Andrea Carla Michaels
Andrea Carla Michaels 

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42 puzzles by Andrea Carla Michaels — 21 solos and 21 collaborations (4 Sundays)

with constructor comments

See the answer words debuted by Andrea Carla Michaels.

*** Click any puzzle to see the full view. ***


Mon 3/3/2014
WALSHPJSSCANT
AMATIHAHUHHUH
DIVANDIVABRAKE
SEENTOARCIBEX
ZANYOUTS
PATTERNPATTER
IBEGOAPIANO
FREETOWNFREETOW
WELSHGOOESE
EASTERNEASTER
REPOLIRA
BRIOMBAEUGENE
BADGELEARNLEAR
QUEENERRKENTS
SLANGROTSTYLE

ANDREA: Started with an email from my friend and partner in many puzzles, Michael Blake, asking if I wanted in on the theme. EASTERNEASTER and PATTERNPATTER had come to him in his sleep and they weren't in the database.

I thought this was a neat and weird concept, x n x, which could be parsed two ways, and was more than just add an N. Will thought it was original too, which pleased us.

We called it LIVE n LEARN even though that wasn't the exact thing we were doing, but the feel we wanted to communicate. We discarded many ideas, they weren't as easy to come up and be clear and/or amusing as we thought, but then we got a nice set together.

I added DIVANDIVA and LEARNLEAR because I wanted them to make the most surface sense possible. Michael then came up with the wonderful FREETOWNFREETOW which went neatly across the middle. Can't imagine who came up with a pangram for the fill! :)

Mon 12/23/2013
COLACRESTBONG
RAIDCINCOAMOR
ORZOSPERMWHALE
PSALMMICANAG
PIGGYBACKING
METHANEETON
ABOMASCOJOS
TAKEITTOTHEBANK
EYESQUOIWII
MOETBREASTS
RIVERPHOENIX
AVECOENOINKS
FOGMACHINEOOOH
TRAMHANOIMAKE
SYNESTERNSHOD

ANDREA:

Michael and I met at a construction lunch and became good friends a half dozen years ago. Many of our puzzles are from something one or the other of us has spontaneously said at lunch and we expand it into a puzzle. Because the puzzle was based on an idea Michael originally had, he gets top billing on this one. This is our 6th published collaboration, but we've made at least a dozen more that have been published elsewhere, or for private clients, or have (gulp) been rejected.

We have very different styles and senses of humor, but share a respect for each other and usually have dozens of backs and forths about what we can and can not live with, usually managing to work it all out. We offer advice on each other's individual work as well. And it was Michael who brought me into this century by insisting I learn how to use a computer to aid my construction and to facilitate our collaborations. This puzzle went through eight or so iterations as we tried to make it as smooth as possible.

This is a traditional puzzle type (this word follows these words ...) but we were excited because we had a nice 15 reveal across the middle and four theme entries that had not been used before: SPERM WHALE, PIGGYBACKING, FOG MACHINE. Two 10s, two 12s and a 15 reveal seemed like a lot of material for a Monday, so I thought this would be a Tuesday, but I think I'm seared in Will's brain as Miss Monday. So be it!

What we liked is that there are so many kinds of banks, river banks, sperm banks, piggy banks, fog banks (a nod to SF where we both reside), so room to play! Plus we loved the cheekiness of SPERMWHALE as well as the X in RIVERPHOENIX. And yes, we went for the pangram. Originally we had JAH/JONG but it was for a Monday/Tuesday level and Michael couldn't live with JAH, but was able to change OBOE to OJOS and preserve the J!

KOKO is snuck into the lower corner as a tribute to the Siamese I had for 16 years who was my closest companion. The only other private shout out is to the COEN brothers, as they are fellow Jews from Minneapolis. When we made this puzzle a year and a half ago, "No Country for Old Men" was their big hit. I've asked Will to update the clue to their new smash "Inside Llewyn Davis", but it may be too soon, or that film title might not be Monday level.

Tue 10/15/2013
GRUBAILSJIHAD
LISAKNEEONONE
ATMSIFATSTATE
MACINTOSHHEXED
LIARCUR
TOXICMECHANIC
ADASHNRAGLO
MICKEYMOUSECLUB
PUTEEKNAOMI
MOCCASINTROPE
HUHUSES
SEDERMUCKRAKER
EVICTELLELOVE
GEEKSANEWEKED
ANTSYDAISSOLO

ANDREA: Post-ACPT 2010, Patrick suggested M*C idea, knowing i like to do this kind of AEIOU puzzle. I came up with preliminary entries, most held to the end, though the MIC was MICROPHONESTAND. Really love MICKEYMOUSECLUB so much more, esp with EEK under MOUSE! (and I snuck in my Siamese cat KOKO)

We talked about adding MCC (MCCOURT) and /or MRC Mr Clean. Maybe MYC MYCENAE...maybe even a MDC snuck in there. PB did a version with SEVEN of them, but the MUC (MUCHADO) lacked the MAC, MEC, MIC, MOC sound. So we decided to scale back and just do a clear, solid, fun alphabet run. I made a new grid having just learned how to use Crossfire, that my other frequent collaborator Michael Blake insisted I learn. The peppy original cluing is all Patrick. Though not a pangram, two Xs and seven Ks (!) make up for no QZ.

Many of my puzzle partners are new folks I've mentored, but Patrick's role with me is that he always takes my ideas and bumps them up many notches. Always. :)

PATRICK: Flattery will get you everywhere. ;)

Working with Andrea is a lot of fun; her vivacious energy is quite infectious. Glad we scaled back our original theme ambitions on this one, though I do like the idea of adding some consonants to the usual "vowel run" theme. Maybe next time!

Mon 7/29/2013
ACMELAPAZCAGE
BOOTABABALULL
EPICNODOZIDEE
HEARTWARMING
NSCSITHEBONY
TAROTASIF
EYEROLLINGDIAM
SHAMPOOOLEANNA
TIMEGUTBUSTING
TODOSATIN
SUSHIROSESEA
KNEESLAPPING
ITEMICEAXAJAX
MIMECADREZONE
PEENKNOTSEGGS
This was a simple idea, parts of the body used in "in the language" phrases... EYEROLLING, HEARTWARMING, etc. was hoping solvers would continue the game by coming up with their own. Looked for a unifying theme, came up with different types of stories. I would not have had two "Like a Hilarious story" but would have preferred four different clues, building in the direction from HEARTWARMING to GUTBUSTING.

