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Puzzle 7 - Themeless #5

First of all, a couple shoutouts, to Will Nediger and Christopher Adams for linking over here (and doubly so for Christopher, who helped out w/ a couple clues in this puzzle). You're probably already doing their puzzles, but if you're not, go do them!

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tbh I'm still bummed about Tuesday and still don't feel like posting a bunch about the puzzle. I tried to make this one a bit more difficult - should be reasonable & fair though. Anyways, political rant below, feel free to skip (i guess you don't ever have to read anything I write, but typing it out Wednesday morning was very cathartic).

Weird how all the people who live near the homeless "problem" didn't vote for the person who wanted to round up the homeless.

Spokane had a mere 25% turnout, and we're rewarded with a mayor bought and paid for by real estate developers. Hooray for more strip malls and unwalkable neighborhoods! She ran a campaign entirely on dehumanizing the homeless, she denies climate change, has zero political experience and put out precisely one policy plan: treatment or jail for homeless folks (nevermind that 2/3 of the homeless aren't addicted to anything, and our jail is already overcrowded). Nadine didn't even show up at a candidate forum on homelessness before the election where she could have actually spoken to homeless folks on issues important to them. Everyone else managed to but not the one person who made it the singular issue of her campaign. Spokane's a cool little city and has been on an upswing the past 5 years, but no, let's not vote in the dude who's been council president for the past 8 years and has had a big hand in that turnaround. Let's elect a TV personality with no experience or ideas who's running on hatred. Sure is going well in the other Washington. Fuck.

Speaking of the homeless "problem", aka the only issue Nadine made her campaign about (while conveniently ignoring the fact that our homeless population has been steady over the past few years). The homeless "problem" isn't that poor people happen to exist in the same city as you. The homeless "problem" isn't that your suburban ass feels slightly uncomfortable when you step outside your picket fence and perfectly manicured lawn and see people that can't afford a place to sleep at night. The real homeless problem is that in the wealthiest nation in all of human history, we still have people who freeze to death because they don't have a place to sleep, who will go hungry because they can't afford food, who will get sick & die because they can't afford to go to the doctor. And they don't ever get a voice to do something about it because our society drops a big fat deuce on them every chance we get.

Don't worry though, we managed to be gigantic morons on a statewide scale too. Washington voted to gut our transportation budget by lowering car tab fees unilaterally to $30 (except electric cars, which cost $75 MORE). It's okay, the planet's not on fire or anything, we should totally be encouraging more 5,000 pound toxic murder machines on wheels all to lug a single person around from strip mall to strip mall. Oh, and we also will  ban affirmative action, it's super close right now. Racism's over in America, didn't you hear? Never mind that there is a literal white supremacist in the state legislature (Matt Shea, look that fucker up if you haven't heard of him). We actually managed to erase centuries of oppression just by electing a black guy President a decade ago. Go us.

not bitter at all or anything. 25 fucking percent turnout.

Puzzle 6 - Themeless #4

My son Austin turns one today! He's a rockstar :)


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52-Down is a cover. Had no idea til now.

  • Another pretty grid today. I don't really aim for an aesthetically pleasing block layout, but it's nice when it happens naturally.
  • ABBY Caddabby of Sesame Street deserves a clue somewhere - almost every ABBY clue is some form of [Dear ___].
  • Couple of songs I remember from growing up get clues today. I've grown out of most of the angsty nu-metal stuff I was into around 14, but will always love Hybrid Theory and Meteora.
  • Come back next time - the next two lined up are also themeless!

Puzzle 5 - High Pitched

You probably already have, but if not, go get Queer Qrosswords 2! Haven't done them all yet, so far they're fantastic, money goes to a good cause, just go do them.

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10/20/19 - updated clue for 51-Across to make it not theme-related.

This puzzle is, say, 3/5 difficulty-wise. I made it a year ago, dropped it off in the mail, and the next Thursday, the NYT ran a puzzle with the same revealer. Then, a couple weeks later, so did the WSJ. Wasn't too surprised a few months later when I got the rejection email, even though it is a different take on the general idea.


  • Still can't quite believe how nicely the last themer & revealer fit together. Extremely serendipitous & it allowed me to space things out and let the middle of the grid breathe a bit.
  • Make sure you vote in your local elections! Local elections matter & your voice goes a lot further on a local level!
  • In purply-indigo-ish Spokane, our mayoral race is between a 2 term city councilman, who used to direct a nonprofit helping low income folks in schools, pushes alternative modes of transportation, and prioritizes dense, infill, urban development. His opponent has zero political experience, was a local TV personality, denies climate change, and is running a campaign solely around adding suburban sprawl and criminalizing poverty. Fun stuff. I'd love to be more optimistic but am very nervous for Election Night.
  • In happier events, I'm DMing a D&D game tonight! This is my...3rd session running things so far - it's wonderfully exhausting & we haven't screwed things up too badly. The party's taking their level 3 characters into the Underdark, so...uh...we'll see how they do.
  • Come back on the 28th for another themeless!

Puzzle 4 - Themeless #3

Another themeless on the menu this week. I need to find a way to mess with the website theme so that it doesn't mess up the link formatting unless I type here.

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  • I think this one will be...3.5/5 for difficulty? Tough to say.
  • 33-Across, the seed entry, is ludicrously catchy. It came on one day while painting and has been stuck in my head for the past month.
  • I learned a lot of science & biology writing clues. 40-Across and 13-Down were fun to research, and I got sucked into Wikipedia for a good hour reading about wolves for 33-Down.
  • This Saturday's Universal puzzle is mine, it's good, go check it out in a few days!
  • I leave you with a gorgeous picture of Spokane. I quite like it here :)