RG2015.10 Hardest/Harder - Solution
RG2015.10 Easier/Easiest - Solution
Not much to say about this one, largely because it'd been an eon since I wrote it. It was accepted by Will Shortz's WordPlay last August and was planning to run in the Summer 2015 issue. Unfortunately, the magazine folded after the Spring issue, and all puzzles in the pipeline were returned to their creators. Though it's a tragedy that such a great magazine went by the wayside, it actually meant that I got an "off-week," so to speak. I did edit some of the clues - most notably added the creative angle on the clue for D2, which a number of solvers stated was their favorite part of the puzzle. WordPlay's editorial preference, at least for Rows Gardens, was slanted to the Easier side of things, so I did made a conscious effort to ease up the difficulty on the clues when I submitted. Now that the puzzle was mine again, I toughened it up in places, but for the most part retained its "easier-than-most-weeks" personality.
If you're a fan of variety crosswords (Marching Bands, Some Assembly Required, etc), cryptics (variety and standard), and logic puzzles, you should check out my friend Nathan Curtis's Patreon campaign. Nathan emerged on the puzzle scene through his site Tortoiseshell Studio (where you can find some stellar free examples of his work, including a couple of Rows Gardens), and now he's going semi-pro through Patreon. Consider throwing some money Nathan's way if those types of puzzles please you.