Woohoo, it's Sid's Grids' 50th puzzle! Celebrating today with a tricky themeless. I was inspired by Nam Jin Yoon's experimentation with off-center stair-stacks, and discovered this grid pattern with two vertical stair-stacks of 8-letter entries. The always-great Brooke Husic helped me tighten up the clues. Hope you enjoy it!
Updates from Crossworld: So many excellent indie constructors have recently emerged on the scene. If you like crossword puzzles, but you're not subscribed to Matt Gritzmacher's daily puzzle newsletter, you're missing out — he diligently catalogs every crossword puzzle out there. Here's a smattering of people whose work I've really enjoyed:
Quiara Vasquez has been writing razor-sharp, R-rated, devious clues over at her new blog, QVXwordz. Plus, she makes outstanding cultural references I've never once thought to put into a crossword puzzle.
David Gold is currently releasing a Hannukah-themed cryptic crossword meta suite, day by day, on avid puzzler. I'm slowly warming up to cryptics, but David's work is easy to recommend — his puzzles are very accessible and fun.
Will Eisenberg has been constructing superb puzzles for a while, but recently launched his own indie site, Half-Baked Puzzles. Each post includes a picture of a baked good that Will made. My only gripe is that he hasn't shared any of his food with me.
Erik Agard signal-boosted this transition fund a while back — if you have the means to do so, please contribute (even $1 helps!). When the fundraiser reaches 400 donors, Erik, Matthew Stock, David Gold and I have each pledged to release a new puzzle.
Lastly: I've recently had several puzzles run in other places! Check them out by visiting the "More" tab above.