Sunday, September 27, 2020

Blocked Cryptic #5: Three of Hearts, Eight of...

The cryptic zoo is expanding! No shenanigans going on in this one though: all wordplay is normal (or, at least normal for my style of puzzles), but there’s a “nina” - cryptic slang for a hidden set of words/phrases/anything that’s relevant to the puzzle or somehow thematic. Hope that the puzzle is fun to solve, and that the hunt for the extra layer is rewarding.

For pencil-and-paper solvers, enjoy the pdf here, and for online solvers, check out the interactive tool right below. Sadly, puz files don't allow for fancy colors, but if you wanna solve in Across Lite, here's the download link. Enjoy!

Solutions document to come hopefully soon. Wishing an easy fast to anyone celebrating today - g'mar chatimah tovah!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Guest Puzzle #1: A Cryptic with a Purpose (by MentalPlayground)

Hello all! Wishing a Shanah Tovah to all those who celebrated the past weekend! Read to the end of the post for a relevant (and hopefully sweet!) bonus puzzle :)

We've got a special guest on the blog today! MentalPlayground is one of my favorite people to co-solve (and co-construct!) puzzles with. From the true home of cryptic crosswords, he's been blogging (and cryptic-ing in general) for longer than I have, and it's always fun to get a British twist on things, so I'm sure you'll enjoy his offering. Here's his commentary on the puzzle:

I've been enjoying avid's puzzles for a while now - so I'm delighted to appear as a surprise guest on his site! This grid may not have any funky rules, but I hope the theme is enjoyable! It's a passion of mine, but I can't tell you what it is for obvious reasons. Also avid apparently likes it too - which is great! I hope you enjoy the solve!

I had an absolute blast solving this puzzle: 22-Down is very funny, 13-Across is super interesting (and slightly wicked - worth it though!), and 9-Down has a hilarious surface. Find the puzzle below in interactive form, or here as a pdf!

Lastly (and leastly), here's the "snack" I promised above, in cased you missed it! Solution right below, so don't scroll too far. (Minor error: first enumeration should be 3 4, not 4 3)

Solution: hey jude, ipod nano, garden of eden, envy, and new york city are all APPLES (sorta) dipped in HONEY, my way of wishing all of you a sweet 5781 :)

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Barred Cryptic #4: Global Warning

Hi all! Apologies for the late post - I'll be moving my publication date to Sunday night for the forseeable future, just so I can keep up with school stuff during the week.

This puzzle is hopefully more immediately approachable than my previous ones - it's still a variety cryptic, but the instructions are a lot shorter than usual. The theme entry is just one entry on a long list of possible "Green Policy Now" slogans that I believe in and would love to fit into a crossword. Whether or not you enjoy the puzzle, make sure you're registered and ready to vote in November! This puzzle is me urging you to consider giving your votes to candidates who are making progressive climate change policy a priority.

Anyways, here's the pdf file, and for online solvers the grid is below. Haven't had time to finish up the solution grid, but I'll try to post it within the week. If you get stuck, click on the "Reveal Letter/Word" button in PuzzleMe for a quick hint! Best of luck, and enjoy!

Update Feb 2021 (wow that's late): Solution is up here!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Blocked Cryptic #4: IV Drips

Back to the world of variety puzzles! To celebrate the start of the fall semester, I've combined my majors of linguistics and mathematics to create some appropriately numerical wordplay. For non-mathy folks, don't worry! You don't actually need to do any math to solve the puzzle. The final answer may be more punny for those who are familiar with the theme entry, but for those who aren't, a quick Wikipedia search should clear it up rather quickly. One other important note: the five letter word in the final answer is very much not a dictionary word, but it should be inferable.

Onto the puzzle! Enjoy this one in any form, but prepare for some light scratch-paper bookkeeping if solving online. You can find the pdf here, the puz file here, and the interactive version below!

For clue-by-clue explanations, the solution document can be found here! Enjoy the puzzle, and to all the students, teachers, faculty and staff members going back to school: I wish you luck! Stay safe, stay healthy, and happy puzzling!

Blocked Cryptic #11: Completing the Square (META)

Another meta-puzzle! This time, in standard(-ish) cryptic form. Hard to pick a favorite, but of all my blocked grids, I think this one has m...