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

SQP123 – A Portrait In Jazz (cryptic)

Welcome, Cryptids!

As promised, here is your monthly blocked cryptic, with a theme no less. For those who are new to the site, my puzzles of this sort follow the conventions of the stricter UK newspaper cryptics, but with American spellings and vernacular. They’re harder than most US cryptics, and this one should be similar to an early week puzzle from such a venue overseas. Thanks to k0rmad for the test solve. I hope you enjoy!

I’ll leave the Square Pursuit survey open for the rest of the week, and will have some announcements about my future plans at the beginning of December. Thanks so much to everyone who has responded, and if you haven’t had a chance yet, I’d appreciate knowing your opinions!

Take care and enjoy the puzzle. I’ll be back next week with a themeless crossword and the following week with a variety cryptic.

solve online / puz / pdf / solution & explanations

SQP122 – Quiptic #16

Welcome, Quipsters!

Thanks for stopping by. This is a cryptic week, so I’d thought I’d open things up with a gentle puzzle. As usual, it has one device per clue, which is revealed to anybody who wants in the “helpers” version. I hope it’s fun for everybody who’s curious! My gratitude to Will Eisenberg for test solving.

In site news, I’ve finally organized all the puzzles and made them easier to access in a drop-down menu on the left. I’ll admit I hadn’t been to Square Pursuit since the month I launched it, and yikes! You should be able to get your hands on what you’re looking for more easily now. My standard disclaimer is that I wasn’t as strong a constructor back on those early puzzles, and while they’re still fun, I can’t promise they’re as fair!

The survey for the betterment/expansion of Square Pursuit is up for one more week if you’re interested in making your voice heard and haven’t done so yet. Thanks so much to the many who have already responded.

Take care and enjoy the puzzle. I’ll be back on Wednesday with a challenging blocked cryptic.

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution & explanations

SQP121 – Wildlife Management

Hello, Crosspeople!

Thanks for coming by. I’ve got the November themed crossword here with me, and it should be a gentle-ish challenge. This one is me threading the needle, building something around my particular interests while trying to make everybody feel welcome and entertained. I wonder if you cross over with me on this one, and hope you feel seen if you don’t. Wherever it all lands, I wish you smiles and happy solving!

Quick shout to a couple of cool crossword people: I made this other cool puzzle with the great Enrique Henestroza Anguiano for his blog, and if you liked what you saw today I hope you’ll check it out. Brooke Husic, who did the test solving for today’s puzzle, makes tons of cool puzzles and I’ve had the pleasure of making a few cool ones with her as well. Brooke and Enrique made this really cool word list together which you should also give a spin if you make crossword puzzles or have aspirations of doing so. A very cool crossword triangle to be a part of, if you ask me. I’m infinitely grateful.

One more quick thing — I’ve still got this survey going about the direction of Square Pursuit. If you have a minute and haven’t done so already, would you consider giving me some feedback? I’m trying to figure out how to best spend my crossword time and energy on this site and beyond. I’d really appreciate the help.

And there we are! Take care and enjoy the puzzle. See you in 5 with a quiptic and 7 with a challenging cryptic.

solve online / puz / pdf / solution

SQP120 – Variety Cryptic #13 – Bustin’ Makes Me Feel Good!

Dear Cryptologists,

Good to see you! Thanks for coming by. It’s a Halloween variety cryptic and we have ghosts to take care of here, so I’m going to let you get to it. As usual, this is a gentle-ish puzzle of its type.

Thanks to Hayley Gold and Nate Cardin for test solving!

When you’re done bustin’, might you have a minute to take a quick, anonymous survey about Square Pursuit? I’m trying to figure out where to go with this next; what to trim, what to expand, where to tweak things to make it fun and rewarding for everyone involved. It shouldn’t take long, and it would mean a lot to me!

solve online / pdf / answers and explanations

SQP119 – Quiptic #15

Hello Quiptickers!

Nice to see you. I’m putting up a little appetizer here before the spooooky variety cryptic. As usual, it’s one device per clue, and the helpers version tells you which one to look for. Here’s hoping it’s fun for newcomers and oldcomers alike.

Thanks to Will for the test solve!

Take care and enjoy the quiptic. Back with the variety in 48 hours.

plain: solve online / puz / pdf

helpers: solve online / puz / pdf

solution and explanations

SQP118 – Themeless #35

Hello, crossfolks!

It’s themeless week at Square Pursuit. I prioritized getting a couple of entries I really wanted to see into this grid and it resulted in a somewhat different feel than many of my puzzles. I’m going a bit gentler here, especially since last week’s cryptic was so challenging. I’m very interested to see how the seasonal variety cryptic lands next week.

Thanks to Brooke for test-solving! Get excited for her blog puzzle next week, people — certified banger.

Thanks for coming by and trying the puzzles. Next week is variety cryptic week and it’s going to be accompanied by a survey about the site! I’m looking into ways to adjust what I’m doing here and maybe even expand things a bit.

Take care and enjoy!

solve online / puz / pdf / solution

SQP117 – Cryptic #15

Hello, cryptic solvers!

Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad to be here with October’s blocked cryptic puzzle. No theme here, just some challenging clues and plenty of laughs (or so I hope). If you find yourself totally stuck and not enjoying things, may I recommend revealing an answer or two? It’s something that I did a lot when learning to solve the British puzzles I love so much. It would be great to normalize that sort of thing as it opened the door to a lot of joy for me.

Many thanks to k0rmad for test solving, and to Ali for lending me his letter Y.

See you next week with the October themeless, which is not at all cryptic, but should be fun (or so I also hope).

Take care and enjoy the puzzle!

solve online / puz / pdf / answers & explanations