Monday, June 13, 2022

Five by Five #7

I think this is a smidge closer to what you'd think a mini puzzle by me would look like than the previous 5x5s have been. Don't feel bad if you have to Google stuff on this one.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Five by Five #6

Hm, is it June already? That means we're halfway through the submission period at AVCX, among other things. One such other thing: me and Alex Boisvert did an acrostic together! Maybe don't do that one at work.

Slightly late Five by Five today because my Internet was being uncooperative the past few days. It's all good now. I make these in advance but I rarely queue them up in advance, is the thing. I hope you enjoy this grid either way.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Five by Five #5

A double dose of Five by Fives this week to make up for lost time. Sid Sivakumar kindly gave this one a whirl before it went to print; what a mensch. I think this is my favorite grid of the initial bunch, on account of how coherent this one feels. 5x5s are kind of punishing to do well on account of you only having ten entries, all of which have to interlock, which makes it sort of a small miracle that this grid has such pleasing symmetry to it (you'll know what I mean after you solve it). Enjoy.

If you didn't do it, I edited an AVCX grid last week by Parker Higgins and Mali Handa titled "Low Scores," which kind of totally rocks!?!? Give it a whirl if you haven't already.

Five by Five #4

Inspired by last week's Times Sunday, which falsely identified 6-Across as a rapper (happy as I was to see him referenced), and also by my friend Allison who interviewed 8-Across recently (which I assume was a life goal of hers, as it would be for any journalist). Enjoy.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Five by Five #3

I know this sounds fake, but I didn't really intend for the theme here to B ("be") a thing until I got to the down entries and said "hey wait a minute." Thank you to Kate Chin Park for playtesting this and assuring me this was not pointlessly forced. (Kelsey helped too but I refuse to thank her for anything.)

P.S.: I think this is a good time to remind anyone reading this blog casually that I have an e-mail address and am always down to chat with people who have considered making crosswords but have no idea where to start, or people who have made crosswords but worry they're not very good at it and want guidance on how to suck less. And I'm really, *really* down to chat with those of you who are going, "gee, I really vibed with this puzzle, Quiara, but I've never really thought of myself as the kind of person who makes crosswords," because I'll level with you: this blog is very much pitched towards other constructors, so if you're gelling with it, you probably do have "constructor brain" (which is definitely a thing) and would probably be decent at puzzlemaking. Or you just really dig Migos, which is a trait more crossword constructors should have anyway. Either way - I don't bite!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Five by Five #2

Belated 5x5 because I had to make a new puzzle to accommodate current events.

Speaking of current events, did you see that last week I had a guest puzzle on BEQ's site!? Everyone loved it, with the exception of nearly every commenter on CrosswordFiend. But everyone else loved it, other than the 36 people on BEQ's site who wrote in to tell me that I am a deranged maniac. But everyone else loved it, if by "everyone" you mean Sam Ezersky (a person who no one on the Internet has EVER said anything mean about):

What an endorsement! See you next week.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Introducing... Five by Five

Hey all! It's been a while. Not that you've been wanting for places to see my byline this past month, between assorted editorial work at AVCX and guest puzzles such as this Toto-themed one to close out Alex Boisvert's "Yacht Rock" series. Not to mention I have an all-new never-before-seen grid in the coolest crossword book of 2022, Inkubator Crosswords: 100 Audacious Puzzles by Women and Non-Binary Creators from Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Anyway, the monthly roundups for March and April are on tap for this week, as is another guest spot on a different blog. But I have a much more exciting feature for you all to check out, namely... the return of Mini Mondays! Or Monday Minis. Or whatever the hell I called them. Called, past tense, because as of today they're now called Five by Fives. You can remember the name because it's what Faith said all the time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and also because the grids are literally 5x5s. I have about eight of these queued up for the next two months, after which point I might get a tad more ambitious with the format. (E.g., I might do a vowelless... or a consonantless... or a squeeze phrase... etc etc.) Because they're so tiny I don't think it's really worth making a PDF or .puz for these.

Anyway, see you Thursday - or possibly before then. Applet ABOVE the cut, because I feel like being quirky and cool.