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Puzzle 56 - Themeless #42 (with Brooke Husic)

Quick note - I am going to extend the deadline on the meta contest to Sunday, February 7th at 8 PM Pacific Time. I may have made it too hard, but I know a few people are close!

Anyways - very delighted to bring you a collaboration with the inimitable Brooke Husic (who dropped a killer puz yesterday)! This is our first published full collab, where we both do some of the grid & some of the clues (this beaut was a grid/clue split). Certainly won't be the last!

  • Big thank you to Will Nediger for test-solving!
  • Make sure you check out Malaika Handa's 7xwords and sign up if you haven't! I have today's puzzle and Brooke has tomorrow's!





  1. I'm 69 years old and have been doing indie puzzles for quite a while, but this stinker just re-enforces my belief that young constructors like you two REALLY live in a different world than I do...zsnaps and copypasta....gimme a break!

    1. Hey, thanks for swinging by! We both feel that crosswords are a great opportunity to learn new things that might be outside people's comfort zones. With stuff like that, we take extra care to ensure crossings are fair so the puzzle is still solvable & enjoyable. Hope to see you back on February 8th!

      PS - the real stinker was a few weeks ago ;)

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    3. Glad you took time out of your day to give some constructive feedback.

      I have never quite understood the backlash against current cultural references, beyond the "I don't know that so it's BS" instinct. If anything, current references are more fair than the 24th most popular Beatles song or a character from some random-ass 1979 sitcom. Many solvers weren't alive then. However, everyone who is solving puzzles today has the chance to experience, partake, and live current cultural phenomena. If you have a problem with learning new things, let me know and I will give you a full refund.

      Love, a 30-year old dad who is definitely losing touch of what's "cool", and aspires to not be so damn crotchety about whatever kids are doing in the 2050s.

  2. Thanks for providing this very challenging puzzle! To the older solvers, I am just a few years older than Brooke and Brian and I still didn't know a bunch of stuff in here, so it's probably not your age that is holding you back :) I pair solved with my boyfriend and it took us almost an hour to get this beast done and we had to look some stuff up, but I personally loved learning that z snaps has a specific name (I laughed out loud!) and learning about copypasta for the first time. No one is holding you here and forcing you to do the puzzle (that these talented constructors have generously provided for free). I like it when I get the opportunity to try puzzles like this that are so different from what is generally published.


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