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Bill Pipal author page

1 puzzle by Bill Pipal
with Constructor comments

Bill Pipal
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Constructor (1)Jeff Chen (1)Hide comments

See the 4 answer words debuted by Bill Pipal.

Collaborator: Jeff Chen
Puzzles constructed by Bill Pipal by year
Thu 7/28/2022

BILL: Hello from my corner of the universe in Chicago! The gimmick for this puzzle landed in my brain after loving Caitlin Reid's truly kickin' puzzle from April 2020. After trying to figure out how to do this myself, I quickly realized I needed to team up with an expert and contacted Jeff. Thank goodness I did. He's not only an excellent constructor and fun to work with, but a great crossword mentor.

Ok, back to the puzzle-making. While intrigued by the idea, Jeff suggested tightening up the theme by spelling out something in circled letters and encouraged us to think through how to provide a great solving experience before diving in too deep. 70+ emails (and one initial rejection) later, you have the puzzle you see today. We hope you enjoy it!

A bit about me, I am an in-house attorney for a Chicago-based tech company called SpotHero and a proud double-Illini. I currently live in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood with my wonderful wife and our rescue dog, who have both been very supportive of this new hobby I picked up during the early days of the pandemic. I was initially introduced to crossword construction by my sister-in-law, Alie, who I was lucky enough to share a byline with yesterday in her crossword puzzle debut in the Universal Crossword!

In addition to Jeff, a special thanks to Robyn Weintraub, who was the first person I reached out to in the crossword community after starting to make puzzles and who has been incredibly generous with her time and advice.

JEFF: Hopefully, solvers didn't think we were CUTting corners today by giving them blank circles. Back when Bill and I were ideating this in 2019, it seemed obvious that each circle could be filled with a letter that formed two valid words. For example, ANTI-AGING turns into ANTI(C) / (C)AGING.

When I test-solved this a week before publication, though, I wondered, why am I adding in a C when that corner was supposed to be CUT?

Sometimes it's best not to ask questions.

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