Tough as Nails Themeless #43

A little update on my puzzling activities outside of the website:

I’m mostly not making a lot of standard American crosswords for publication at the moment. I make easy ones on a slow but regular basis for Erik at USA Today (note: USAT recently started offering only the current day’s puzzle free, so stay on top of it if you don’t want to buy a subscription!), I make some for Crosswords With Friends, and I have the occasional private client. I have a few submissions (some accepted, some waiting for an answer) in the hopper at NYT and LAT, but I’m not doing the work to keep a steady stream of submissions up to editors to get them out there, for the most part.

I am, however, spending an awful lot of time making cryptics and writing trivia! You can find my cryptics at The Browser (edited by Dan Feyer), and soon at The New Yorker (edited by Andy Kravis and Nick Henriquez). I write trivia for a couple of syndicates, so if you play virtual pub quiz, you might be answering questions I wrote. Want custom trivia for your event? I can do that!

In the meantime, here’s another themeless. Enjoy!

Tough as Nails Themeless #43 – Across Lite

Tough as Nails Themeless #42

Past Self is writing this before heading out on a vacation to Yellowstone. Hopefully Future Self will have arrived back in NYC on 7/13 as scheduled, and will be feeling chill and rested after a week of hiking and eating steak.

None of which is germane to you solving this puzzle, of course. Just wanted you all to know that I make themeless happen even when I’m on vacation. (Also not germane to this puzzle: Happy Bastille Day!)

Tough as Nails Themeless #42 – Across Lite

Tough as Nails Themeless #40

I made this puzzle way back in July 2019, so it’s one of my earliest solo attempts at a themeless. I think my inexperience shows in a few of the shorter entries, but when I looked through the archives I decided this puzzle was better than I thought it was, and decided to trot it out for you all! Mostly to introduce more people to 3D. (Check out Judith Leiber after you’re done solving for some fanciful — and fantastically expensive — examples.)

Tough as Nails Themeless #40 – Across Lite

Tough as Nails Themeless #39

I’ve been into this 25-block, 68-word grid pattern ever since putting it together for a collaboration with Brooke Husic back in the winter. I’ll admit it generated a few oddball entries this time, but I hope you still enjoy the puzzle!

I figured out how to put PDFs in without embedding them, no thanks to the opaque help from WordPress.

Tough as Nails Themeless #39 – Across Lite

Tough as Nails Themeless #38

I’m having issues with WordPress all of a sudden deciding that I not only want to provide links to download puzzle PDFs, but that I want to embed those PDFs within the post itself. Which is okay for the puzzle, I guess, but I don’t want to go showing you the solution before you’ve even started solving. So this week there’s only an Across Lite file up. I will figure out what’s going on at some point, although I can’t promise it will be soon.

Hope you still like the puzzle!

Tough as Nails Themeless #38 – Across Lite

Tough as Nails Themeless #34

No notes on the puzzle today, just a note that at this year’s virtual ACPT, I’ll be running a room to teach people about cryptic crosswords! The room is appropriate for beginners, not experienced solvers, as the curriculum will be the basic rules and clue types, with examples for the group to solve. Please spread the word! I’m an evangelist for this delightful puzzle type and I’d love to see lots of people virtually there.

Speaking of ACPT, I guess my reign as forth-place solver is about to come to an end. I’m not quite as fast as all them twentysomethings! Hoping to hold on to top ten, though.

Tough as Nails Themeless #34 – Across Lite