One-year constructiversary

I realized, through the opiate haze following a gum graft procedure, that I attempted to construct my first crossword puzzle precisely one year ago on the 25th of March. I’m so glad I did!

Heading straight to Cruciverb and Xword Info, I was inundated with standard rules, tips, and extremely helpful people. I remember falling in love with the crossword construction community almost instantly.

In the beginning, Rex Parker was my main source of inspiration– terrifying, I know! I had been reading his blog for a while before I started constructing and agreed with much of his well-directed vitriol. As I stumbled through my first couple grids I often thought WWRSAT (What Would Rex Say About This) and tried my best to avoid the kind of fill that would have him spitting blog venom. Easier said than done for a beginner, but he had me beholden to a high standard from day one.

Brendan Emmett Quigley’s self-published puzzles were my gateway to the Indie Constructiverse and all bets were off. I stopped caring about the blasted Breakfast Rule and decided that the NYTimes can keep its $300 and have no women Fri/Sat constructors for all I care. I’ve said in the past that I’m not so much a “lean in” woman as a “lean back and watch it burn to the ground and fuck you all and told you so, etc” woman. Maybe it doesn’t do much for the greater good, but life is too short and I just want to have a good time, man.

But I digress.

I must have found Erik Agard through BEQ’s site, and after we actually met (albeit briefly) at Lollapuzzoola he became my mentor and I couldn’t have asked for a better one.

Now my clipboard is packed with BEQ, EA, AVCX, Birnholtz, Broda, Croce (split decisions, baby!) and there are so many others I’ve yet to solve.

I’m heading down to Stamford to watch the division finals on Sunday and I hope to put some faces to the names I see in the upper left-hand corners of the funnest pieces of paper I’ve ever carried around. And it’s my birthday to boot!

Just for fun, I am posting a little theme-y guy I made in June of 2014. I woke up with a quote in my head and split it up into what I thought were two perfect grid-spanners, but it’s one of those stupid quotes where we’ve all left out some critical-yet-boring words over time. You’ll see what I mean:

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And here is the solution to themeless #6

One-year constructiversary

Themeless #6

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Solution to themeless #5

Yep, things have been busy. For the past couple weeks I’ve been at the mercy of the MBTA Commuter Rail and fruit flies. Having one’s life controlled by trains and lower eukaryotes can be a bit soul-sucking, so I’ve been mostly hiding out somewhere near the Sea of Gin.

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One could make fun-sized gross bars of ground up insect matter in order to survive on Snowpiercer, er, the Commuter Rail
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SNOWPIERCER!!!!!!

But a stretch of warmish weather has now melted more than half of the snow and the sidewalks are navigable and the birds are out! Spring is a thing. Also I adopted a cat! Meet Max:

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My 18.5  year old kitty Bean died in early December and it was time to find a new companion. Max was the first one to show up on Petfinder and it was pretty shocking because of the resemblance he has to Bean: 5629410618_28cd79100b_zWell, they’re certainly both orange at least. Max is great and caught a mouse within two hours of coming to my apartment! Although this is the Internet, enough about cats for now and get on to themeless #6. As I recall, my friend Adam was Not Pleased with this puzzle and I can see why. At 68 words, this was my most ambitious grid yet; when I actually found fill for a corner I was more likely to keep it out of desperation, even if it was sub-optimal. Nonetheless, I think there is also a lot of good stuff in there– including a couple marquee entries! Enjoy!

Themeless #6

Louder than Bulleted Lists: The Smiths .pptx

I meant to put up a puzzle for today, but I’m TOO BUSY.

In the meantime I wanted to share these important PowerPoint slideshows. My dear friend Brayden C. Burroughs, Esq. and I share a love/hate relationship with PowerPoints. As you know, I harbor similar feelings about The Smiths, and so was born The Smiths.pptx:

Ask/How Soon is Now?  (BCB)

Accept Yourself (LW)

Girlfriend in a Coma (LW)

Panic (BCB)

(Hank the DJ forgot Dublin, Dundee and Humberside– I hope no one was inconvenienced)

Louder than Bulleted Lists: The Smiths .pptx