Aries Freestyle publishes four wild-card puzzles in 2018 that are supplementary to the regular bi-weekly puzzles. For the first such wild-card puzzle, I’m opening it up to outside submissions. Puzzles will be solved and assessed blindly – that is, the constructor name/s will not be revealed as I review submissions. One winning puzzle will be selected and published at the end of March.
Specs: Fully gridded, fully clued freestyle crosswords only. Clues should be very challenging. Max word counts: 72 for a 15x15 puzzle; 73 for a 16x15 or 15x16 puzzle.
Submit puzzles in .puz or .pdf format. Please do not put your name in the .puz or .pdf file, but be sure include your name in the body of the email when you submit.
Email to: [firstname.lastname@example.org]. Only one submission is allowed per constructor.
The deadline to submit is March 7, 2018. Aries Freestyle test solver David Plotkin will then send me all of the puzzles with the constructor names removed so as to ensure the process is blindly judged.
The constructor/s of the winning puzzle will receive $100 and a copy of Maverick Crosswords. All constructors retain all rights to their puzzles. The winning puzzle will be distributed one time only to Aries Freestyle subscribers and will not be included in any future archived packs.
Constructors of all backgrounds are encouraged to submit, especially underrepresented groups in crosswords such as women and people of color. New constructors are also very much encouraged to submit. I’ll give each and every submission detailed feedback about the puzzle – the highs and lows, and general commentary about the clues and the grid.
You don’t need to be a subscriber of Aries Freestyle to submit. And though Aries Freestyle puzzles tend to focus on the stagger-stack type freestyles, all types of freestyle layouts are encouraged.
-Andrew J. Ries
Editor-in-chief, Aries Freestyle