As in in-joke I put my initials (and the name of my naming company) ACME at 1-Across because I had been accused of having a lot of self-referential mentions, but it's only the 3rd time in 40 puzzles that I've had ACME in one of my puzzles (and one of those was a collaboration). However, ACME appears very frequently in puzzles, but not by me!

You are more likely to find lots of Scrabbly letters or a pangram or a Beatles reference in one of my puzzles than my initials!

Mon 6/17/2013
TOASTHARAFADS
IRAQIYVESICET
VIRUSDISCRIPA
OGEEPRAIRIEDOG
AREADIGESTS
JACKINTHEBOX
OROONEAERICAS
BLOCSRATAME
SOLONGPVTSLOW
CARDOORLOCKS
KOOKIERCOOT
INTERNETADEGOS
TREYAWEDSLOAN
EYREDONOALOHA
REIDENDSPOPUP

ANDREA:

This is my second collaboration with Johanna Fenimore whom I have still yet to meet face to face. We had a fun add-an-o puzzle Tues 7/5/2011. Now Johanna had come up with a super fun idea of things that "pop up".

We both love puzzles that are visual and peppy. She had PRAIRIEDOG and JACKINTHEBOX (love that J and X) and maybe INTERNETAD. we needed a fourth, as Will felt PINGPONGBALL didn't "pop up" in the same way. It was a bitch coming up with a fourth 12 letter word. I think after a lot of trial and error, Johanna landed upon CARDOORLOCKS! Done!

(If only it were CARDOORLOCKZ we'd have had a pangram!)

I added TOAST at 1-Across and matched it with POPUP as the last word. It was a true collaboration and still so funny that we've never met.

Sun 1/6/2013PUZZLE ENVY
DADASSISTSJACKSNAN
ARATURNPROEBOATUZI
NIGHTVISIONJOULEMEX
COMEASANYBURNERERE
ISAACKNEEPANTSLURID
NORTHVIETNAMESEINI
SEENSSRLENSCAP
ANNSLEDTRIPIGUANA
BIASDROSSANIONBLEW
EXTORTNAPAVALLEYVWS
OILYNOVACANCYUTAH
ANONOWVOYAGERSLALOM
MENSSTAREERODEDUPE
PRAISENYROWENDEEL
MALTESEDPSCOOK
VANNORFOLKVIRGINIA
THERELORDMAYORONEND
AOLSCALARXFLTODATE
GUVCARATNIAVARDALOS
USEEAGLEECLOGUEONT
PETSNEADBOLSTERNEE

ANDREA:

This collaboration came about because in the summer of 2012 Dan Feyer and his lovely girlfriend Gretchen organized a fundraiser up in Napa Valley (where Gretchen grew up). In between rounds, Dan entertained up with a trivia game where all the answers had the initials NV, for Napa Valley. I thought that might make a good basis for a crossword.

To me, it would be funny and risque to have a puzzle called "Puzzle NV" so I suggested to Dan that we expand his list into a Sunday-sized puzzle. Never mind that although he is the five time ACPT solving champion, he had only constructed one puzzle and was reluctant to risk his one for one perfect creation/acceptance rate. (It pays to enlist geniuses as collaborators.) So I talked him into expanding the list he had, we found a half dozen nice solid pairs. Lucky for me, Dan wanted the challenge of constructing a Sunday-sized grid, which I've still not yet been able to do on my own. (My three solo Sunday attempts have not been accepted by any major publication.)

Before I knew it, Dan had created a fabulous grid with a crowning touch of stacking three of the theme answers. The hardest part was getting him to not be such a perfectionist and keep creating grid after grid. We settled on one and THEN tried to perfect it.

Mon 12/3/2012
ZESTJPEGFUGUE
OLEOEUROASONE
ONERSTAYCEDAR
MINNESOTAFATS
INIYENADOPTS
NOTBESPAREEWE
ROCERRBLOW
CALIFORNIAROLLS
ALITPECHOT
REFMIXEDCHUCK
AXEMANARKNOI
VIRGINIASLIMS
QUESTSANDUTES
UNSHYANTIMETE
IOTASYOYOPROD
This was back to my roots. I just wanted a simple three-themer to go with MINNESOTAFATS 13 and VIRGINIASLIMS 13 Again, I needed at least one more state + plural noun that had a different meaning from the state itself. Happily CALIFORNIAROLLS was a nice 15 across. done! The synchronicity for me was that it was secretly biographical in that I was born in Virginia, grew up in Minnesota and now live in California.
Mon 11/5/2012
PITTADVILSOAR
ACHEMAINEAHME
REELARSONNEON
BLYNKENANDNOD
AMIODEEARNS
LARRYANDCURLY
AUDIORAND
WISPAWARESSTS
EXAMCACHE
DEWEYANDLOUIE
STENOOUILSD
CRACKLEANDPOP
REDOOCTALUTAH
EVERSHAMESOHO
WINETOBEYTRIO
Another partners theme, but with threesomes...but since WYNKEN, BLYKEN AND NOD was longer than 15, I thought it might be fun to list one of the trio and have the solver come up with the other two. I envisioned this as a call and response between constructor and solver.

Snap!

Mon 9/10/2012
FARCEAPESSAM
ALTERNATIVEANO
QUEENOFMEANFIR
SISTRESOBAMA
ACTERURAL
HEARNOEVILMILE
ALITOANEW
SOMETHINGWICKED
ERIENAOMI
ALECSIDVICIOUS
FORUMEDEN
GNOMEEARLQBS
HETDONTBECRUEL
ALIINDISREPAIR
NYCCOSTOMITS
I liked coming up with different phrases around EVIL. QUEENOFMEAN and SIDVICIOUS led me to wanting them all to be people, but it was not to be.

Fretted that SOMETHINGWICKED 15 was but a partial of the full Bradbury title of SOMETHINGWICKED this way comes, but finally went with it, because the book is often referred to as SOMETHINGWICKED and it perfectly summed up the theme. Now don't be cruel...

Mon 6/11/2012
GABSOGRESSFAD
REAMAPACHEIRE
URGEFALLENIDOL
FIELDPARMGMT
FELLOWSHIPPEAS
YEOWRABAT
ADORAWELISE
FILLINTHEBLANKS
LEDINOVOGAP
YOKEDINEZ
AMENFOLLOWSUIT
BALEFLAEATME
FULLNELSONZAHN
AREOCASEYSHOD
BARSTRODEANTS

ANDREA:

FALL, FELL, FILL, FOLL, FULL. Michael and I had done H*CK, P*CK, I had done M*LT so now we tried F*LL. People occasionally pooh pooh this kind of "vowel run" theme. I still think of them as fun, bouncy word poems. Plus it's very difficult to FILL a grid with all those Fs and double LLs. FILLINTHEBLANKS was the perfect 15 across the middle and was a crossword reference so it seemed to pull it all together.

