Cryptic #17

  PDF  -  puz  -  jpz  -  online  -  solution It's a full-size cryptic this month, and I hope you'll enjoy it. Thanks to Evan Jenkins for test-solving. The 20D clue has italics that don't carry through into Across Lite, so I'm also offering a JPZ version, which you can solve using  Crossword Nexus  or similar platforms. 27A was the toughest clue to write; feedback on my first version (with a very different surface) suggested it was too vague, and it took me a long time to find another angle that read sensibly while also obeying cryptic grammar rules. I hope the final product provides a nice "aha!" moment. If you fancy having a go at coming up with an alternative clue, leave a message in the comments. See you again next month!

Midi Cryptic #4

  pdf  /  puz  /  online  /  solution pdf Midi cryptic (11x11 blocked) this month, and I hope you'll like it! Please do chime in with your thoughts on the puzzle. I'm especially happy with the surface at 5D, which alludes to my first date with my wife at a Chicago beer garden. (Spoiler warning! I'm going to talk a bit about Cryptic #16 " Delivery Confirmation " after the jump. If you haven't done it yet, go check it out!)

"Delivery Confirmation" (Cryptic #16)

PDF - puz - online - solution Two reasons this puzzle is very special: It's my first cryptic meta-puzzle ...well, you'll have to solve it to find out. Big thanks to Evan Jenkins for test-solving. I hope this brings you as much joy to solve as it brought me to make.

Printer's Devilry #4 (midi)

pdf  -  jpz  -  solution pdf Excited to share my latest Printer's Devilry with you! I've had the itch to write a new one for a while. This 8x8 midi has 18 entries, compared to my last midi in the same size which had 24 (including 16 4-letter words). I wanted to explore the possibilities of using longer entries (6-8 letters) and generally I'm very happy with how things turned out. It was a really good practice at strategic filling; much like in cryptics, the choice of PD entries has a significant impact at the clue-writing stage. Furthermore, fewer entries allows more letters to be checked in both directions and improves grid flow; and of course there are fewer clues to write so it helped me with time management! :-) Barred grid again, hence Across Lite puz format is not supported. I've provided a jpz file for digital solving via Crossword Nexus's web interface , or an app such as XWord . Happy solving!

Solver resource updates

 I've added some new links to the "Solver Resources" page--worth checking out if you enjoy reading about cryptics, are looking for more puzzles to solve, and/or thinking about making your own puzzles! Puzzle critic Aaron Riccio offers thoughtful takes on what makes cryptic clues work well at his blog, The Crossword Scholar . I've enjoyed reading Riccio's commentary (including on my own work) since he turned nearly full-time to cryptics about 9 months ago. He also writes about cryptics on Twitter ( @thatcrypticguy ) and regularly streams cryptic solving sessions on Twitch . George Ho, who constructs cryptics under the pseudonym Loplop, has compiled a database of over a half million cryptic clues from numerous UK and US sources. Cryptipedia is a wiki for solvers and setters, containing numerous lists of indicators and other material used to create cryptic clues. I've been using it frequently when writing clues for my own puzzles. Are there other resources for

Cryptic #15

PDF : puz : online : solution Hello again! This is the first full-sized cryptic I've made since last August. I decided not to wait until the usual date of the 13th of next month to share it because I'm pretty excited to get this one out there. I'm really pleased with how this one turned out and it was a lot of fun to come up with a number of the clues here. My personal favorites are 13A, 23A, 4D, 5D, and 16D. I hope you'll enjoy solving it and I would love to hear what you think of it in the comments!

Midi Cryptic #3

  pdf  -  puz  -  online  -  solution Happy New Year! It's been several months since I wrote any kind of cryptic crossword, but the start of 2023 felt like a good time to get back into it. In comparison to 2021, when I managed to post at least one puzzle a month here, 2022 was a much more challenging year in terms of competing demands on construction time (namely, work and caring for a toddler). My resolution for 2023 is to try to be more on top of time management for construction as well as being flexible in terms of what I'm putting up here, so that I can post more regularly. That could mean more midi-sized puzzles like today's offering, but I'll try to get at least a few more full-sized cryptics up in the coming months. In the meantime, hope you enjoy this puzzle, and thank you for stopping by!