Puzzle #5: Freestyle 3

Puzzle #5: “Freestyle 3”

Difficulty: Mild or difficult…you choose!

Mild Clues Download:     PUZ     PDF

Difficult Clues Download:     PUZ     PDF

Last Week’s Solution


Good morning, solvers!

Happy Monday; hope the day is off to a good start, and that you enjoyed the NCAA & NFL games this weekend as much as I did. Anyone else ready for the MLB postseason?? I’ll be rocking my orange and black all week!

Today’s puzzle is brought to you by an unexpected change of plans. I had initially set out to present a themed puzzle this week, which featured a pretty crazy concept and some interesting fill as a result. However, per my test solver’s reaction and my own doubts, I want to think it through some more because the gimmick is a bit unclear at this stage…and I obviously don’t want to publish a puzzle that will only perplex (whoa, alliteration, chill). And since I’m a procrastinator, as all my friends and family know, I didn’t have the time to design a brand new puzzle before today.

So what I have here is an NYT rejected themeless from a few months ago that I just couldn’t part with…though I wanted to do something first to both make it easier and remove the metaphorical cobwebs from it. Creating a fresh set of different clues killed both these birds with one stone, so I’m delighted to present to you both the original “difficult” version and its “mild” modification! Which one should you choose, you might ask? Well, if you’re looking for more of a challenge and some diabolically clever clues, go with the difficult version. If you want something much easier with more pop culture and racy/explicit references, then the mild version is a better choice. And if you want them both, there’s an additional $0.00 charge that you can pay to me using this link. Uh…enjoy!


The Grid Kid





Puzzle #4: Freestyle 2

Puzzle #4: “Freestyle 2”

Difficulty: Upper-end medium

Downloads:     PUZ      PDF     Last Week’s Solution


Welcome back, solvers!

Drove 15 hours this weekend–from UVA to Cornell and back–so I am incredibly wiped out. Totally worth it though. However, it left me less time to focus on writing my weekly post, so this one is kinda short. Anyway, this week’s puzzle is a freestyle/themeless with 29 answers of 7+ letters. Hopefully that’s a good thing; I tried to make it all as clean and zippy as possible. Clued it all up in a bit of crunch time, though I hope that doesn’t mean any of its quality has been diminished! You be the judge. Nevertheless, enjoy this Monday, and I’ll be back in a week with hopefully more to say!


The Grid Kid

Puzzle #3: Ivy-Covered

Puzzle #3: “Ivy-Covered”

Difficulty: Easy

Downloads:     PUZ      PDF     Last Week’s Solution


Good morning, solvers–

Welcome back to my blog! I hope that you’re having a pleasant Monday morning, and that you’re not as tired as I am in this 8 AM Econ discussion. As you’ve probably noticed, this site has undergone quite a makeover (including a shameful color change to my shameful self-portrait); this is because I realized a flaw in the previous layout that made the pages look kinda ugly. So this is it from now on, and I better not have to change everything again!

Let’s move on to the crossword. My goal is to provide some contrast in these first few weeks to see what you all like, so today’s puzzle is a nice, light offering (at least compared to my first two puzzles). That being said, I’ve ensured that the fun factor is on a par with my normal levels, and I hope you’ll enjoy the solve! I’m always open to suggestions, requests, and whatnot, so let me know what you think!


The Grid Kid

UPDATE, 10:09 AM: It appears the .puz file can’t be downloaded onto mobile devices in this new format. Looking into this now, sorry for the inconvenience!

UPDATE, 10:29 AM: Temporarily fixed this link, although it involves one extra click. Problem was within Dropbox for whatever reason, which I’ll continue to look into more. Meh. Enjoy, iPuzzlers!

UPDATE, 9:59 PM: A little late now, but the .puz link from Dropbox has been completely restored! Self-diagnosis: for whatever reason, the apostrophe next to the close quote in the 55D clue caused the whole uploaded file to go haywire! Who knew? Apostrophe has been removed. Problem solved, unless you’re a persnickety grammarian.





Puzzle #2: Freestyle 1

Puzzle #2: “Freestyle 1”

Difficulty: Some gimmes + some trickery = medium

Downloads:     PUZ      PDF     Last Week’s Solution


Good morning, solvers!

Hope the weekend went well, and that your Monday is off to a good start! Today’s an early day for me, as I’ve got a 9 AM Statics class followed by 10 AM Probability and Statistics…ugh. But after that I’m done, so I’ll be returning to the comfort of my own bed and sawing logs while a bunch of you are solving. If you’re reading this, I’m guessing my puzzle last week wasn’t too much of a bear, and you figured out that STARTING LINEUP meant to enter the first word of each theme answer–a word that can precede “line”–going upwards! The full solution can be accessed via the corresponding link above, in case you missed it.

UVA Magazine wrote a pretty cool article recently, in case anyone’s interested in reading it 🙂

Administrative announcements: Last week’s debut post got me a lot more views than I expected, and I just wanna say a huge thanks to everyone who visited, shared, and more! That being said, feel free to keep spreading the word to others, and if you’re interested, add yourself to the email list using the sidebar at the bottom right of the home page.

Sigh, I’ve already written too much, so I’ll keep this part concise. This week’s puzzle is a freestyle/themeless/whatever you wanna call it, and I hope it’s to your liking! Wacky entries beware…


The Grid Kid

P.S.: Here’s some nice Monday music. Enjoi.

Puzzle #1: Kickoff Conundrum

Puzzle #1: “Kickoff Conundrum”

Difficulty: Tricky

Downloads:     PUZ      PDF


Happy Monday, and welcome to my weekly blog!

I’m honored you’re here, and I hope you enjoy what I’ve whipped up for today! My goal is to have a new, completely original crossword puzzle posted here every Monday, so you can kick your week off with a good brain sharpener. I’ll be providing each puzzle in both AcrossLite and PDF formats, as per the standards, and will post the solution the following week. The rating widget at the top of each post will give you an opportunity to let me know what you thought about the puzzle; comments are strongly encouraged, as I’d love to hear from you! Also, feel free to check out the About Me page if you’re curious, and use the Contact page if you’d like to reach out to me directly and privately.

Now to the puzzles: I plan to mix it up fairly well between themed and themeless puzzles, but may lean a bit towards the latter because they’re more fun for me to construct. They will be collectively varied in difficulty, which I will specify on each post, although very few should be tougher than an NYT Thursday to solve. As an “indie” publisher, I can assure you there will be a handful of off-color entries, but my intent is for these to strengthen the puzzles rather than hinder the solving experience.

I think that’s all I’ve got for my “administrative announcements,” so let’s kick this thing off with Puzzle #1 (and some music)!


The Grid Kid