Mon 1/16/2012
JASMINEOMNIBUS
EMPERORLANTANA
WORDSWORDSWORDS
SKYSDUETREES
SNEEREDDRY
SHASTARIP
PICKYPICKYPICKY
ALAIGNULOLA
MONEYMONEYMONEY
ROIESTEES
FADWRITTEN
AFROASEAEPEE
CLANGCLANGCLANG
TACTILEGOOSING
STOOGESONEADAY
This one was inspired from Patrick Blindauer's wedding to his lovely bride Rebecca in St. Louis. I wanted CLANGCLANGCLANG 15 WENTTHETROLLEY 13 and MEETMEINSTLOUIS 15 but somehow that evolved into just three repeating words. I thought PICKYPICKYPICKY was funny and MONEYMONEYMONEY was the name of a song. Again Will pushed for four, which is the new 3. WORDSWORDSWORDS was from Shakespeare so I thought that classed things up a bit!
Mon 11/28/2011
FLOWIMACHADAT
DIDISARAOBESE
AMOSONANFICHE
PRETTYBOYFLOYD
GOOSEEME
GALUMPHRANGIN
UGLYBETTYNEURO
ERASTEEPLAM
SEMISPLAINJANE
SEAMENSLOEGIN
ACELASHE
GORGEOUSGEORGE
AVOIDSHINIRIS
REUNETONENERO
BREEDYEARGWEN
UGLYBETTY seemed to scream for a puzzle to be made out of the title. PRETTYBOYFLOYD was the second, natural balance thematically but totally different lengths, and the difficult to work with 14 letters. Once I came up with GORGEOUSGEORGE 14 to match I was good to go, as UGLYBETTY at the odd number 9 could go across.

But it seemed a bit light. The challenge rather than scrapping the puzzle was to come up with a fourth, 9 letters, preferably another woman, so it was two men, two women...but it had to be on the spectrum of UGLY, PRETTY, GORGEOUS. The adjective also ad to come first, so PLAINJANE was a godsend.

Sun 10/30/2011HOLLYWOOD FROM RIGHT TO LEFT
SAMEHEREOPAQUEPAILS
TRAVELEDMEDUSAELLIE
ANGELMANAGEMENTNITTI
GOINSPARRIBSENORAS
TETEMASTERGATO
SHAUNDORMSCALYMOVIE
SALADANEAPPIPEAMA
THELIGHTSTUFFMTSTES
SAXCAWTINLIKEJOLT
DOTYCOSIHAIRDO
PILATESOFTHECARIBBEAN
AGENTSVIALENDS
YUNGPIEDISHCGIMSG
CANTWOFANTASTICFOUL
UNOVOLEEYRESALOME
TAXIDRIVELEMAJTERSE
LOISARIOSIABET
FIENNESOERNACLCHAP
EDWINWEDDINGCLASHERS
SEIZEARETOOHYSTERIA
TASERMASONSSNEERSAT

ANDREA:

The impetus was PILATESOFTHECARIBBEAN a perfect 21 across... Once we came up with TAXIDRIVEL it was ON. Some discussion since we were turning Rs into Ls what to do about extra R's in the theme answers (The R in CaRibbean, or the first R in DRiver) but decided the answers were too much fun to give up. Again we generated a huge list, had tons of fun coming up with film titles, since both Patrick and I are movie fans but of different eras and genres. That is the best part of our balancing each other in terms of sex and age and different interests, but unifying ones in being into pop culture more than sports, say.

Mon 8/29/2011
QTIPSAPESGLOB
TOTALJUMPROTE
SUCREAMIRANTE
THEPURPLEONION
NTHEND
SPATOPENSESAME
HISSHARIROLEX
EXTRAPITUNITE
LEROIACTINBAR
FLOODPLAINSILT
TARCEL
THEWHOLESHMEAR
AUTOBEVYBAGEL
KERREVENEZINE
EYEDDISCDENTS

ANDREA:

Michael Blake and I are frequent lunch companions and I wonder if this idea came up over a bagel one day! the best part of this puzzle for me is getting the word SHMEAR literally over the reveal BAGEL. We had to decide if we wanted the types of bagels to be the first or last word. Some concern that the PURPLEONION might not be well enough known. But it is the icon of comedy and jazz clubs here in SF and where the Smothers Brothers and Woody Allen and Mort Sahl all cut their teeth. As a former standup, I couldn't resist and was happy it slipped through.

Tue 7/5/2011
SCOWLGLOBWASH
OHSAYHILLASTI
FULLSPEEDOAHEAD
AMONATVOPIATE
UNITSPIN
DIRTYROTTENEGGO
EXISTOURSONS
NINTOWNSGAT
YOGAEWESPORE
SNOWBALLINHELLO
ALMSBAHN
KRAKOWHISAIDE
NOLEGOTOSTANDON
OPENROLEOCEAN
XERSKEYSLEASE

ANDREA:

This was my first collaboration with someone I've never actually met in person! Johanna Fenimore is a virtual friend through Rex Parker's blog and we have a very similar sense and sensibility on our takes on puzzles. We both have also spent time in Minnesota. We've been friends for over 5 years and yet have never met! Johanna had made an offhand joke about SPEEDO Bumps and that led me to envision an add an o to make funny phrases, with FULLSPEEDOAHEAD as our sort of risque anchor.

I had made an add-an-i puzzle with Tony Orbach (Sunday 1/31/2010) and this seemed like a great follow up to that. I think it was an Alan Arbesfeld (one of my favorite constructors, whom I've also met at the ACPT but have never collaborated with) who had an add a letter puzzle that had made me really laugh and I thought how lovely and simple to add but one letter yet totally transform a phrase. Johanna and I have tossed around a hundred other ideas, and had another successful collaboration Mon 6/17/13 off another of Johanna's clever ideas of things that "pop up".

