Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Twists & Turns #6

Twists & Turns #6 - Standard (PDF) | Harder (PDF) | Standard (JPZ) | Solution (PDF)

It's been a little bit since I've posted a Twists & Turns puzzle, so here's another! As I mentioned back in March when I posted the last one, I have been working on a T&T project that I hoped would be ready by summer. Well, it's definitely past summer and I'm still working on that project. It'll get there eventually so stay patient! 

As usual I've posted both a Standard and Harder version of the puzzle. For those new to the format, start with the Standard version; for those experienced with T&Ts and looking for and extra challenge, try the Harder version which lists the Twists clues alphabetically. There's also a JPZ file for digital solving, though keep in mind this version is only available in the Standard difficulty. Download the file and then head over to Crossword Nexus to use their JPZ solver. 

A reminder that subscriptions for Aries Rows Garden and Aries Freestyle are always open! Also, monthly bundles are a good way to get a small taste of what you'll get as a subscriber - the monthly bundles have been updated through November.

Happy solving, and Happy Thanksgiving! 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

From A to Z #1

From A to Z #1 - PDF | Solution (PDF)

To commemorate my recent move to AZ, I thought it would be appropriate to try a From A to Z variety puzzle. To my knowledge this is a format developed by Will Shortz - do correct me if I'm wrong on that. PDF only for this format, and instructions are included on the PDF. 

This was a fun format to construct. Even with unchecked squares involved, the grid was challenging to construct and the cluing conceit allows for some fun misdirection. The format has an ideal amount of constraints - the rules are tight enough that it doesn't feel too loose, yet there's also enough leeway built in that it's not overly challenging to construct as well. Which is a formula for a good variety format! Let me know what you think - I'd be very happy to revisit this format if solvers especially want to solve them.

October monthly bundles are now available! Also, here's a reminder that subscriptions for Aries Rows Garden and Aries Freestyle are always open.

Happy solving!  

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Double or Nothing #2

Double or Nothing #2 - PDF | PDF (Grayscale) | Solution PDF

Back with a Double or Nothing puzzle! This is another format developed by the great Patrick Berry. It's a fun twist on a freestyle crossword - each square in the puzzle either contains zero or two letters. There's a bit of logic involved with figuring out how to place the answers which adds a nice extra layer of challenge. PDF only for this format. Hope you enjoy!

A reminder that subscriptions for Aries Rows Garden and Aries Freestyle are always open! Still a bit to go in September so check back in early October for the September monthly bundles. 10/10 UPDATE: September monthly bundles are now posted!

Happy solving!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Marching Bands #2

Aries Marching Bands #2 - PDF | JPZ | Solution (PDF)

Back with a Marching Bands puzzle this month! It took a bit of elbow grease but I'm happy with how this grid came together. The best part of a Marching Bands puzzle is getting long entries included in the bands, so Band A was especially fun to get construct. Coincidentally, Marching Bands creator Mike Shenk had an MB in this past weekend's Wall Street Journal, so give that a shot if you haven't already.  

There's a PDF as well as a JPZ file above; to solve digitally, first download the JPZ file, then visit the Crossword Nexus Solver, upload the file, and solve away! 

Still have one more week to go in August, so check back next week when the August monthly bundles are posted. [9/2 UPDATE: Monthly bundles are now updated through August!]
Happy solving!