Glitchy PUZ Files. Ugh.

Hiya everyone,

It’s come to my attention that aside from this week’s PUZ file link, the ones from other recent puzzles haven’t been working either! My guess is that there is something currently wrong with the file-hosting site itself, so I’m planning on using another for the time being, or perhaps permanently.

Even so, I’m terribly sorry for this inconvenience–especially for those of you that weren’t able to obtain the meta puzzle (#36) in PUZ format!–and I hope this doesn’t continue. If you’re still experiencing errors, PLEASE don’t hesitate to contact me…the sooner I know about this stuff, the sooner I can try and fix it!

Below are updated PUZ links for Puzzles #35-37. I’ll go ahead and update them in other parts of the site shortly. If there are errors with any other PUZ files before then, let me know, and I can move them over to the other site (actually, if there is indeed a problem with the one I’ve been using, I’ll have to move them all…but still, tell me about them!).

Puzzle #37: “Freestyle 12”

Puzzle #36: “There’s Gotta Be A Shortcut”

Puzzle #35: “Moving Van”



The Grid Kid

Puzzle #37: Freestyle 12

Puzzle #37: “Freestyle 12”

Difficulty: Very hard

Downloads:     PUZ      PDF     Last Week’s Solution


UPDATE @ 5/26/15, 10:41 AM: My apologies to those that tried to download the PUZ file, and were faced with a broken link! It should be fixed now though, so have at it. Thanks to Tyler Hinman for pointing this out!

Good morning, all–

Hope you’re having a marvelous Memorial Day Monday thus far, and that the temperature isn’t too high where you are (it certainly is here, but I’ll take 90-degree weather over 40-degree weather any day of the week)! Glad that pools are open, grills are fired up, and parks are full of Little League games and wonderful scenery. Gotta love this time of year!

Quick announcement: Don’t forget that the Indie 500 tournament is THIS SATURDAY in D.C.! Guess who has two thumbs and is super excited for it? THIS GUY. Come say hi to me there…I promise I don’t bite!

Anyway, you may recall that last week’s puzzle was a meta contest, so let’s review! For Puzzle #36, entitled “There’s Gotta Be A Shortcut,” I asked you all to figure out a Rascal Flatts song that would make an excellent theme entry.


From looking at the solution grid above, solvers assumed that the five longest answers, all Across, were thematic and related:

[Eschew a three-mile car ride on weekdays, say] = BIKE TO WORK

[Common soda fountain beverage] = BARQ’S ROOT BEER

[Multiplayer battle arena video game with a limited-time Hexakill game mode] = LEAGUE OF LEGENDS

[1997 rap album with the hit “Triumph”] = WU-TANG FOREVER

[Wrestler who once used another stage name, Akeem, to re-embrace his African roots] = ONE MAN GANG

And indeed they were, as each was a phrase that could be aptly “abbreviated” by a common three-letter texting shortcut: BIKE TO WORK = BTW (“By the way”), BARQ’S ROOT BEER = BRB (“Be right back”), LEAGUE OF LEGENDS = LOL (“Laughing out loud”), WU-TANG FOREVER = WTF (“What the f***”), ONE MAN GANG = OMG (“Oh my god/gosh”). So what Rascal Flatts song could have made for an additional theme entry, yet didn’t make it into the grid? Well, 67 solvers came across I’m Movin’ On,” one of the band’s biggest hits, which can be abbreviated to IMO (“In my opinion”).

There you have it! I received some cool feedback too:

  • Sean notes that my selection of this week’s meta answer was “interesting, given … your previous puzzle title, ‘Moving Van’.” Completely coincidental…I didn’t even notice this!
  • Joel recognizes that I “could have used the Hank Thompson song of the same name if Rascal Flatts isn’t to your taste.” Very true; there were also others by BB King (R.I.P.) and crossword-friendly Yoko Ono, but I figured this selection was by far the most popular and hence the easiest to come across if Google was necessary.
  • Mark writes, after explaining his answer: “So that’s that! Q.E.D.: Quite Easily Done.” Clever.
  • Lawrence also sent me a play on an acronym: “Objectively, Meta Gold.” 🙂

Congrats to those who submitted a correct answer, and a huge thanks to everyone who tried the puzzle out! The winner of the contest, as selected at random through a number generator, is Howard Barkin. Howard will be receiving a pair of The Grid Kid beverage coasters, as promised!

With all that said and done, let’s move onto today’s puzzle. This is another freestyle that happens to be a milestone for me as a constructor: my first-ever “successful” triple stack of 15s! My goal was to find a 15-letter triumvirate that was as smooth and zippy as could be–no A LOT ON ONE’S PLATE, SALES ASSISTANTS, or ADELAIDE’S LAMENT to be found 🙂 Also, with only 66 words and lots of longer fill, I was able to enter a few mini-seeds in 1D and 30D, as well as go all Broda-esque with interesting, wacky, yet inferable longer fill (22D, 32D, 44A). And for those of you that regularly do zillions of puzzles a week, I hope that seeing 2D in a grid is a treat! Regardless, hit me up with feedback in the comments or via email! Thanks, y’all.


