Additional Studies (w/ Chris Adams) (#109)

Solve Online with PuzzleMe


Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 109!

1) Today’s puzzle was co-constructed with Chris Adams, who runs an indie puzzle site over at arctan(x)words, which you should already be checking out. This puzzle couldn’t have been made without his grid and majority of the clues. Paolo’s collab took 9 months from start to end, and this one took less than a week, so I think I’m getting better at communication.

2) Chris Words is fortunate enough to now have a new way to solve the puzzle! PuzzleMe, which you may be using already to solve Paolo’s, Will’s, and Evan’s puzzles, has helped outfit me with the same software! Unfortunately, due to WordPress reason, I can’t embed the puzzle into the post, but a link to the puzzle is at the top of the post! The program is very slick, and I am so excited that you will be able to solve the same way!

3) This week saw a great release in crosswords: the Queer Qrosswords collection. Headed by the great Nate Cardin, this collection of 22 LGBTQ+ themed puzzles can be yours by donating $10 or more to a worthwhile charity. I’ve already worked through a third of them, and they are some great puzzles with a great message. Support your communities today.

4) I swear, the Mystery Hunt review goes online this week. I’ve written a fourth of it already.

5) Good luck to all those in Connecticut!

Oh, and in tradition with the previous collab, the collaborator gets to pick a video that is must-see viewing, and Chris has chosen this.



Philly Fanatic (#107)



Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 107!

A straightforward 12×13 on this Tuesday for you. Shouldn’t be surprised to figure out what the seed entry was.

If all goes well, I’ll publish my write up about the Mystery Hunt in the next couple of days. I have opinions I’d like to express!

This puzzle is not an endorsement of the Eagles. Go Cowboys.

Have a great week everyone!


Wash Your Mouth Out (#106)



Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 106!

Disclaimer for this week’s puzzle: Everything about it is a joke, and nothing about this puzzle should be taken as advice or endorsement. That being said, I hope you enjoy it. I think it’s hilarious.

We had a meta puzzle two weeks ago, so let’s go over the results:

The answer to this puzzle was a possible seventh theme answer that could be clued as “Popular candy bar (Boston)” while using the help of an MIT alumnus, and there was six starred answers, which are highlighted in MIT colors:PNG105

17A- [*Power company in New York City (La Jolla, CA)] = CON EDISON
23A- [*Woodwind tuned to E flat (Helsinki)] = ALTO CLARINET
30A- [*Dismiss something as insignificant (Mill Run, PA)] = WRITE IT OFF
40A- [*Lou Gehrig’s portrayer in film (Bilbao, Spain)] = GARY COOPER
49A- [*English actress of “Gods and Monsters” (Washington, DC)] = LYNN REDGRAVE
61A- [*He played Lobo in “The Clash of the Wolves” (London)] = RIN TIN TIN

Hopefully Googling a few of these locations would lead you to the right answer, especially since Mill Run, PA would take you to the Wright answer: Each of these answer phrases begin with the homophone of a surname of a famous architect, while the city is home to maybe their most famous work:

CON – Louis Kahn – Salk Institute
ALTO – Alvar Aalto –  Finlandia Hall
WRITE – Frank Lloyd Wright – Fallingwater
GARY – Frank Gehry – Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
LYNN – Maya Lin – Vietnam Veterans Memorial
RIN – Christopher Wren – St. Paul’s Cathedral

So, looking for a seventh entry, which fits the bill. By far, the most famous architect to ever graduate from MIT, and certainly in the top architects of all time, is I. M. Pei, who is the designer of Boston’s John F. Kennedy Library, the John Hancock Tower, and MIT’s Green Building. So, the candy bar that begins with name is PAYDAY, which is our answer. By the way, Building 7 is an MIT building which is shown in the cover of last week’s post.


A few of our submitters tried the candy bar AERO as a potential correct answer, which is heartbreakingly close. While AERO is a homophone of EERO, Mr. Saarinen who designed the Gateway Arch, (1) This involves a first name while the other theme entries used last names and (2) Eero Saarinen did not graduate from MIT. While he did design the Kresge Auditorium at MIT which I attended twice last weekend, he did not receive a degree from it. Sorry for those who came close, but you were SO on the right track.

Altogether, 53 readers submitted the right answer. Congrats to those who got it! This week’s randomly selected winner was Laura Mendyke. She will join Jon Delfin, John L. Wilson, Jim Quinlan, Eric Maddy, Andy Keller, David Cole, Roger Barkan, Patricia Miga, Erik Agard, Charles Montpetit, Steve Blais, Mike Ruslander, Matthew Breen, David Stein, Justin Weinbaum, Tyler Hinman, Kathy Johnescu, Regina Cassidy, and Tim Harrod in a future section of the site. Congrats Laura!

Enjoy the puzzle everyone! Be safe out there!


Meta: Building 7 (#105)



Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 105!

So, it’s been a while. Last semester, I finished my master’s degree in geography. Fun times. Life has been kind of hectic, and the blog has taken a hit because of it. One of my resolutions this year is to write more puzzles, as in 2017 I only wrote about 15 crosswords for this site and zero USC Puzzle Hunts. Puzzling means too much to me for me to have it sit to the side, and I hope to bring you more puzzles in the upcoming year that have that same nonsense I like in puzzles. I hope you’re ready for them.

This Thursday, I fly to MIT for my annual trek to solve puzzles at the Mystery Hunt. And, I figure it’d be a shame to go into the Hunt without a meta puzzle on the site. So, with that in mind, let’s have a meta.

Invoking the help of an MIT alumnus, for this twenty-first meta, I’m looking for a possible seventh theme answer that could be clued as “Popular candy bar (Boston)”. When you think you have it, email me at with your answer by January 20th.

If you’re going to be in Boston this next weekend, feel free to find me!

Happy 2018 everyone!


I Love Halloween! (#104)



Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 104! I’ve now published a numerical puzzle once a week for two years. And since this blog is three years one month old, I’ll say 2/3 ain’t too bad.

School is hard, but this Halloween theme is too good to pass up. I’m stunned there are still Halloween and Christmas themes left, so I’m glad I snatched one up.

I really promise I’ll have the Eclipse answers soon. Really I do.

Today’s puzzle is 16×16, a first for me, and I believe the first time I’ve ever had a 2×2 black box in the grid. Turns out, even by even is slightly tricky. There’s no guess why newspapers are 15×15.

Enjoy the puzzle! Feel free to tell me how okay it was on Twitter. I could use the followers.

Happy Halloween! Onwards to Thanksgiving!