Monday, 23 April 2012


Holy Toledo, week 20 already?! To be honest, I didn't think much beyond the second week when I started this site. I'm going to take a page from the book of Matt Gaffney and set a goal for this puzzle series. Now, Matt's a complete fucking maniac, and his goals are fittingly maniacal. 10,000 daily puzzles!? 1000 weekly metas!? I'd be satisfied if I could think of one meta puzzle that's as good as any of his (speaking of which, I'm completely lost on this week's MGWCC - don't have a sniff. **Late-breaking update: just got it! Don't think I've ever gone 3 for 3 before. Outlook not good on 4 for 4, though**). My goal is decidedly more modest: The Cross Nerd puzzle series will run for at least (but maybe more than) 52 weeks. Since I pretty much started making puzzles at the same time as starting this site and I never know what I'll be doing with my life six months down the road, I really can't say whether or not I'll have the time or desire to continue beyond (or even until) then, but I guarantee another 32 weeks of puzzles.

Speaking of time and desire to make puzzles, this weekend I had neither. I was hit with my first flu in a few years, which rendered me more inclined toward laying in bed watching Twin Peaks than writing clues. I had come up with the theme already, thankfully, but left the grid and cluing a little later than I should have. As you'll see from entries like 4- and 27-Across, this puzzle would have benefitted from a little extra time and attention (for instance, I only noticed after filling most of it that it's a 74/35, which is low (and ill-advised) for a themed puzzle. In fact, I almost had the NW and SE corners filled with one less black square in each, but couldn't get around a few fugly entries). At any rate, I don't think the handful of clunker entries will ruin the solving experience (myself, I value solvability over all else), but I'm acutely aware of them at the moment because of a recent discussion about fill over at Tyler Hinman's blog. A number of top editors, constructors, and solvers have weighed in on the issue, so it's an enlightening read.

Lastly, last week's interview with Steve Riley was a huge hit. A number of people got in touch to say that they enjoyed it, so I'll be doing more. I've been talking with a few constructors about it, but I'd like to make it a somewhat regular feature, so if you're at all involved with puzzles, drop me a line and we'll set something up! Plus, if you're a constructor I'll gladly run one of your puzzles here.

More words, crossed and otherwise, next Tuesday.

Puzzle: Bobtails
Rating: XW-18A
Download the PDF and PUZ files here, or solve or download the Across Lite puzzle and/or software from the Java app below.


Anonymous said...

My main man Berlioz!

Bananarchy said...

Thought of you when I wrote the clue, actually (if this is who I think it is)