September Musings

Hi friends,

It’s been a year or so; here’s the latest from me!

  1. As I mentioned last summer, I’ve become an occasional contributor of cryptic crosswords to The New Yorker. You can check out my contributions here.
  2. Michael Sharp and I have been joining Rachel Fabi on her Twitch channel to solve cryptics. We do this a little after 7 PM ET on Tuesday nights, except for when we don’t. If you’re looking to become a better cryptic solver, you might find our solving instructional?
  3. And if you can’t get enough of Rachel and me, listen to the latest episode of the crossword podcast Fill Me In, where we join host Brian Cimmet to wax poetic about puzzles and more for 2 hours and change. Of note: Rachel and I wrote a contest cryptic to mark the occasion!

More coming in the fourth quarter of 2022, too. Promise.


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Midyear Update

Hi friends,

Some puzzly things I’ve been up to lately that might be of interest to you:

  1. I contributed today’s puzzle at Malaika Handa’s incredible site, 7xwords. I’m a huge fan of this project, and I was delighted that I could take part in it! It’s a small puzzle, so I imagine you can make quick work of it.
  2. Last month, I wrote Pride Month puzzles for the Universal and USA Today crosswords. This was my first USA Today puzzle, but it certainly won’t be my last; stay tuned there for more puzzle content.
  3. The New Yorker is publishing new cryptic crosswords on Sundays, and I’ll be an occasional contributor. Check out all of their puzzles here; I find the cryptics they run to be both well crafted and highly accessible, regardless of constructor. No word yet on when my début* there will be; I’ll keep you posted.

And that’s certainly not all that’s coming in the back half of 2021, but I’ve got to leave something to the imagination. Until then …


*Gotta follow The New Yorker style now, I guess.

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Happy New Year

Hi friends,

Yesterday afternoon, I put out a challenge to crossword fans on Twitter: if we could raise $500 by this afternoon for the Premier Ultimate League (the first professional ultimate league for women, non-binary people, and people of all marginalized genders) and the PUL Foundation (which promotes equity in ultimate and across sport by centering social justice and racial equity through policy, strategic planning, partnership, programming, and accountability structures), then I’d spend the rest of New Year’s Eve writing a cryptic crossword to release tonight.

I knew it was a big request, but I’m delighted to report that the crossword community raised $533.15 in less than 24 hours! Thank you! I also want to thank all of the other crossword folks who’ve run or participated in similar charity puzzle appeals through this year; you inspired this last push of 2020.

This meant I had less than twelve hours to put together my promised cryptic. It was a challenge, but I’m happy with this puzzle, and I think you’ll like it, too. I have to give one last giant thank you to Erik Agard for test solving this puzzle at literally the eleventh hour (and also testing countless other puzzles and putting up with all of my nonsense). Thanks, Erik!

So without further ado: a variety cryptic to say hello to 2021!

Happy New Year | PDF | Solution


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