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Showing posts from November, 2020

Puzzle 49 - Themeless #38

For the past month, both our munchkins (4 & 2) have called each other, us, the dog, or the tiniest inconvenience 37-Across approximately 28 times per day. It's honestly pretty adorable...most of the time.

Before I get to the next part - big thanks to Brooke Husic for test-solving & cleaning up a few things!

I would really appreciate it, if once you're done with the puzzle, you'd scroll down and read my thoughts (unrelated to this puzzle).





Content warning for everything below: child sexual assault


One thing I've been meaning to write about for a while and haven't really got around to - constructors and editors should stop referencing Michael Jackson in crossword puzzles. Entries, clues, themes, anything.

There is a lot of room between "acceptable in a crossword puzzle" and "convicted of a crime". I do not want to start a debate about whether Michael Jackson was a child molester or not. I don't definitively know, and neither do you.

I went to a small Catholic K-8 school. I was an altar boy for much of that time. I want to be very clear - I, or anyone that I knew, was never abused, touched inappropriately, or anything of that sort. Our priest & deacon at the time are wonderful, kind people that I still keep in touch with. However, in about 7th grade, stories came out about priests sexually abusing children from a generation ago. At my school. In rooms that I had spent a lot of time in. Many of the victims' last names were familiar. Grown adults committed suicide, decades after they were abused. The rampant sexual abuse (and it wasn't just at my childhood church) was denied & covered up until the early 2000s when I was in middle school.

To this day, the Catholic Church has painted themselves as the victim.

It was really easy for me to identify with the abused children. "That could have been me" ran through my head quite a bit. There are a couple of incredible articles really detailing the heinous crimes that I go back and reread every couple of years. The disclosure of these abuses is very much a traumatic, formative memory of mine - and again, neither I nor anyone that I knew was abused or involved in any sort of capacity.

Whenever I see a Michael Jackson clue, a little part of my heart sinks. I cannot begin to imagine what that would feel like for someone who was sexually abused as a child (or a parent) - to be blindsided with trauma while doing what should be a fun, entertaining diversion.

One in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult (source: RAINN). That's a lot of solvers. I'd really like constructors and editors to think of them when they're working on a puzzle.

Puzzle 48 - Themeless #37

Finally got around to setting things up with Amuse Labs & PuzzleMe! Woohoo! Don't worry, links below for those that prefer PDF/PUZ files.

This puzzle was seeded from a Twitch chat with Chris Piuma - he streams crosswords/spelling bee/other word games every day at 8 AM Pacific time - come hang out! Chris also has his own site with plenty of fun puzzles!




Puzzle 47 - Themeless #36 (with Matthew Stock and Brooke Husic)






Notes from Matthew & Brooke:

We're really proud of this puzzle! When discussing it this past week, we both thought about how we appreciate each other for challenging crossword conventions. We're both super grateful to Brian for the guest spot. His puzzles are consistently spectacular!

Look for more from our byline in some familiar places soon! 🔥🎩

As y'all probably know, I adore both Matthew and Brooke and think pretty much everything they do is brilliant. Absolutely honored to be hosting this puzzle - just look at those gorgeous interlocking stack corners! Going to brag (sorta, I'm not a speed solver by any stretch of the imagination) here and say I was able to finish it just under 15 minutes.

If you liked this, go check out their own blogs - Brooke, Matthew

If you didn't like this, what's wrong with you? 

Puzzle 46 - Themeless #35

Whew! Taking the weekend to enjoy the victory then getting back to work :)

Also, next week's puzzle should have the PuzzleMe interface baked into the blog - would have done it for this time but the kids completely forgot how to sleep through the night.