Tue 5/24/2011
PAWATYOURSHOP
OXIDEALGAEAPO
KISSANDSHOWTAB
ESPADONECRO
DRYANDMIGHTY
ICAMEAINGE
MORANHERRTRA
PREJUDICEANDJOY
SAYOTOSERODE
ORTHOROBES
TOUCHANDSTOP
ULNAEETAALS
FLURISEANDSPIT
TITMOURNENEMY
SESONREDXOXOX

ANDREA:

This collaboration with Michael was a bit unusual. I wanted to take common phrases that had a common element like KISS AND TELL / SHOW AND TELL and "swap partners" to make KISSANDSHOW. We had a lot of fun coming up with these. The most unusual was PRIDE is with both PREJUDICE and JOY, which was also a nice 15!

Mon 3/14/2011
ACLUHTMLMARIE
DRIPERIEATOLL
DATSMALTEDMILK
AZTECABAA
MELTINONESMOUTH
SSEVOLEARTHA
BEHINDANEW
MILTONBRADLEY
MENUSCALES
ULTRASNETCIS
MOLTENCHOCOLATE
RACEXANAX
MULTIPLIERBALI
AKIRAEDGEELIS
DEVILFIGSLSAT
Back to MALT, MELT, MILT, MOLT, MULT. I wanted MELTINYOURMOUTH, but the rule seems to be to use ONES. Not sure why and I got some grief about that. Lucky that MILTONBRADLEY was 13 and I like that it was a board game company, which seemed complementary to crosswords. I love all games.
Mon 1/31/2011
SLINGEDGECPAS
LANAINEARALIT
AUNTJEMIMALAMA
MDSOMITNINER
BETTYCROCKER
DEBUSSYLIMO
ETALHUESJAI
JOLLYGREENGIANT
ANDOOOHSITS
ORGSBEDELIA
CHEFBOYARDEE
HOFFAPOUFSAS
ELLECAPNCRUNCH
WEARBOLTANIME
SSTSSKEEYIPES
The genesis of this was to try and have family/food names AUNTJEMIMA/UNCLEBEN but I couldn't come with more. But then I started thinking about food icons across the board...vegetables, cereal, condiments...Though it's ultimately "just a list" I thought the fact that they were all animated, colorful characters from our childhood would make up for lack of a ton of word play.

Sometimes I like to evoke nostalgia or stories for the solver to share. I'm a former standup comic who is part of the storytelling scene here in SF...so I love when solvers share stories that the puzzle has triggered. That's part of the whole constructing/solving experience. I like the idea of the conversation continuing after the solve...or even inspiring others to come up with a follow up puzzle.

Tue 12/7/2010
IRAQMAPLERINK
NANUIWILLOMAN
CHIEFTEXANAPSE
MEETMISDEAL
STAGEGIANTBILL
EATLAUDOIL
RBISBIOSLOCOS
FOOTBALLMATCHUP
SONARTIERKATE
GYMZACHMIA
JETPACKERUPPER
ARRANGEPLEA
ROARRAMCHARGER
EDITACRIDINFO
DENYWHIGSLEGO

ANDREA:

As mentioned in the constructor comments for Mon 11/2/2009, my neighbor Kent Clayton and I decided to collaborate again after his reveal of BELIEVEITORNOT saved my bacon. Kent was watching football, so we decided to do a sports theme, which might surprise many of those who follow my anti-sports comments on certain blogs. However, I am NOT anti-sports. I am anti the overuse of baseball and the presumption that solvers will know the most obscure MVP of 1953, yet will not know who HELLOKITTY is, or whatever girl-centric topic comes up. And I like to be a thorn in the side of those who overdose on sports clues. I have nothing against sports itself.

This puzzle focused on team names. We decided to combine them and have a nice reveal of FOOTBALLMATCHUP 15 going across the grid. It was a lot of fun to mix and match the team players and coming up with clues. There were many that were so natural, like RAMCHARGER or JETPACKER (though I don't think our Boba Fett clue made it to the final version).

Thu 9/2/2010
SLEEPPOLSORG
PACERASTIANTE
ALONETIDEGIRO
MALSIREFACED
SSESSORCAYREVE
LEONHSI
ROTORSPOTSLAG
MORFSDAERREWSNA
SPITEIREMADAM
DENOMEN
TFELOTTHGIRNOB
ALLINORCAORE
DOORTAMALORNE
AJARSTEPDAMON
SONPOOHSTATE

ANDREA:

This was my first Thurs and the most complicated idea I had ever had. I wanted all the words in the grid to be OTHER words if read backwards. I envisioned three sets of clues: Across, Down and Backwards. There is no way I could make this grid on my own, so I went to the genius aka Patrick Blindauer. We bandied about how we could have a reveal in the grid itself. Either a phrase like TO AND FRO, BACK AND FORTH. Both he and Will felt it would be too easy to have a third set of clues.

Then Patrick managed to create a grid with the phrase EVERYACROSS/ASWERREADSFROM/RIGHTTOLEFT (written from right to left). I didn't originally want something that looked like gobbledygook in the grid, but there was no denying this was an incredible solution and that it broke into three balanced phrases that could be read backwards was breathtaking. One of the early drafts had several palindromes that I suggested were "cheating" which was a poor choice of words, which caused a lot of stress between us, but Patrick managed to get rid of most of them. (I bring this up not to tell tales out of school but to be honest about the difficulty of collaborating at times. Especially if one person feels they have done the lion's share of work.)

This is a delicate topic with partnerships. My personal feeling is whoever comes up with the idea should get full and equal credit/money, whereas Will told me a good idea could come from anywhere and doesn't necessarily deserve credit. Needless to say, I don't agree. I'd rather be extra generous with credit as we have so little else. I had been a writer in Hollywood for many years and was well aware of the heartbreak, rifts and lawsuits not giving proper credit can bring. We also didn't want partials that couldn't stand alone without a clue, like INOR even though it could be clued as Rice-a-___, but INOR when read left-to-right, out of context wouldn't stand on its own, so we were sensitive to that as there would be only the clues for the words going backwards, but would still look like good words read from left to right.

My fear was also when people caught on what was happening, they would have to erase or start completely over or have a big mess if solving with pen...and it was the first time ever I worried about pissing off solvers! But am super proud of the concept and the result.

