Monday, December 31, 2018

Farewell . . . and New Beginnings

Yesterday's puzzle was the last in The Puzzle Society Crossword, and so this blog, like the year, is coming to an end.  I'll be posting an update here soon about what's next for me on the puzzle front, but in the meantime, thanks for solving the Puzzle Society crossword each day and stopping by the Crossword Crossing blog!  Here's to new beginnings and a happy 2019 to all!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

"Color Spectrum," by Zhouqin Burnikel

Constructor's Comments

When I first proposed this theme to David back in February, I had ONE LIFE TO LIVE for OLIVE, which fully contains OLIVE in the end.  He noticed immediately, of course.  And the title is his again.

Thank you, David, for patiently guiding me through all the Puzzle Society puzzles this year.


Saturday, December 29, 2018

"Cash Purchases," by Paul Coulter

Constructor's Comments

This started several years ago as a Sunday grid called "Heaven Cent."  It was puns on currency that no one wanted.  So it sat idle in my rejects file along with hundreds of others until David's call for submissions.  Then I reviewed them all, submitted some as is, and refreshed other theme ideas into something better.  I'm glad David liked this one and, as usual, that he was so helpful with improving it.  I hope solvers found it ". . . something completely different," as Monty Python liked to say.  SPLAT.  Oops, forgot about that giant foot.


Thursday, December 27, 2018

"Gross!" by Lynn Lempel

Constructor's Comments

I really can't think of much to say about this puzzle, it being a pretty common add-a-letter type.  However, I do hope the theme doesn't apply to your holiday season!  Here's to lots of good puzzling in 2019.


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

"Triple Play," by Jim Leeds

Constructor's Comments

"Triple Play" is one of my favorite 15xs after 22 years of published puzzle construction.

Each of the five theme entries has two words.  The first word, a famous person's (name ending with a double letter), and the second word, beginning with that same letter, form recognizable but misspelled phrases.

For me, puzzle construction evolved from a skittish attempt into a passionate pursuit!

The joy of awakening to a publish date—the thought that that day, scores of folks, pen or pencil at the ready, will be poring over cogent clues, trying to solve what came from my brain, is . . . is . . . well, there's nothing quite like it.


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

"Santa's Little Helpers," by Alex Eaton-Salners

Constructor's Comments

I don't often remember where I was when I came up with a particular puzzle idea.  In this case, I have clear recollection.  I was in the Mickey & Friends parking structure at Disneyland.  Realizing that ELF ON THE SHELF was amenable to a symmetric layout with both ELFs placeable on "shelves" was the key insight driving the puzzle's creation.  It was a bit challenging to find a block layout that worked without creating any pseudoshelves, but I'm pleased with how everything came together in the end.  Happy Holidays!