Cross Nerd phase II begins today. Sorry about the little hiatus there; I'd like to say it won't happen again, but it certainly will. I'll try and shoot for another year of weekly puzzles at least, though, and we'll see what happens. Despite the fact that I've had a year to plan this out, I really have no plan (just like last time!). I made a snap decision (just like last time!) the other night to start constructing again and today's post and puzzle are what came of it. Just like last time (!), the puzzles will be up every Tuesday morning barring extenuating circumstances. Slight format change, though: I'll be running few, if any, standard themed puzzles this time. I might run the odd one if I come up with something really out-there or otherwise unpublishable that I feel is worth making, but I'm more interested in honing my freestyle skills and experimenting with other variety puzzle formats (I would like to run another small series of metas as well). I won't get into all of my reasons right now, but I'm sure I'll touch on many of them in future posts.
I'll be continuing to use this old site for a little while, but I have some ideas for an updated version for the near future. As I said, resurrecting this baby was a spur-of-the-moment decision a few days ago, and I haven't had time to properly revamp the look here yet. All in good time.
Oh, and I'll have another big announcement in the next few weeks re puzzles and Internet. Stay tuned.
Anyway, I'm excited to be a part of the indie puzzler scene again, and I hope you'll drop by again for a solve and a chat.
Today's puzzle is my second-ever attempt at a vowelless. Quite a bit different from my first, which used a much tighter grid and a few more snappy entries. Although there are a few more pedestrian words holding this one together, I was pleased with the relative smoothness of the grid. A few tricky entries, yes, but nothing in the roll-your-own or hunh? categories, I don't think. Hopefully the cluing is fair. The only thing I'm not crazy about, believe it or not, is the long central down entry. It's a reasonably popular book by a well-known author that I really enjoy, but I just don't know that it has the marquee quality that a grid-spanner should. I actually had a completely filled grid with (what I thought was) a much better entry in its place, and a really swish 1-across. Only after cluing 90% of it did I realize that the long down was very close to, but not actually, a legit phrase. Out it went. Running short on time, I tried my darndest to leave the across spanner and the NE and SW corners intact, but for the longest time couldn't find anything that worked as a crossing. Staring vacantly across the room at my bookshelf in resignation and hopeless despair, the answer smacked me right in the face and I had to run with it. Redid the big top and bottom sections (which luckily still admitted the mid-length vertical hooks) and there you have it.
tl;dr - if you don't like the long down entry, just be glad that you're not solving a half-written puzzle.
More words, crossed and otherwise, next Tuesday
NOTE: To avoid uncertainty, I didn't use any answers containing the letter Y.
Puzzle: Vwllss #2
Difficulty: Tough, like any good vowelless (the puzzle is provided both with and without enumerations, though. Enumerations make it much easier)
PUZ (with enumerations)
PDF (with enumerations)
PUZ (no enumerations)
PDF (no enumerations)
Answers (full word list): Answers