Here’s the latest themeless!
A general note on my process: I don’t have an editor or test solvers. If I charged for these puzzles, I would want both of those things. But I don’t, and therefore I make no promises about these puzzles being perfect.
If you want to point out an error politely, as happens from time to time, go for it; I do read the comments, and yours will likely help me do better next time. I probably won’t go back in and fix the puzzle, since keeping up this site is something I do on top of a full-time job and making puzzles and trivia for (not a lot of) money. So going back and making things perfect when I could be using that time to make a new puzzle for the site, doing paid work, or hell, watching Netflix, is not something I’m prioritizing right now.
If you want to snark, don’t. At least, don’t do it in the comments. I’ll delete your comment and I won’t change my behavior. Kisses!
Tough as Nails Themeless #32 – Across Lite
One puzzle with a nod to the holiday is…one puzzle with a nod to the holiday. Doing it again, as I am today, makes it a tradition, I suspect. Gong xi fa cai, everybody! Note: In my family it is traditional to receive 4-Down until you are married. Then you have to start giving 4-Down to your unmarried relatives. This can get very expensive!
Tough as Nails Themeless #31 – Across Lite
I thought about putting an image with this post for once, but it’d be a spoiler. 14A was one of my seeds; can you guess what the other was?
Tough as Nails Themeless #30 – Across Lite
I suppose I’ve made you wait long enough for the first puzzle of 2021. Here she is! I promise I’m not as much of a lush as this grid makes it seem like I am.
Tough as Nails Themeless #29 – Across Lite
Time for a 21x to ring out this wretched, wretched year with! I kinda love this puzzle and I hope you do too. Classical music! Science! Drag Race! And really, 70-Across?
Tough as Nails Themeless #28 (the big one!) – Across Lite
Reading the book referenced in the clue for 35A is what inspired this themeless. Hope you’re inspired to look up the person it’s about and have a bit more fabulous day as a result!
Tough as Nails Themeless #27 – Across Lite
Year 1 of this blog is coming to a close soon! I’m calling myself out: the final puzzle of the year really should be a big-ass 21x themeless, shouldn’t it?
In the meantime, enjoy this standard-issue 70-word 15x, whose seeds were 21A (no, I haven’t seen the new show) and 38A (no, I have never spent the cash to have it done).
Tough as Nails Themeless #26 – Across Lite
I made this puzzle back in May and was experimenting with the popular format of stair-stacked 11s through the middle of the puzzle (although can I really call it stair-stacked if I turned the puzzle 90 degrees?).
Hope you enjoy it and that you had fun with my Boswords puzzle on Monday, if you are participating in the themeless tournament.
Tough as Nails Themeless #25 – Across Lite
I hope you’ll indulge me in that this week’s themeless has 74 words, more than pretty much any publication would allow. The seeds were 20-Across (YUM YUM YUM!) and 55-Across, which is a Stella Esoteric Vocabulary Special, #sorrynotsorry. (I’ve already forgotten what publication I saw it in. #old)
Tough as Nails Themeless #24 – Across Lite
Once Nate became the first person to put a cryptic puzzle on my site I thought, okay, okay, it’s finally time to do one on the site also! As a few of you have requested, it’s a 13×13 puzzle, so a little smaller and easier to deal with than most published puzzles.
Cryptics won’t be a regular feature on the blog; given that I’m already putting out free themelesses and a ton of cryptic clues on the regular, I’d like to get paid for making full puzzles!
Although it may seem that a cryptic must be easy to construct given the small number of words in the grid and that only about half of the letters have to be checked, to me they’re quite a bit harder. You know the stereotypical question about “What do you do first, write the clues or come up with the answers?” that people ask about standard American crosswords, and that it indicates a complete lack of understanding of the construction process? It’s not a silly question at all about cryptics. You’ve got to be thinking at every step of the word-choice process whether that word lends itself to good wordplay in a clue. (I learned this one the hard way, when I filled my first few cryptics with words I found very interesting, as I would for a themeless, but then realized I couldn’t break them up into bits for cluing, which led to some very tortured anagrams.)
End aside; here’s the puzzle! I’m on vacation, so I won’t be checking the comments to this page much, but please do @me on Twitter if you have something to say.
Oh yeah…I realized I didn’t write any explanations for this one (the solution grid is just the solution grid). Will try to get to that when I return from my vacation, which is very much needed.
Not-Tough as Nails Cryptic #1 – Across Lite