Mon 8/16/2010
GAMMASPEEDSPA
AMOURNIECETAN
LOOSECANNONOUT
ASTIAFTIDOLS
CASUALFRIDAY
ASPIREALOP
MAYANDEMOEMU
BURNONESBRIDGES
ILEALPSRIOTS
DISHNASSER
CAPUCHINMONK
EXUDEOOPEROS
LILTVDETECTIVE
LASECOLEATTIC
OLEARESTWEEDY

ANDREA:

Jennifer Nutt is a gal I've met here in SF through various crossword functions. She had a puzzle in the LA Times which had LOOSECANNON and CASUALFRIDAY as part of a theme about LOOSE, CASUAL, etc. but while solving, I thought it was going to be about the TV detectives CANNON, Joe FRIDAY, et al. So I approached her about doing one together with that theme, since my idea had been inspired by one of her puzzles. She was very easy to work with. It was the first time I collaborated with someone I didn't know that well.

Wed 4/28/2010
AROMACLAPADO
BELOWROMEPROP
ACEINVADERRIOT
COOSEVENWEARS
INSTONECHA
RINGCHICKEN
DEMURROUGHAGE
ELONDEISMETAT
MASSLESSPRODS
INTHEBOTTLE
ANTYESDEAR
SHIVAFIDOINRE
HIKEELLBINDERS
OPENSOSOAURAE
TSAPEALSPOUT
Mon 3/22/2010
DDEROGETMUDDY
REXABASHANISE
OVERHILLANDDALE
VIRUSTOROS
ETTEGIRLIEPOT
SOSERROLBORE
ALAMOSORREL
LETSMAKEADEAL
SAMIAMINFER
IDBESEDERKIT
PEASENSORPACE
RHONEKAREN
TAKEOVERTHELEAD
SHEETREVELEGO
PADDYSCAMPMEN
Again, I tried to branch out, this time with anagrams: LEAD, DALE, DEAL as anagrams of LADE. But I wish I had included something about LEDA "transforming" into something else, since according to myth went from human to swan. That would have made it a stronger reveal.
Sun 1/31/2010KEEP AN EYE ON IT!
SINATRABEREFTGASBAG
SMOTHERASEVEREMERIL
THEWIZARDOFIDINONAME
SOLONMIGSTENDERSTA
KHAKITAXIEVASION
TAIPEIRBILALA
YOUCANCALLMEALILSAT
ADDEDUSOARAPOUCH
ZOICAYSCOMMONSENSEI
AFROSPOEATTHRS
OPENWIDEANDSAYAHI
ANNNEZORRACELA
JEDICLAMPETTLPSCINE
ARISETECIFSSKOAL
ROTOMARTINIANDLEWIS
LEIASYDFEUDAL
LANAITURNERGULAG
ISOGIDEONTESTFLASK
SYLPHSAREWETHEREYETI
PLAITSPAROLEAUSTRIA
SANCHOSHOOEDMETEORS

ANDREA:

My second Sunday came about through meeting Patrick Blindauer's close friend and collaborator. Tony Orbach is the one of the most beloved people in Crossworld. So funny and lots of fun ... so we tried to come up with fun bouncy phrases where we added an "I". I wanted just phrases that ENDED with I, like, AREWETHEREYETI and OPENWIDEANDSAYAHI, so you could REALLY "hear" the additional i. But Tony liked to mix it up a little, like MARTINI AND LEWIS and TAXI EVASION. Again, I had to bow to collaboration and for the umpteenth time, they were proved right!

Mon 11/2/2009
FEMASNAPHASTA
AXESPOLEACTOR
RISKEDITSQUAT
THEEASTERBUNNY
DIKERI
STPGOBFLOTSAM
TOOTHFAIRYTINE
INLETHOOSALON
CYANSANTACLAUS
KARACHIHBOSTA
CHIDUE
BELIEVEITORNOT
EYEONSPAMTOUR
ARGUETOMEEZRA
MESSYEDENRENT

ANDREA:

This collaboration with Kent Clayton came about in a funny way. I had made a puzzle with SANTACLAUS 10, EASTERBUNNY 11, TOOTHFAIRY 10 with the reveal MYTHBUSTERS 11 a popular TV show for kids. I asked my across the hall neighbor if he was familiar with MYTHBUSTERS and would get the connection between these imaginary characters. He said, "Why not BELIEVEITORNOT?" which was 14 letters, always an awkward number to work with and didn't have a matching pair... but SO MUCH BETTER than what I had. So we changed EASTERBUNNY to THEEASTERBUNNY 14, et voila! A few folks carped that we used THE with EASTERBUNNY but not with TOOTHFAIRY, but I cared NOT!

As I had to start the puzzle from scratch, I offered to share credit with Kent and taught him how to make a puzzle with the rewrite. This then inspired him to want to do another, from scratch, which later became our Tues 12/7/2010 FOOTBALLMATCHUP puzzle a year later. A good collaborator can come from anywhere!

Mon 9/7/2009
GOFISHRBISMIZ
PUEBLOALDAACE
SIMEONPALMTREE
TAKETHEBAIT
APUNEDANN
LENDDUMPSSETH
MODELCARPSGIA
OPENACANOFWORMS
SLRMOTETFREES
TETERESETBELL
HAWGUSNYE
GETREELEDIN
CASSETTEONETWO
AGENOUNRAISER
BAASNITSINKER

ANDREA:

Now that there were blogs, and I had attended the ACPT two years in a row, I now had lots of friends in the crossworld. One of them is Ashish Vengsarkar. We decided to collaborate on an idea I had of lots of fishing terms that were used as metaphors in other situations. Ashish constructed the grid and added MARINEGREEN and UNDERTHESEA as long downs. We disagreed about that. I like all the themes to be horizontal (I don't think I've ever had theme answers running down and I didn't want ones that were sort of like the theme but not really). Ashish hung tight and as it was a collaboration, I eventually deferred to him. He proved right in that folks loved the extra "atmospheric" entries.

Even tho solvers love long answers, I think if they are as long as the theme answers, that is really confusing. But I do like having bonus and atmospheric words in the grid to add to the overall feel.

Sun 8/9/2009MADE FOR TV-MOVIES
BALBOATWANGSMASSES
ANTEUPGOIRISHEQUINE
GOSSIPGIRLINTERRUPTED
ESTIVALLOCAORE
PELESTEPILAFSMANOR
FLECKIMONITEDAM
FATHERKNOWSBESTINSHOW
TNTNIAREPRISEDARA
HOARSERANNAILIAD
APSOTEEIRTCARTE
GREYSANATOMYOFAMURDER
HELLOHRSOBIGODS
ALLEYSHEASARALEE
SATCHARCOALCABMAO
TWOANDAHALFMENINBLACK
PEELMENACESANER
PETRALESSORWDSYODA
OLETOOTINTENSE
SEXANDTHECITYOFANGELS
INALIEOSSUARYREGRET
TANAKASAIDNOLESSON
Huge breakthrough, dream come true, a Sunday puzzle. All my Sundays have been something based on one of my ideas but collaborations with different guys who are more sophisticated grid makers than I. My early week collaborations tend to be with folks I'm either mentoring or helping them realize their dream of getting a puzzle published in the NYT. My later week ones, I'm in the other position.

