Monday, March 25, 2019

Aries Cryptic #12 - "Entertainment Options"

Variety cryptic time! This is a 12x11 puzzle titled "Entertainment Options." No PUZ file this week; instead, I've prepared two PDF versions of the puzzle - an Easier version with standard cryptic enumerations, and a Harder version that only gives general notations like (2 wds.) or (Hyph.) when applicable. I'd recommend solving the Easier version if you're newer at variety cryptics. If you're a veteran to these, solve the Harder version.

Cryptic #12 - PDF (HARDER)

Cryptic #12 - PDF (EASIER)

Cryptic #12 - SOLUTION

Intro to Cryptics - PDF

Congrats to Dan Feyer on a record-setting eighth win at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament! I'll go ahead and crown Dan as "speed solver of the decade." Eight ACPT titles in the 2010s ain't too shabby. What will the 2020s hold?

Happy solving!


Monday, March 11, 2019

Aries Cryptic #11

Appropriately, Cryptic #11 is an 11x11 puzzle. Some nice clues emerged from this one, my favorite being 17-Across. Hope you enjoy!

Cryptic #11 - PUZ

Cryptic #11 - PDF

Cryptic #11 - SOLUTION

Intro to Cryptics - PDF

This year I've started offering monthly archive bundles for both subscription services (Rows Garden and Freestyle). January and February puzzles are currently available, priced at $1 per puzzle. Monthly bundles are a good way to try the weekly puzzles before fully committing to a subscription. Check it out if you'd like!

Happy solving,


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Aries Freestyle Orca Nominees

It was humbling to see some love for Aries Freestyle in the just-released 2018 Orca Awards! The Orcas annually recognize the year's best in crossswords, and there was not only one but two Aries Freestyle puzzles included in Sam Donaldson's write-up. Freestyle #15 was nominated for Freestyle of the Year, and Freestyle #3 included a clue (35-Across, to be precise) nominated for the Clue of the Year.

Here are both of the Orca-nominated puzzles for your solving (or re-solving) enjoyment:

Freestyle #15 - PUZ

Freestyle #15 - PDF

Freestyle #15 - Solution

Freestyle #3 - PUZ

Freestyle #3- PDF

Freestyle #3 - Solution

For a service in its first year, it was quite the honor for Aries Freestyle to be included in such high company. Congrats to all of the nominees and winners, and thanks to Sam for the nominations and for the entertaining write-up - be sure to check out the full Orcas post here (spoilers abound, so be sure to solve the above puzzles first!).

Back with Cryptic #11 next week!