Posts

Hold Tight

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Hello! Babka and Paprika, pictured above, usually don't sit so close to each other, so this is a big step for them! They're still not exactly friends but I'm hoping they will be able to tolerate each other a little more and maybe not fight so much and/or destroy everything. This week's puzzle has maybe my favorite clue I've ever written? I hope you enjoy it! Norah gave me some guidance on it and it was test solved by cl3ver. Thanks everyone! [ .puz ][ Direct Crosshare link ]

What Are You, Ten??

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Happy new year! It is January somehow? Sometimes the idea of the new year doesn't excite me, but in this case I am happy about the idea of spending the new year making crosswords, solving puzzles, meeting new people and hanging out with Babka. Today's crossword is about the inexorable march of time! Unfortunately, I am one of those people for whom the 90s will always be twenty years ago, despite how that's not the case. So to celebrate the new year, and to measure the ever-growing distance between me and what I remember, I wanted to make a puzzle about things from ten years ago - 2013, when I was [age redacted], Obama was president, and "Breaking Bad" aired its final season. Other things happened! I picked out a few of these things, and there were so many that it ended up being a 21x21 grid. I had to leave some out in order to make everything work. I'm not sure if the puzzle is successful - the theme is just "these things are ten years old." And

It's Not Christmas

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Happy Holidays! This will be the last post of 2022, and I just want to say how incredibly grateful I am if you have visited this blog or solved a puzzle. I am still working on "trying to be a good crossword constructor" and your feedback and solving is so helpful, and furthermore I am very glad to have kept up with something for so long! It is impossible (for me) without community, so once again: THANK YOU Today's puzzle is themed around Christmas. But I do not celebrate Christmas! I used to work retail and the day after Thanksgiving was when the Christmas music would come on. Having heard the same songs over and over for a month straight, I started making up different lyrics to make the songs more secular. So the theme today is what I actually sing in my head in order to make these songs not about Christmas. I understand this means you cannot actually solve this unless you are actively in my brain. So sorry!! And yet here it is!! Thanks Norah for the test solve! Let

Happy Hanukkah

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Hello! I know that Hanukkah is not until next week!! Don't worrry!! But I had an idea for a theme around it and am very excited that it worked out. So I hope you consider this an early Hanukkah present from me to you. This puzzle is NSFW! Thank you to Rose Sloan and Norah Sharpe for the test solves! If you solve it, let me know what you think!! And now some question marks to balance out all the exclamation points I've used so far: ????????? [ .puz ] [ Direct Crosshare link ]

Cross Birds

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Hello! Sometimes you put a lot of hard work and thought into a puzzle, and sometimes you say "what are the dumbest bird puns I could make?" This puzzle was not test solved!! Good luck!! [ .puz ] [ Direct Crosshare link ]

Thx! (with Sarah Ventre)

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Hello, there is a very special puzzle for you today: a collaboration with the world's greatest human, aka my spouse Sarah ! Some of you who watch my Twitch stream may have seen her recently coming by to solve cryptics and American crosswords with me. I mentioned to her that I wasn't sure what the puzzle for today is, and then she pointed it out that this will be the last puzzle that goes up before Thanksgiving, so how about something related to that? And then she came up with the theme and two of the answers just like that. It turns out she is a secret crossword genius!!! We worked on constructing and cluing together, and I felt like it was very fun. I'm so glad that she wanted to be a part of this! Here is what Sarah wants to say: "Ummmm...wow! Thanks for the kind words, Dan. In the spirit of reciprocity, let's just all take a moment to acknowledge that Dan is a NOT secret crossword genius . Now that we got that out of the way...this was really fun! I'm ama

I Swear

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Hello! Thanks to everyone for the feedback and kind words about my cryptic puzzle from last time. I definitely want to keep making them! But something else very exciting happy this month, which is that I made my print debut ! Universal Crossword published a puzzle by myself and Shannon Rapp that I'm really proud of, and it was so cool to see it appear in papers around the country and online in a bunch of different places. Thanks to everyone on Twitch who streamed it as well! Inspired by this success, I wanted to make another themed puzzle that I thought could appear in syndication, and came up with this 16x15 with three themers. But I'm worried that it might have trouble getting accepted. What am I doing wrong???!? Thanks to Shannon Norah Sharpe for the test solve. Please let me know what you think, and let me know if you stream it! [ .puz ] [ Direct Crosshare link ]