Patrick Blindauer and worked long and hard for consistency, a TV show followed by a movie, never movie followed by TV. Something contemporary paired with something from the past. We had a huge list. In the end, and a lot of fun coming up with them and settled upon five that were perfect 21s across. My favorites were GOSSIPGIRLINTERRUPTED and FATHERKNOWSBESTINSHOW just for smoothness factor and new with old.

Patrick made the grid. In 2013, another pair used the same title and I was sort of bummed. Their idea was slightly different though: the TV shows were one word titles inserted into movie titles.

Mon 3/30/2009
JAMBEMILARMED
ESAIRENOLEONA
SINGLEOCCUPANCY
TAEBOWHIRSOS
ALSGOO
DOUBLEINDEMNITY
ITTYEDIEASTRA
GTESPENCERIAL
AERIEAJAXANNI
TRIPLELAYERCAKE
LATSAC
SHETACKCELIA
QUADRUPLEBYPASS
VERGEEUROTONI
CREEDXENASSTS
I had made a nice puzzle with SINGLE, DOUBLE, TRIPLE Will pushed me to add a QUADRUPLE. I already had TRIPLEBYPASS, but needed the BYPASS for QUADRUPLEBYPASS. So TRIPLE became LAYERCAKE 15 so then I had to make all of them 15. I didn't think I could do it, but was thrilled that he had pushed me in the end. First indication that four was rapidly becoming the new three... That was an end of an era for me. I think I've only had one or two three-themed puzzles since then.

It was around this time I heard about the blogs, I think, and that I had a reputation to uphold as a Miss Monday!

Mon 1/5/2009
ACDCCACTILEST
SHIVAPAINASWE
TAXIPANESUSER
ARIMOTOPREEN
MEETTHEPARENTS
CASEYORAL
ERRSGLADHMS
MEATANDPOTATOES
TOTLAOSOPTS
BONNPAIRS
METEOUTJUSTICE
ADOLFARTEORO
TINTPASSESTET
ETTEAMOURACCT
SHODLINENOHTO
I had had success with my 5 AIR homonyms, and there was a new film called MEETTHEPARENTS 13 which led to MEAT, METE, MEET. I like these types of themes, but when you have an odd word like METE you are pretty limited to what phrases that are "in the language" that you can use...so you have to get lucky that there will be a pairing. Whereas with MEET you have MEETTHEPRESS, MEETMEINSTLOUIS, MEETTHEPARENTS, MEETTHEFOCKERS, etc.
Mon 10/27/2008
OLGACAGEDGAPS
NEATABATEUNIT
EARLPASTASTAR
SPRAYOFSUNSHINE
NUTTYAESOP
BEATLEOILS
ASTISABREKIA
SPACEOFDIAMONDS
ENDDEPOTNEAP
BIRDEXCESS
ASPICAIRER
SPUTTERNONSENSE
PERTLOEWEDOPE
ELSELIRASIMIN
NLERSLANTTONY
Someone had done a puzzle where the reveal was a word that could be parsed into a direction, like THIN (add TH INto puzzle) So Michael and I came up with SP-IN. SPACEOFDIAMONDS was the original phrase. It later inspired my friend Peter Stein to want to create a SP-OUT puzzle (Wed 4/28/2010) but it's interesting to note that to add in letters was a Monday idea, but to take them out was a Wed. Words flow better when you add another letter. When you omit them (as in ELL CHECK) it takes a few seconds to figure out what is going on.
Mon 9/1/2008
NAPSPSISALIVE
ODICETTUMINEO
SILENCEISGOLDEN
ADANOTSHIRT
LATENTINAMIA
ESECAMPALPERT
NORUSHELSE
MUMSTHEWORD
MAIDTARIFF
TVSETSWOLFSRO
SATRODLISTEN
CITRUSCLOVE
MYLIPSARESEALED
GOTTOIGGYBERG
MUSEDNEARSNEE
My oldest friend is named David Golden. I think one of his daughters used SILENCEISGOLDEN as her email address. Ever since this puzzle, for the past five years, whenever I have a puzzle published, he writes "liked it but couldn't find the word GOLDEN". I was lucky once again that there were three phrases with such close meanings and that the numbers matched up.
Mon 8/25/2008
ANTISHINAFAR
MEANSTINTLALA
PACKAPUNCHBRIT
SROLINDAPEEVE
PECKINGORDER
POLICEONT
OMANLAPAZSTP
PICKOFTHELITTER
STYCEDAROLEO
STAAARONS
POCKETCHANGE
UNLITHESSEADO
TEAMPUCKEREDUP
TARPETHELRANT
SLAYNEEDAMES
My first published collaboration with Michael Blake (see notes on Mon 11/26/2007). PICKOFTHELITTER 15 was the genesis. PACKOFLIES was the later genesis of an idea with Joon Pahk to do a "six pack" puzzle, that actually had SEVEN theme answers to include the reveal, but it ran in the LA Times.
Tue 7/8/2008
GEDGABSEDSEL
POURAURADOUSE
AIRJORDANINBED
STAFBISTOP
HEIRTOTHETHRONE
ARLOSONYSEER
ALTNOLONOR
EREISAWELBA
IQSWAHLSEA
RUTSRUESEZRA
AIREDALETERRIER
AXISALBNCO
MONTEAERLINGUS
ARGOTDOVESESE
COENSONESARE
My first attempt at homonyms. AIR HEIR ERE AIRE AER. I was pleased to have five.
Mon 6/23/2008
SANTAPACEACME
ALIENIBETBLIP
WINSOMELOSESOME
STATIRESBOGIE
TINHER
YOUDIDYOURBEST
SAMBAROUSTRHO
KLEEWIDTHPAAR
EINRILEDEATME
WESTILLLOVEYOU
ENDELS
SAGASHEATLENT
CLOSEBUTNOCIGAR
AIREARNOUPONE
BEETALANESSAY
ANDREA:

THis was my first official collaboration with my then newbestfriend Patrick Blindauer. We had met when he was working for Peter Gordon at Sterling as an assistant. I had known Peter for 20+ years from our days at Games Magazine, so I would pop by to see him whenever I was in NY. Patrick and I got to know each other better at the first ACPT I attended. (I hadn't gone the first 25+ years as I lived across the country, etc.) Will was using one of my puzzles for the opening puzzle of the 2008 ACPT I believe. (Cheers! It was four ways to toast, I think, which each theme answer being "Cheers!")

