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.