Posts

Semi-Themeless #1

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Hello! Today's puzzle is a "semi-themeless", because there is sort of a theme and there sort of isn't, and anyway I couldn't think of a good title for it. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks so much to Norah for helping me figure out how to make it work, and to Frisco for the test solve. Please note: I really wanted you to be able to put symbols in the grid, but I couldn't figure out how to do that. So for the three rebus squares you are going to have to write out what the symbols would be. Sorry about that! [ .puz ] [ Direct Crosshare link ]

It's Leo Season

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Happy Leo season!! Hoping it finds you well. I don't really put a lot of stock in astrology, but I do genuinely love it when Leo season comes around. I just feel like it's a good time? Also the start of Leo season is my birthday (the 23rd), so that probably has something to do with it! But today (the 24th) is actually a very important day, because it's the anniversary of the first time we met Babka! For my birthday last year, my spouse and I went to a local cat cafe. We told ourselves specifically that we were not going to adopt a cat. But then we picked up Babka (pictured above), who fell asleep on my spouse's shoulders and didn't move for an entire hour and, well, here we are now. We're so glad Babka chose us! Today's puzzle is what I tried to come up with to celebrate Leos. Thanks Norah for the test solve! [ .puz ] [ Direct Crosshare link ]

So New

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Hello! I want to quickly clarify something that I talked about in the intro to the previous puzzle . I had mentioned that crossword puzzles are where I can put extremely stupid things. I think that construction was intimidating to me for a long time because I felt like I didn't have anything to say, and that I wasn't smart enough to come up with anything at all. But in constructing puzzles for this site, what I have learned is that you do not need to be smart in order to make or to solve a crossword. For example: this crossword. Where did it come from? I have no idea. It started while trying to figure out how to make a different theme altogether. This puzzle is called "So New." The title really doesn't have anything to do with the crossword, but I did have this No Doubt song stuck in my head the entire time I was making it. So, enjoy! Thanks to Will for the test solve! [.puz] [Direct Crosshare link]

Air Leaking From A Tire

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Hello! Thank you all for the feedback on my first two puzzles. I went to St. Louis last week and had a great time hanging with Norah , Will , and Sally . The tournament was extremely fun, the puzzles were great, and I managed to come in third! If you are interested you can check out the puzzles here . I hope there's a tournament next year too, I would love to be there! I have a new one for you called "Air Leaking From A Tire." About a month and a half ago I made an extremely dumb joke on a CrossweirdTV stream, and I decided to turn that into an entire puzzle. I think I was afraid for a long time because I thought that I didn't have what it takes to make a crossword, especially because you needed to be able to come up with something smart. I understand now that crossword puzzles are where I can put the stupidest things I've ever thought of, right out in the open. This puzzle in particular is stupid as shit. I hope you enjoy it, and thanks so much to Kate for

Country Grammar

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Hello! First I would like to say thank you to everyone for the feedback to my 1st puzzle , especially those who solved or streamed it. Special thanks to joeadultman , mygameistrue , elderism , and the CrossNerds . There was some concern that I haven't been involving Paprika enough. To be honest, she spends most of the day sleeping or hiding, whereas Babka is more active and involved in whatever is going on. Rest assured that Paprika has no hard feelings . My goal is to have a puzzle up here every two weeks. Today's puzzle is called Country Grammar, and is all about the fact that I'm heading to the STL Crossword Puzzle Tournament this weekend! I'm so excited to be there. I started entering tournaments a few years ago, but my first in-person tournament was at this year's ACPT, where I did pretty well . I'm excited to go to St. Louis, and especially excited to reunite with the brilliant Norah Sharpe , who test solved this puzzle. Thanks again Norah! Enjoy the

My 1st Puzzle

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Hello! I am a person. I have two cats, Paprika and Babka. Paprika is, as of this writing, almost eight years old, and Babka is just over a year old. When we got Babka in 2021, we needed to keep him in a separate room in order to try to integrate him with Paprika. While he was there I started streaming solving cryptic crosswords on Twitch. Babka would jump on the keyboard, meow, and need belly rubs, making himself a part of the stream. Eventually I put a camera on him and renamed my channel as danandbabka . Now I would like to bring Babka's energy with me as I try to make my own puzzles! This is my first puzzle on the blog and it is called "My 1st Puzzle." I am calling that because 1) it fits thematically, and 2) this literally is the first puzzle I ever tried to make, way back in August 2021, using pad and paper, without really knowing what I was doing. I had the central 15 spanner but did not know how to make a grid, which is one reason why the grid looks all wonky. A