Happy Chanukah! (#87)


Hanukkah Background Seamless Pattern

Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 87!

This puzzle is going live on sundown, December 24th, as we have our first non-Christmas holiday puzzle! All of the great dreidel puzzles have already been written, so I hope this simple theme was please you for the next 8 days.

A couple of weeks ago, we had a meta puzzle for my return, so let’s have a recap.

The answer to the puzzle is a good two-word alternate title for this puzzle, and the PDF reveals 20 5×5 puzzles, just like those NYT minis.

After solving them, it should be clear that one letter hangs off the edge of each grid. The following picture should hopefully take you all the way.


WHAT GOOD THINGS COME IN clues SMALL PACKAGES, and that is the answer to this meta.


For the return of CW, a good number of you all submitted the correct answer, and some of y’all got close with things like CENTER SQUARE, but didn’t see the next step. Altogether, 48 readers submitted the right answer. Congrats to those who got it! This week’s randomly selected winner was Kathy Johnescu. He 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, and Tyler Hinman in a future section of the site. Congrats Kathy!

Thanks everyone, and have a merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and any other holiday you celebrate around this time! Except for the Solstice one. That’s not a holiday. The fact you are looking at a website proves to me that you’re not attached to an agrarian culture.

See you in 8 days!


Square on the Nose (#86)

[Strong suggestion: solve using the PDF version]


Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 86!

I’m glad I’m back for the holiday season, because as long time CW fans know, I’m a fan of holiday puzzles. Today’s puzzle is the fourth Christmas puzzle on the blog, and I’m a big fan of the final result. A special shoutout to friend-of-the-show Paolo Pasco for the title of the puzzle.

Be sure to solve and submit your meta answer for last week’s challenge, and I’ll be accepting answers until this FRIDAY, which is a slight change from my Saturday deadline. If you haven’t solved it yet, people tell me it ain’t bad, so I hope you’ll enjoy it too.

And in holiday videos: someone made an hour-long video that incorporates 400 different versions of A Christmas Carol throughout TV, film, radio, picture books, and more, and it is amazing. If you want to see Mr. T, Screech Powers, Sanford and his son, Matlock, and David Hyde Pierce doing a radio performance, this is the video to watch.

Thanks everyone, and have a great holiday season and a merry Christmas! Chris Words will be back with a new puzzle next week (hey, I’ve got to make up for some lost time)


Meta: Thoroughly Modern Minis (#85)

[No PUZ]


Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 85! And, as this puzzle ends with a 0 or 5, it’s time for a meta!

Mini crosswords are all the rage, and there’s a great interest in solving puzzles in less than a minute. So, for your pleasure, a set of 20 5×5 crosswords for your solving pleasure.

For this seventeenth meta, I’m looking for a good two-word alternate title for this puzzle. When you think you have it, email me at cking.gow(at)gmail.com with your answer. I’ll accept answers all the way to late Saturday, December 24th.

Hey everyone. So, I’m back. This semester has truly been something else. The semester has been pretty taxing, as I’ve had a tough class schedule and have been preparing for my master’s thesis proposal. I have successfully passed that, but I still have a thesis due in the spring. I have no idea how it’ll affect my time at this site, but I’m worried that it’ll do the same thing that took place this semester. I’m genuinely upset that I wasn’t able to post more than I did, and I’m worried it’ll be the same thing next semester. Either way, I’ll be posting new puzzles throughout the winter break, and I look forward to being back with you guys.

Hope you enjoy the puzzles, and do send me your answers!


Periodic Updates (#84)

Additional Notes


Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 84!

Today’s theme comes from well-known territory, but I think I’ve got a new twist I haven’t seen before. Kind of wonky grid, since 12/14/8/8/14/12 isn’t that common of a theme, but I do hope you enjoy it! If there is something in the theme you don’t quite get, be sure to look at the “Additional Notes” above.

Also, let’s all wish Adam Nicolle to the indie game! Looking forward to many installments from this high schooler.

Meta coming next week! Have a great week everyone!


Puzzle #84 Tomorrow


Hey everyone!

So, busy weekend for me, partly due to the Gamecocks’ first home game and visit from the parents led to not having all the clues done by Sunday. We will have the puzzle done by noon Monday, so be sure to tune in then.

Until then, do like me and entertain yourself by watching videos of hot dog eating champ Matt Stonie put away incredible amounts of food. This dude is crazy.

Today’s cover photo comes from me searching for “Funny” on Google Images, while setting the image size at 800×300, and this appeared on the first page. I don’t see what’s funny in it either.

Enjoy your Sunday!


Themeless Seventeen (#83)



Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 83!

Before we start, I would like to say that this week’s title contains 7 E’s and no other vowels.

Hope you enjoy today’s 13×13 puzzle! Since I don’t have much to say, here a fun side story. In my list of seed entries LA QUINTA didn’t make the puzzle. And as a geography master’s student, here a link to an article where one person tried to determine the truth about a Mitch Hedberg joke about La Quinta and Denny’s using ArcGIS.

Also, I’ve got a Sunday-sized collaboration effort in the pipeline for CW. Be excited.

Enjoy the puzzle!


Strange Things Are Happening To Me (#82)

NOTE: Even if you solve the .puz version, be sure to check out the PDF version.


Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 82!

In case you hadn’t seen it, FiveThirtyEight featured an article discussing the indie crossword movement this last week. Friend-of-the-show Neville Fogarty got a line in saying “My favorite thing about indie puzzles is the timeliness”, and I couldn’t agree more.

Today’s puzzle is a tribute to the sleeper hit of the summer, and one of my favorite pieces of TV this year. Technically, I should preface it with [Spoiler alert], but I think it’s just fine the way it is. If you haven’t checked it out, I strongly recommend that you do.

Besides that, can’t think of too much else to say. Hope your Labor Day weekend is going well! And since it is Labor Day weekend, I would be remiss not to include puzzle great Mark Halpin’s Labor Day Extravaganza puzzle suite. Take a crack at them. He’s good, and they’re fun.