online / pdf / solution & 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

SQP127 – “Frosty Airs”

Welcome, Cross-Citizens!

It’s the festive season again and music is all around us. I hope this puzzle is a cruciverbal cup of hot cocoa, keeping you warm while jolly melodies fill the air around you. My thanks to Brooke for the thoughtful test-solving.

In other news, I put out a survey last month and you really answered! I’m very happy to be introducing Square Chase, a twice-monthly collection of 24 variety cryptics in 2022. I’m excited to stretch these particular creative muscles, and hope you’ll join me by subscribing and solving along. Watch for the official drop in the next couple of weeks.

For those of you who just want to stop by and solve some puzzles, the regular site isn’t going anywhere. Every month, there will be a themed crossword the first Wednesday, a themeless, cryptic, or variety cryptic on the third Wednesday, and quiptics (I’m thrilled by all the interest) on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. You’ll also be seeing more of my work in other venues next year.

Take care and enjoy the puzzle! I’ll see you next week with a gentle quiptic!

solve online / puz / pdf / solution

SQP126 – Variety Cryptic #14 – “Blending In”

Welcome, Cryptickers!

It’s time for the November variety cryptic, and I’ve tried to make it the easiest yet, in order to give folks something relaxing to print and solve in the next few days. It doesn’t have helpers like my quiptics, but I think this might be a decent breaking-in point for newer solvers interested in trying something different. 2022 is shaping up to be a big variety cryptic year for me (more on that soon), and this one was quite fun to make.

Thanks to Hayley Gold and Nate Cardin helping me get this one up to snuff!

Take care and enjoy the puzzle! I’ll return with a themed crossword next week.

solve online / pdf / solution & 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

SQP124 – Themeless #36

Welcome, Crossfolks,

Thanks for stopping by. I’m back in themeless mode today and this one’s a challenger. Thanks to Brooke for test solving!

Some changes are coming to Square Pursuit’s release schedule soon, but next week is your regular old variety cryptic week, with a quiptic appetizer on Monday.

Take care and enjoy the puzzle. I’ll see you soon!

solve online / puz / pdf / solution