The Hunt

Today's puzzle is a real treat! I'm delighted to present this puzzle I made with my co-setters Saroota and Skaldskaparmal , both of whom are newer setters like me.  Check out their puzzles!  (Go Cryptic class of '22!) (Fullscreen solve here .) Thanks a ton to our test solvers, VraieAmy and Steve Mossberg . Also--solvers who spend time hanging out in the cryptic crossword community might be appreciate this slightly alternate version which includes a couple in-jokes and references for that crowd.  And if you're not in that crowd, come join us!  I stream here on no particular schedule, but if you search for cryptic crosswords there are friendly and fun people streaming at all hours.

Mini #2

Here's my second mini (11 clues) and my first blocked grid.  I hope you enjoy it! I'm calling this Mini #2 but it strikingly different from the last---it's funny how a mini in a blocked grid can have really long fills and a barred grid can have really short ones. Thanks to Liari for the test solve! ( Fullscreen version )

Midi #1: Something to Believe In

Hello solvers!  For this puzzle, I put an effort into making something extra accessible to new cryptic solvers.  I've tried (and almost succeeded!) to use only one device per clue, like Steve Mossberg does in his excellent Quiptic series on Square Pursuit .  (And if you're a newer solver, those are a great place to learn!) As usual for my puzzles, there are hints for individual clues available in the puzzle, by clicking "Reveal" on a computer, or tapping the light-bulb icon on mobile.  The hints will tell you what part of the clue is the definition, and what type of device is going on with the wordplay.   Thanks to Brigit, Skaldskaparmal, Saroota, and jeenbeans for test solving! Have fun! ( Fullscreen link )

Crossing Pairs #4

Another Crossing Pairs! Note:  You know how the instructions to these always have the bit about how you can use the alphabetical order of the clues to tell what order the words in a crossing pair go in?  And how it was always seemed unnecessary and over-complicated because it was obvious what order to put the two words in to make an idiom? Well in this one the crossing pairs are mostly non-idiomatic, so knowing the order actually matters now! Note:  The cryptic-only theme clues are a little extra cryptic here--some of them have multiple possible solutions.  You'll need to use crossers to clarify which is correct, so maybe be a little careful when filling them in. Note:  Thanks to Elder and Skaldskaparmal for the test solves! (Fullscreen solve here .) 

Crossing Pairs #3

Whew... this one took a while.  I hope you have fun; sorry about the return of the double-unches.  As before, this one has hints, which also function as explanations.  They can be found by clicking 'reveal' then 'show a hint' or by tapping the lightbulb if you're on a phone. Thanks to jmsr525 and Elder for the test solves. (Thanks also to everyone who helped out with the earlier version of this puzzle that couldn't be fixed... To ChristyShmisty and jeenbeans who helped out with cluing and to Liari, Jack H. Keynes, Elgel, Agnijo, Oddthority, and Norah Sharpe who test solved that version of the puzzle so you don't have to.) (Fullscreen solve here .)

Mini #1

I had a vacation last week during which I concluded I need to scrap Crossing Pairs #3 and start over...  In the meantime, here's a themeless mini I thew together mostly to display the clue for six across which I just adore (but no one else does.) Hints are included again!  Click reveal-->hint on a computer or tap the lightbulb icon on a phone. ( Fullscreen solve )

Crossing Pairs #2

 This is the second in the Crossing Pairs series.  It's much better than the first.  My favorite cryptics are variety cryptics, and I'm hoping this puzzle might be a nice way for people new to cryptics to see the beauty of the meta.  For this puzzle each clue has a 'hint' that identifies the 'definition' or 'straight clue' part of the clue, and also gives a parse of what the cryptic half is trying to instruct you to do.  On a phone, you can find the hint by tapping the light bulb menu icon at the top, and on a computer it can be found as an option in the "reveal" menu. These hints are meant to help someone new to cryptics, but they probably aren't enough to explain the rules in the first place. A good resource for getting the basic idea is Elder's introductory guide . A variety crossword usually has some instructions.  In this puzzle the instructions are shown at the start, but they use words (1-Across) that you won't know when you