Puzzle #2 – Suggestibility

size: 15x15
style: themed
difficulty: 3/5 I think? I don't really know how to gauge this yet.

I'll try to be quick with the body of this post since I'm trying to work on my brevity in writing. Today's puzzle is themed. I think it works well, but it could have been better if other potential themers had the forethought to match letter counts with each other. Oh well. I'll let the puzzle speak for itself.

Also, from now on the flavor image will simply be a still from any movie (or TV, selectively) scene I was reminded of while making the puzzle, which doesn't have any direct connection to any clues, without any other context. Bonus points if you can identify the movie and what connection it may have to any of the entries (the connections may be pretty cosmic—my brain tends to connect things that aren't really connected pretty often). Today's should be pretty easy.

Anyway, enjoy! 

puz / pdf / solution

Other potential themer entries included GEORGEBUSH, FREDDIEPRINZE, JOHNKENNEDY, KINGLOUIS/KINGHENRY/etc. and others I'm sure I'm forgetting. I absolutely did not mean for this puzzle to end up as being quasi-sports themed, but here we are. I also would have loved to include more female entries, but the nature of the theme made it practically impossible (if you can find any mothers who named their sons after them, let me know! Jada Pinkett Smith/Jaden Smith was the closest I could come up with) for the themers. 

Puzzle #1 – Use Your Words!

size: 9x9 (midi)
style: themeless
difficulty: 2/5 

Okay, so, I'll be the first to admit—Puzzle #0 was kind of a disaster, but that's why I called it Puzzle #0! It had too many problems to list: Problems with grid fill, with entries, and with cluing. I appreciate all of the feedback, negative and positive, and I especially appreciate everyone who has given me tips so far on how I can make the next one better.

And here's my attempt at better! It was clear to me that one of my biggest problems was grid fill—I simply settled for crappy fill in my first puzzle way too often, and it led to poor entry choices and weird cluing angles. With this puzzle, I focused on getting a nice, clean fill before doing anything—then I had fun with the cluing. Those of you who liked my cluing style from #0 should enjoy this one as well. It's on the easier side, with less ridiculous wordplay/obscure geography trivia, and more cross references/funny clues.

Thank you to Quiara Vasquez for the test solve! This would have gone up with lots of head-tilts (not the 5-down kind) and minor technical errors had she not provided her thoughts. Happy solving!

puz / pdf

"Buzz, your girlfriend! 7-across!"