Oneth of the Month Mini Cryptic #12

This will be the last mini cryptic that I do on Tough as Nails. This is not to say that I don’t want those of you who are interested in cryptics but not ready for a full-size puzzle yet to give up! It’s just that there are other ways to do that now: There’s one every month with AVCX (subscription required), and also free 5×7 minis once a week at The Browser. So I’m leaving you in good hands!

In the meantime, this one’s quite sugary. Enjoy!

Mini Cryptic #12 – Across Lite

Surprise! It’s not a themeless!

Despite the near-total focus of this blog on crosswords of various sorts, I really do spend a lot of time on trivia as the text under my logo implies. (Hey Jeopardy! Wanna hire me?)

I’ve gotten to explore the intersection between trivia and crosswords a lot through Inkubator’s collaboration with Atlas Obscura, and today’s puzzle is in that vein (although not in AO’s specifically). I was inspired to make it when I thought of the songs referenced at 19- and 57-Across, which are both really fun, and the connection between them even though they sound nothing alike. I hope you enjoy this departure from the usual!

PS: Want me to write trivia, or a trivia puzzle, for your organization? Hire me!

She Goes Two Ways – Across Lite

Various project updates

You may have noticed that older Tough as Nails themelesses have disappeared from this blog. If you think that’s because there’s a book coming, you’re right! The book will have lots of brand-new puzzles, so please get one even if you’ve been solving with me all along.

Update on the 21x Project: I haven’t worked on this as assiduously as I’d like throughout the year, but it’s still going on in the background, and I’ve made a couple of major breakthroughs recently. I’ve just gotten my first check from a solo 21x (from The Crosswords Club), and today I completed the first 21x I’ve ever made from scratch (i.e., not using a grid that’s either taken directly from an existing puzzle or just tweaked slightly from an existing grid). You should be seeing that one at Universal next month. (Another beautiful thing about making 21x, besides that they pay more: The editorial lead time is a fraction of that for 15x!)

Finally, I’ve become the lead editor of Planet Crossword, a collaborative solving app from Hovercast. I know there’s been a lot of discussion about the use of NFTs, and for my part I would like to say that Hovercast has treated me and the constructors involved in this project with the utmost respect and fairness. (This includes paying us the majority of our compensation for the puzzles in USD, not crypto; the rate is very competitive.) There are some really great people working on this project and I’m just glad to have another venue that’s paying constructors to make good puzzles.