Thursday, April 30, 2020

Twists & Turns #3

Twists & Turns #3 - Standard Version PDF | Harder Version PDF | Standard Version JPZ SOLUTION PDF

Back with another Twists & Turns puzzle! The first two of these seemed to be very well-received by solvers, so it's important to keep these coming.

As with the last T&T, the puzzle is offered in two difficulty levels. The Standard version lists the Twist clues in grid order, left to right and top to bottom, while the Harder version lists the Twist clues in alphabetical order. I recommend the Standard version for solvers new to the format and non-experts  - if I were solving these, I'd prefer the Standard version myself. But I know many of you are looking for an extra challenge, so for experts and gluttons for punishment, give the Harder version a try.

For now, these puzzles are PDF only. I imagine that a JPZ version can be created for these; however, I don't even know how to begin creating a JPZ file from scratch. For those who are technically adept at creating JPZ files, I'd be interested in a tutorial to show me the ropes! Send me an email if you would be willing to walk me through the process.

UPDATE: Thanks to Jeff Davidson for creating a JPZ version! I've added a link above. After downloading the file, use the JPZ solving applet on Crossword Nexus to solve. The JPZ file only supports the Standard version of the puzzle. I've given the JPZ version a test run and it works pretty well. Thanks so much Jeff!

As before, the more feedback the better for this new format - feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email directly. Each solving experience gives me greater insight into how the format plays, so whether you enjoyed it or - equally important - if you didn't enjoy it, your feedback is much appreciated.

Happy solving!

Thursday, April 23, 2020


April FREE RG - PDF: Hardest | Harder | Easier | Easiest | Solution

April FREE RG - RGZ (for solving in the Rows Garden app for iPad/iPhoneAndroid, and Kindle Fire)

Here's this months Rows Garden. This puzzle started with the colloquial entry at C2, and other favorite entries in this grid include F1, G2, and H2. Happy solving!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Aries Cryptic #25

Aries Cryptic #25 - PUZ | PDF | PDF (Grayscale) | Solution

Here's this month's Cryptic. This one started with the 12-Across entry. When writing a block cryptic, I start with cluing the longest entries and end with the shortest, filling the grid as I go along. Usually the puzzle comes together one quadrant at a time; here 12-Across was followed by 9-Down, then 5- and 15-Across, always making sure that there are viable filling options for the shorter entries. Then I tackled the southwest quadrant in a similar fashion, then moving to the long entries in the northwest and southeast. The two four-letter answers at 11- and 24-Across were the last clues written. This approach is unlike all other puzzles that I write, which present a much clearer grid-first, cluing-second division of labor.

Happy solving!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Aries Throwback - "That's Debatable"

Aries Throwback - "That's Debatable" - PUZ | PDF | PDF (Grayscale) | Solution

Here's this month's Throwback puzzle, titled "That's Debatable," which was originally published in February 2019 in The Growler magazine. Happy solving!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

April FREEstyle

April 2020 FREEstyle - PUZ | PDF | PDF (Grayscale) | Solution

Here's the FREEstyle for April! This puzzle started with the center stack, which was built around the entry at 34-Across. Hope you enjoy!

If you're looking for more puzzles, for the month of April, all Monthly Bundles are 50% off! Also can hit up the free Rows Garden archive - there are over 120 free Rows Gardens for your solving (and re-solving) pleasure.

Happy solving!