The Grid Kid

Puzzle #36: There’s Gotta Be A Shortcut (A Contest Puzzle)

Puzzle #36: “There’s Gotta Be A Shortcut”

Difficulty: Medium-Tough

Downloads:     PUZ      PDF     Last Week’s Solution


Happy Monday, solvers!

I first want to apologize for a small error in my puzzle last week: I had absentmindedly clued MILLI VANILLI as a single “rapper,” rather than a rap “duo”…whoops! Thanks to solver Howard for pointing this out to me! Guess I’ve gotta be a bit more careful, but at least I’m not taking credit for stuff that I haven’t created…ouch.

Let’s jump right into today’s puzzle, the second of its type on my blog. I’m not gonna say a whole lot about it, because, well, it’s a meta contest! For those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, a “meta” element is lying in this grid…it may tie to the theme, the clues, some of the fill, etc…but there is more the puzzle than the simple crossword itself. Google is your friend if you need help! The answer to this week’s meta is a song by Rascal Flatts that would make an excellent theme entry. 

When you think you have the answer, email me ( with your answer in the subject line. Or, if you prefer to use the “Contact” page on this site, please write the answer in ALL CAPS in the beginning of the message. Don’t forget–there will be a prize, so don’t get lazy and forget to reach out to me! One lucky correct answer will receive a set of Grid Kid beverage coasters, signed if desired. I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t need a platform to set a glass of water on while hanging out in the living room? If you would like to be considered for the prize drawing, please have your answer to me by Sunday, May 24, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT.  

A friendly reminder for this week in particular is that you please refrain from posting spoilers publicly; comments are more than welcome, but not if they have anything that will give away parts of the meta to other solvers! Thanks a bunch, y’all.

Oh, and I hate Rascal Flatts. Unlike my “Musical Buildup” puzzle from January, this contest was NOT inspired by any music tastes. It just kinda worked out that way…


The Grid Kid


Puzzle #35: Moving Van

Puzzle #35: “Moving Van”

Difficulty: Mix of clues/fill for every day of the week

Downloads:     PUZ      PDF     Last Week’s Most Recent Solution


I’m baaaaaaack. Ah, and it feels so good! Truly hated being unable to focus much on puzzling in these past few weeks…but since finals are over and summer is coming, it’s time to get back on the grind! That being said, I do want to make a quick announcement, that is borne out of my procrastination and desire not to let you solvers down as much as I do:

FROM NOW ON, MY SITE WILL UPDATE EVERY MONDAY AT NOON, NOT 8 AM. This is so that in case I have much unfinished work in the wee hours, I can sleep it off, wake up early, and finish. I’d rather not have to rush myself on the cluing either, since I truly strive for originality, so long as stuff makes sense. Thank you for understanding, and I hope this’ll be for the better!

This puzzle was inspiring by my moving back to Northern Virginia, and then Baltimore, for the summer. Didn’t need a van for my belongings, but it helped me come up with a simple crossword theme! Now, I worried that something like it had been previously done in a mainstream outlet, so I figured it would be in my best interest to make the collection of theme entries an interesting bunch. It also allowed be to give a shoutout to one of the best indie constructors in the business! (Don’t click until after solving, but you BETTER click once you’re finished!)

A few construction notes y’all might find interesting:

  • Of course, the grid is an odd 25×17; I did this because it allowed for the best placement of theme entries. Besides, who doesn’t love it when they’re double stacked, and the crossers are generally smooth?
  • I didn’t even notice until after construction that not a single non-theme answer is greater than 7 letters! New constructors, don’t try this at home. Bad Grid Kid. Fortunately, a good amount of these “middle range” answers are pretty lively; I’m partial to 11A, 40A, 58A, 74A, 89A, 98A, 33D, 37D, 79D, and 81D.
  • While I know several of you will scowl at answers like 25A and 46A, as they’re widely unfamiliar, I much prefer them to any crosswordese when constructing indie puzzles. In fact, the two “cheater squares” in the top-right and bottom-left corners were initially unused, but I didn’t like how stale the top-right felt. Although it is now a bit proper noun-heavy to my liking, I figure it has the potential to be more exciting/interesting to my solving audience here. Let me know if you disagree, of course; the only way I can cater to you solvers is through your responses!

Anyway, enjoy today’s offering, and may Naticks not be a problem! I’ll be back next Monday with a new puzzle, I promise!


The Grid Kid