Patrick and I were standing together as people were approaching Trip Payne and consoling him on his second place finish. Folks were saying various cliches, "You did your best!", "So close!", etc. Patrick and I sat down and created a list "We still love you!" "Close but no cigar!", etc. and that became the first of a dozen collaborations. I think Deb Amlen called us the Fred and Ginger of constructors.

We both live very separate lives now, but he's always been my go-to person when I want to create a Sunday-sized puzzle that have funny phrases by changing a letter, or what have you. I love his sense of humor and what a genius he is. Until Patrick, I had only been published on Monday-Wed. He is my collaborator on 3 Sundays (not counting a couple we've done for the WSJ) and my sole NYT Thursday.

Mon 1/21/2008
LEWDDWARFJEST
AREARARERUTAH
WINBYANOSEMAUI
NETAMESEBBING
FACADESALLAH
SMIRKSTUBE
TORTREUSEUSN
LOSEONESBALANCE
OTTCONESADOS
NEWTCARETS
SAMOASOBERER
ALUMNICODAOUI
VISADRAWABLANK
EKEDOILERETTE
REDSLOADSWHOA
Went back to a simple WIN/LOSE/DRAW ... but I was especially fond of DRAWABLANK because I am a Scrabble enthusiast. And I love that it is such a good thing in Scrabble to draw a blank, but a bad thing in real life!
Mon 11/26/2007
GARBBROWAPPLE
OREOOENOFRIES
HACKYSACKLAPSE
OBEACRELANES
MISSYOUHECKLER
EASYPLUGSINK
NAGABUTNEO
HICKORYSMOKED
RODALOTEGO
ALESDROPLAWS
HOCKNEYROMANIA
GLEANRISEGPS
BRAINHUCKABEES
EARNAASEABLUE
AMESSTERRSAPS
This was my first attempt at what is now known as a "vowel run", a dismissive phrase I dislike. I like to think of them as a fun tone-poem. It's really fun to say HACK, HECK, HICK, HOCK, HUCK. Plus it's nigh impossible to get them in the right order, while having the A match the U, the E match the O and the I to be odd numbered, fun and straight across the middle.

And despite the fact I had made the Gilligan's Island puzzle with five themes (Tu 9/21/2004) I felt ill-equipped to construct this, thus my first collaboration! I had met Michael Blake at a constructors lunch I had organized after having met some constructors at Martin Herbach's lovely Los Gatos home the year before. Michael came as someone else's guest and we hit it off and became friends. He is very technically coordinated and offered to help lay out the grid as a favor. I felt I could not have done it without him and wanted to share credit/money which he demurred on.

We would often help each other with feedback and even a theme answer here and there, but would submit as individuals. When he helped me again on PACK PECK PICK POCK PUCK (Mon 8/25/2008) I insisted we share everything. Although he felt it was my idea, fill, etc. I could NOT at that time, Luddite that I was, have ever figured out how to lay out the five themed answers. We've had at least a half dozen since then. He forced me to learn to use a computer so I could be more independent. The iron is, I enjoyed him so much that now when we collaborate, we totally merge our sensibilities which are quite different, and you can not parse out who did what.

I believe out of 40 published NYT puzzles (as of my writing this in November 2013) they have been almost evenly split between solos and collaborations.

Mon 10/15/2007
STOICNEARCOAT
HONDAURGEOATH
EATINGCROWISEE
ADOCULGRANTEE
RENEEIRE
TALKINGTURKEY
JOEYSCOENARE
ERTECARTSISIN
EARTONYAMENS
PLAYINGPOSSUM
ANDTRESS
DEFRAUDGAIBAA
OVERCRYINGWOLF
CATOTIMENORMA
KNEWSPASSWEAR
Originally I had:
CRYINGWOLF 10
TALKINGTURKEY 13
PLAYINGPOSSUM 13
SITTINGDUCK 10

Will pointed out that SITTINGDUCK was a noun, whereas the other three were an action + noun. I thought I was doomed. Couldn't just drop it, had to find a matching 10 and not sure one even existed! Plus, I was used to having just three 15s. I found four themes daunting! When I came up with EATINGCROW, I could have wept with happiness.

Mon 2/19/2007
HUTATMAMBIT
OPALBRERTEAMO
MLIIBODEMADAM
BONDJAMESBOND
RATSOPAILSRBI
EDSDREDOTEAR
PIEBUTCAKE
HOMESWEETHOME
REVSTIEEON
ERESALARMADE
PERATLASESSEX
TIMEAFTERTIME
SLURPROOMODOR
AURALDORMWENT
SCENETSASSS
Back to simple three 13s. I thought it was fun to say BONDJAMESBOND even tho normally you couldn't repeat a word in a puzzle. HOMESWEETHOME was a natural and TIMEAFTERTIME fit perfectly. I wanted TIMEAFTERTIME clued as a Cyndi Lauper song, again to get in something contemporary and women-oriented, but the clue was changed.
Wed 9/7/2005
ANGESSCRODCOT
DARIAPIANORFK
ARENAOTTERUFO
PRESBYTERIANS
TONOTRAEAVE
SWEETLYCRAWDAD
LOASEATETS
BRITNEYSPEARS
PEAADDSSAC
JAIALAIATMCARD
SUNGFETAMAI
BESTINPRAYERS
CEOLOCALDOLES
PAWARECAARISE
AUSTESTYMEATS
I had read somewhere that BRITNEYSPEARS was an anagram for PRESBYTERIANS. I couldn't believe that! Plus PRESBYTERIANS anagrammed into BESTINPRAYERS. All 13s, so this was a natural.

The only problem was, Will didn't think BRITNEYSPEARS would last if the puzzle were reprinted six years hence. I didn't care about that issue because I wanted something fresh. Plus it's a daily newspaper, why should I be concerned about shelf-life? And although I'd like my puzzles to stand the test of time, it only benefits the publishers, as they don't pay royalties, nor even supply the authors with a book, so my feeling is why should I knock myself out worrying who will/won't be known in 10 years time? It was not published for a long time ... and I would argue with Will that BRITNEY would be around for a long time, that all girls knew her, and young folks, etc. It was the beginning of my trying to champion puzzles with a more feminine-bent to the themes. Even though the older male editors and sports enthusiasts that abound might not be a BRITNEY fan, there were plenty of women (and gay men) who were.

