Mini 3

 This is called Mini 3, despite being the first mini on this blog, since I previously posted 2 minis on Crosshare only (one of which I think is pretty great). It is also arguably not a mini, since I know 9x puzzles are often big enough to count as midis, but since I currently have no interest in making anything smaller than 7x and limited interest in making anything smaller than 9x, these count as minis here. Frankly, I don't plan to post a ton of them, since I feel like I'm now at the point where making 15x (or at least 11x) puzzles is better practice, but sometimes you got to do something small and quick, you know?

Anyways, this time, my reason for doing something small and quick is that I have, once again, redone my word list set up, which I'm learning is a never-ending task. This is equal parts fascinating and frustrating for me, given that most of my actual work involves cleaning and processing a lot of language data, but I'm hoping my current efforts will pay out in future puzzles (and am very happy to share my work with other constructors). Beyond that, the seeds here should be fairly obvious once I tell you that my seed list is heavily focused on both Internet culture and female singer-songwriters (and I've had the clue for 6A rattling around in my head for a bit).

Thanks to my sister for test solving. If you have any thoughts on the puzzle (or on word lists), hit me up!

Puz file for bot friends | Direct Crosshare link

Eleven (collab with Norah Sharpe)

Here's a new puzzle, and this time, it's a collab with Norah Sharpe, who is an excellent constructor and also probably one of the most supportive people on the crossword Internet. She's doing NaCroWriMo, a challenge where you try to construct one puzzle per day in November (which wow), which was a great impetus to finish up this collab. Kudos to Norah for finding an excellent grid spanner (and general grid set up) based on one of my dumb tweets, and I think the resulting puzzle is pretty great!

From Norah:
We're calling this "Eleven" because it's #11 in my NaCroWriMo series (see more here). Rose is another one of those folks that you know is gonna be great right from the jump. After I solved her demi with Brooke (on Ada's site here), I knew I wanted to collab. And the opportunity presented itself just a few days later by way of this totally-spoilery tweet, which as soon as I saw I sent Rose a message and said, "how about a 15x themeless banger?" because of course I did. I took a few runs at a grid until we found one we both liked enough, and this is it. I love Rose's fresh and fun cluing style, and I hope you have as much fun solving as we did making it. 💜

Puz file for our bot friends (and humans too) | Direct crosshare link

Halloween Themeless

Happy (almost) Halloween! Have a new puzzle... and a new blog! All of the crossword cool kids seem to have them, so I figured I was due for a proper blog to post my puzzles. I'm not planning to post on any regular schedule, but definitely stay tuned for more puzzles!

This puzzle came from two things. First, one thing I've really found I like is puzzles that look and play more or less like themeless puzzles but have a lot of entries or clues related to a semi-theme. Halloween is fun and gives me plenty to work with, so I figured I'd do something seasonal. Second, I've been trying to learn how to fill a themeless grid, since I don't really have much experience working with 15x themelesses. I think I made some tradeoffs here for the sake of the semi-theme that I might not make elsewhere, but I'm pretty happy with the end result, and it's definitely a learning process. (Maybe next time I'll go wild and learn what a stack is.)

On a technical note, I'm planning to continue using Crosshare to host and embed the actual puzzles, which means that puz and PDF options are built into the applet. (Edit: here's a direct puz link for those of you who don't want to deal with the applet, because, say, you're a bot. We love our bots here.) Let me know if anything doesn't work or if there's a good reason for me to switch software. In general, if you have any comments about the applet, the puzzle, or just overall crossword stuff, feel free to contact me via Twitter, Discord, or the comments here. Thanks to Norah and my sister for test solving, and enjoy!

Test Post: Fearless Leader

 I made this puzzle in June, and I think it's the first puzzle I made on my own. Since it's the only 15x puzzle I had on Crosshare (and, while I hope I've improved as a constructor, I still quite like it), I'm posting it here to test out my blogging/embedding interface.