Tough as Nails Themeless #26

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

Tough as Nails Themeless #25

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

Tough as Nails Themeless #24

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

Tough as Nails Themeless #23

Many of you know that I am deeply obsessed with RuPaul’s Drag Race, including watching most of the foreign editions. This puzzle was inspired by a wonderful offhanded comment made by one of the judges on Holland’s Drag Race on a recent episode: The queen Sederginne walked out in a getup that included a bejeweled baby carriage with a bejeweled baby boy doll, and as she strutted the stage, Sederginne mimed getting hit in the face by a stream of pee from the baby doll. To which a clever guest judge immediately responded with 20-Across. The subtitles didn’t catch it, but I did and I HOWLED.

I am HERE for that stuff. You all know I like to mix highbrow and lowbrow. It’s a reality-show pee joke. And it is also a reference to a famous piece of art. HERE FOR IT. (Just as I will never forget when Sue Perkins called out a time stamp on Great British Bake-Off by saying, “As Anne of Cleves said to Henry VIII, you’re about two-thirds of the way through!”)

The other seed was 13D; I credit a clue in Dee Williams’s recent AVCX themeless for introducing me to that word!

Tough as Nails Themeless #23 – Across Lite

Tough as Nails Themeless #21

I’m in a fashionable mood, between yesterday’s #crypticclueaday and reading writeups of the Emmys red carpet at-home awards lewks. So this week you’re getting a puzzle whose central entry relates to fashion. This despite the fact that I’ve been living in sneakers and baseball shirts for the past week, after a couple of months of living in tank tops and flip-flops. God, I miss getting dressed up! (Clearly, so did Tracee Ellis Ross. Get it, woman!)

Hope this puzzle makes you feel a little more fabulous during end times.

Tough as Nails Themeless #21 – Across Lite

Tough as Nails Themeless #20

It’s a brave new Dropbox world! Hopefully this works with everyone able to access the .PUZ files with no issues. (I filed a complaint with Google to try to get my puzzles reinstated because they’re, you know, MY puzzles, but that is going nowhere.)

This puzzle was inspired by, as you might guess, the song at 34-Across. If it gets stuck in your head afterward, I’m not sorry.

Tough as Nails Themeless #20 – Across Lite