Crossing Pairs 6

Wow, it looks like I put this grid into amuselabs in June 2022...  This puzzle took a WHILE to finish. Thanks Skaldskaparmal, Pixlate, Liari, Jack H Keynes, and StJtB for the test solves, and thanks to JMBrow29 for clue assistance, and thanks to Skald and Stephen C for help with the themers. [ fullscreen link ]

Broke Down

Hi!  My latest puzzle is a symmetric themeless, which for some reason I feel like I should prove the world I'm capable of?  But I think I also wanna keep the blog a symmetry-free zone, so you can find this puzzle at .  Thanks to Skaldskaparmal and Pixlate for test solving, and thanks to Norah Sharpe for suggesting the signature clue idea. I think when I do this from time to time I'll use this space to wax on a topic, as if it's my blog. Today, I'd like to talk about connecting words.  I don't really have any big philosophy on connecting words but I think I differ from the mainstream in a few ways that are worth presenting my take one. Firstly, I don't really get "with" as a connecting word.  The promise of a cryptic clue is that it's going to give you two things.  I'm not sure why, but saying "THIS with THAT" makes the two things that are supposed to be there into one thing in a way that saying

Blank Check

Hello cryptic friends!  I'm super excited to share with you another amazing collaboration, this time with Pixlate , an Australian setter who has made some really remarkable varieties .   In pix I've been really delighted to find a peer with a similar sensibility to mine.  We both prefer way overchecked barred grids, and both prefer every three-letter word in such to be fully checked.  I've been attempting to get one of these asymmetric barred grids to have every entry 2/3 checked, and with Pix's help I'm really happy to finally have one on the blog.  (Feel free to go back through my older grids and find the ONE aggravatingly just-less-than-2/3 checked word in each...) The puzzle is called "Blank Check."  I sometimes do puzzles without reading the instructions--if you're such a solver as well, this isn't a good puzzle for that.  (The instructions are no help at all, feel free to read away.) We really hope you enjoy! Thanks to Skald and Agnijo Bann


         Hi again. So uh, this is a weird one to have to explain...   Okay so on Twitch, there's a chatbot called Buttsbot who you can invite to come into your stream chat, where it will randomly repeat things people have said, replacing one or more syllables with "butt."  I promise, it's funnier than it sounds. This puzzle, which is called Buttsbot, is about Buttsbot.  I made it with Lila , who is amazing!  This is our first collab and her first cryptic.  Check out all her really fun non-cryptic puzzles which are just oozing with style! Thanks to Liari for clue assistance, and to Skald , Pixlate , teamcrazymatt , n0hk , and MP for the test solves. Fullscreen link .

'Tis the Season!

   Happy Holidays!  This puzzle is my Very First collaboration with the one and only Liari , an amazing setter.  It's a holiday puzzle, with a not-specifically-about-Christmas theme, but then, yeah I guess there is a lot of other specifically Christmas stuff in there.  We hope you like it!  Thanks to Skaldskaparmal for the test solve!  ( Fullscreen link )

Bad Idea #3: 302

Last month joeadultman and I made Costume Party , and it included one of the best clues I've ever had the honor of getting my name attached to.... It was 15 across and it was just glorious: 151 (4) Well, after publishing it, I had a thought: What if I took that amazing, wonderful, beautiful, perfect thing we made, and I ruined it? Thanks to Liari for the test solve/edit/whatever. Fullscreen Link (Please remember, I said right on the label it was a bad idea.)

Crossing Pairs #5

It's been a minute since the last one of these, huh? I should maybe attach a warning to this one that the reveal is a little more aimed at the online cryptics community... I think it's (probably) solvable by anyone with experience in cryptics, but people on the twitch and discord scene of the last year or so are more likely to smile at the reveal.  (So if you showed up here from the world of offline cryptics somehow, maybe go try some of my other puzzles before this one?) Thanks to Skald , Bluejay , and Saroota for the test solves.  And extra big thanks also to someone else. ( Fullscreen solve here .)