Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Press Boxes

 Press Boxes - PDF | Solution PDF

Back with the first variety puzzle of 2023! I finally tried my hand at one of these "Boxes" puzzles - a format I've also seen under the "Packing Crates" name. To my knowledge (do correct me if I'm wrong) this is another puzzle format developed by the masterful Patrick Berry. This is one of my favorite variety formats out there to solve - particularly those in which Patrick seeds the grid with a bonus answer made from the letters not used in Boxes entries, as is the case with this puzzle, "Press Boxes." I always was a bit intimidated by the format which is why I didn't try writing one for a long time. This puzzle definitely was a challenge to write but not brain-numbingly challenging, so I hope to return to the format in the future. PDF only for this format. Hope you enjoy!

The next monthly bundle for Aries Rows Garden will be available next week - January is a five-Tuesday month so there's still another puzzle to go. Of course, if you don't want to wait to solve these Rows Gardens, you can always subscribe to receive them on a weekly basis, delivered straight to your inbox. 

Happy solving!

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Snowflake #2

Snowflake #2 - PDF | Solution (PDF) 

Back with another Snowflake puzzle! This Hex-inspired variety puzzle is a good one to run this time of year. Instructions included in the PDF - no digital solving capabilities for this format, unfortunately. Happy solving!

Monthly bundles have been posted through December, and 2022 Second Half bundles have been added to the archive for both Aries Rows Garden and Aries Freestyle. It was bittersweet to conclude the Aries Freestyle series this week; here's to five great years of freestyle crosswords! Aries Rows Garden is still going strong however, kicking off its TENTH year next week. Subscriptions are always open so get on it if you haven't already.

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Twists & Turns #7

Twists & Turns #7 - Standard (PDF) | Harder (PDF) | Standard (JPZ) | Solution (PDF)

Back with another Twists & Turns puzzle! Didn't realize the last freebie T&T on this site was *last* Thanksgiving, so I suppose we're making T&Ts a Turkey Day tradition, along with midday naps and watching that one Cheers episode with the food fight. You know the drill by now - the Harder version lists the Twists clues alphabetically, and a digital version is only available in the Standard version. To solve online, first download the file above, then head over to the Crossword Nexus solver and open the file there. 

If you're digging these T&Ts you should scoop up the T&T puzzle pack that was released this summer - in fact, I'm offering it at the discounted rate of $10 until the end of the year. Buy it now!

Still one more puzzle to go this month for Aries Rows Garden and Aries Freestyle, so check back soon for the November monthly bundles. UPDATE: November bundles are now posted - apologies for the delay! 

Happy solving, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Acrostic #1

Aries Acrostic #1 - PDF | JPZ | Solution (PDF)

This month I'm excited to offer my first foray into acrostics! I've started to really enjoy solving acrostics over the last year or so, mainly from the ones that Mike Shenk writes for the Wall Street Journal. I remember hearing a while ago that Henry Rathvon and Emily Cox's method of constructing an acrostic involved first spelling out the quote in Scrabble tiles, and then creating the word list shuffling all those tiles around. It sounded like fun, so I tried that approach here as well, and, man ... I *really* enjoyed that challenge. It was one of the more pleasantly addicting word exercises I've done in a while, and I look forward to doing it again. 

There's a PDF to print and solve on paper and there's also a JPZ file for digital solving. To solve digitally, first download the JPZ and then head over to Crossword Nexus and upload the file. I admit I must be one of the few solvers who prefers solving acrostics on paper, but I definitely see the benefits of solving an acrostic on a computer, as the letter-transfer process is made much more convenient. Either way you solve, hope you enjoy!

October bundles have been posted for both Aries Rows Garden and Aries Freestyle. And if you haven't gotten your copy of the Twists & Turns puzzle pack, do it now!