In the meantime, I thought it hadn't been accepted as I heard nothing for years. So I created a similar one, with four themes, for Peter Gordon and the Sun. BRITNEYSPEARS/PRESBYTERIANS and PEPSICOLA/EPISCOPALS. She was the spokesperson for Pepsi so I thought that was also a stunning coincidence. Totally different puzzle, as I said, four themes, not three and I hadn't heard from the Times in a couple of years. Suddenly the Times puzzle was printed and someone on line (which was a new phenomena in 2005) accused me of plagiarizing the theme! He didn't realize that it was the same person who had written both puzzles. I was mortified ... wasn't the first, nor the last time, someone on line had been scathing without knowledge, but I was embarrassed. I think over a year went by before I published again.

Tue 9/21/2004
COMATBILLBLAB
ADAMOLLIELOSE
TINALOUISEANTE
SEXOTRAIDEAS
BOBDENVER
BOOHOORIIS
ELIACEASEBAA
GILLIGANSISLAND
SOYMARGEOLDE
MARTPANDAS
JIMBACKUS
FAUNSLESEAAA
IMINALANHALEJR
TACOHORDEARAT
STEWSTOODDORY
At this point I was only making one a year, if that. I hadn't started thinking of myself as a constructor yet. Simply a solver who had ideas from time to time. But I loved coming up with themes, which TV Guide didn't care about. GILLIGANSISLAND was a perfect 15 across and I started putting in character names and some of the actors real names. Will said "All character names or all real names, no mixing. Again, I was flabbergasted by the synchronicity of FOUR of the actors having complementary lengths! TINALOUISE/ALANHALEJR (The Jr was a slight fudge, but that IS how he's credited) JIMBACKUS/BOBDENVER. I felt bad about having to leave out the Professor and Mary Ann (not to mention Mrs. Howell) but even on the show the first few years they were just "And the rest..."!

This was my first experience of having five theme answers, as I used to think just in threes, preferably all 15s going straight across. Actually I still do!

Mon 7/21/2003
SMACKSHEDSHOP
PUREEPETEMOMA
ASTORALUMOPEN
THESCORPIONKING
HEETOY
ORCHIDCAINJFK
RELEEHALOTELE
THEAFRICANQUEEN
HAFTELHIUNPEN
OBSDALEYEASTY
SECHIE
THELITTLEPRINCE
HULAIRASEVIAN
ISISNEWSSOCKO
SHAHGENETREYS
My second puzzle I call "Royal Titles". I always give my puzzles titles and wish the daily puzzles would have them. That way the punchline could be in the title instead of the grid. I name things for a living and always feels like a name elevates anything to a whole 'nother level. Plus it's easier to keep track of!

I had three titles that had KING, QUEEN, PRINCE in them. Plus they were all 15s, all had THE something (Royal). Very synchronicitous. My first submission, however, THE AFRICANQUEEN was on top, as it was easier to have the Q higher up, beginning a word, rather than in the middle.

Will wrote back and said he'd like it KING, QUEEN, PRINCE or PRINCE, QUEEN, KING or not at all. My first experience of having to rewrite from scratch. He was right. Much better.

That Q may have implanted the idea of using all the letters of the alphabet. I never "force" a pangram, but I do like to have one whenever possible. Will doesn't care one way or the other. Others inexplicably rage against them, but to me they are fun, creative, echo my love for Scrabble and add an extra dollop to the construction whether the solvers notice or not.

Usually I'm just one or two letters short of one. I'd have to go back and check to see if this was one. But the amazing thing about Xwordinfo, just ONE of the quietly amazing things, is that it notes pangrams as well as what letters are not in the grid. (The above paragraph is a pangram, by the way!)

Mon 6/12/2000
EGADSSALSSEPT
LOGICTAUTTARA
EARTHQUAKEITIS
CLOSEUPEMBLEMS
DOORETNA
BETADRIVERS
ALIBIPINEGAS
SANANDREASFAULT
SLYCAINTHYME
SUNBELTASAP
SLOBDAHS
AMERICACOACHES
LIMBAFTERSHOCK
ALOEBRERHANOI
SENTSONSANENT
My first NY Times puzzle. I had been making them for TV Guide for years. Don't know what specifically prompted me to submit to Will, though we knew each other from the early 80s through Games Magazine where I did a lot of word game puzzles. I was an avid solver and then had an idea for one for the Times. This remains my favorite puzzle, though it didn't turn out in print (or on computer) as I hoped.

The idea was simple: EARTHQUAKE, SANANDREASFAULT, AFTERSHOCK I asked Will if there was a way to put a "tear" through the middle of the puzzle so that it would look like an earthquake had ruptured the puzzle. I envisioned it being torn down half way through. He ingeniously nudged up a few squares 1/3 of the way, the next few rows down a bit and the last ones up again. Problem was, unsolved in the paper it looked like something was amiss so folks didn't solve it, as though there was a printing problem. Years later when reprinted in books the computer printed it without the squares going up and down, just a regular grid, so all the cleverness was lost. Just three themes 10, 15, 10.

But I loved that AFTERSHOCK was below. And the whole impetus for SANANDREASFAULT is that a) I live in California and b) TV Guide never gave us bylines so I thought I'd sneak my name smack dab in the middle of the puzzle! (I later did those secret shoutouts with ACME or putting in a Beatles clue. In TV Guide, I put in "The Streets of ___ Francisco" whenever I could so friends would know it was one of my puzzles. As I said, we had no bylines and the Times had just started using them, under Will, but they were tiny, 1/4 size underneath the puzzle, so almost impossible to see.)

I still think this is an issue. Most people still think the puzzles are made by computer or by Will Shortz. And this was my first experience having a puzzle in a book with no residuals, no warning, not even a copy of the book! This has been a burning issue for me going on 15 years now, I'm almost at acceptance, but not fully!

I framed this puzzle, as it was my first, but it's ironic that there were computer issues with replicating it online more than a decade ago! On the other hand, it prompted a compliment from Manny Nosowsky, who recalled the puzzle and said he remembered it because it was literally thinking outside the box! It would be three years before I submitted another!