Need sleep. Thus, short post. I went balls out on crosswords early last week, preparing a few new NYT submissions and putting myself 2 weeks ahead on the blog puzzles...or at least that's how I remembered it. I opened up this week's offering at 10pm tonight intending to put the finishing touches on it, and discovered that I had written exactly 3 clues. Bad ones too. Since I normally find cluing a bit of a slog and almost never do an entire puzzle's worth in one sitting, I was worried for the quality of this puzzle. Ironically, I think I ended up doing some of my best cluing tonight (and probably some of my worst, but it'll get the job done), but that's probably just the delirium talking.
Seeing as I promise reviews right in my header yet only ever talk about my own puzzles, try this one on for size: BEQ's Themeless Monday this week was a real corker; easily my favourite from him in who knows how long. He's always fresh, but his puzzles (at least the free ones) tend to have that rough-around-the-edges "indie" feel (I'm not complaining; he's one of my all-time faves and he's been pumping out an average of 2.5 freebies/week for 3 years). This one felt really smooth and elegant, though, and the whiz-bang fill is exceptionally dense. If you're used to crossnerd difficulty, though, well, may god have mercy on your soul...
Also, this (which is linked to from BEQ's page as well) is the most brilliant thing I have ever seen in my life. It's part of this year's M.I.T. Mystery Hunt, which is a weekend-long puzzle-binge extravaganza. If you, like me, don't have an entire evening and a crack team of puzzlers at your disposal, I suggest just peeping the answer. Prepare to be astonished (and remember that this whole "yo dawg" puzzle is like a 20th of the entire Mystery Hunt).
Lastly, my band Ink Road is playing at The Gaslight with The Dustin Ritter Band on Saturday night. If you swing by, mention you heard about the gig here and I'll buy you a drink.
Puzzle: Open the Gates
Download the PDF and PUZ files here, or solve or download the Across Lite puzzle and/or software from the Java app below.