In case you missed the announcement in the post earlier this morning: beginning this week I'll be posting the weekly puzzles on Tuesday evenings rather than first thing Tuesday morning. Adjust your schedules accordingly.
Being as it's Tuesday evening, I have a new puzzle for you. It's vowelless week once again, so I hope that's alright with you. I'm rather pleased with the way the grid turned out on this one, although I struggled with the cluing a bit.
Cluing a vowelless seems easy at first, because it's actually best not to think too hard lest you come up with something too abstruse. Too many tricky clues = impossible vowelless crossword, I've learned. However, sometimes writing easy clues is just as taxing as writing oblique head-scratchers. First, they have to be unambiguous. If a seemingly easy clue leads obviously to two or more equally valid answers, it's not easy. Second, you can only make clues for proper nouns and pop culture references so easy. I can tell you everything about a song or film or novel except its title, but if you've never heard of it then it's still no help and even correct crossing letters will look like an unintelligible dog's breakfast. I try to reference most or all of the title words in clues like that, but that's not always easy. Lastly, you don't want every clue to be a paragraph. Writing lucid and unambiguous clues is much more difficult when you have constraints on length (well, as I'm sure you noticed, I don't really have constraints, but I really do hate it when the pdf runs to 2 pages). Anyway, I'm never quite sure that I've gotten the difficulty even within the ballpark of where it should be and I agonize over some clues for ages when writing these things, tinkering with the most minute aspects of phrasing and word choice endlessly or until it's 2 in the morning and the puzzle's still not even done let alone posted. Seems to be worth the trouble, though, since I'm evidently getting better at it. A number of solvers have written in to tell me that the vowellesses are getting more approachable and fair and all-round good. Always nice to hear.
Feel free to disregard everything I've said in the last paragraph if this one is insanely unfair.
More words, crossed and otherwise, next Tuesday evening.
As usual, the letter Y is not a part of any answer.
Puzzle: Vowelless #7
PDF (without answer lengths)
PUZ (without answer lengths)
PDF (with answer lengths - EASIER)
PUZ (with answer lengths - EASIER)