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41 puzzles by David Quarfoot
with constructor comments

TotalDebutLatestCollabs
416/18/200412/4/20147
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
101021720
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.61203
David Quarfoot
Thu 12/4/2014
OBSESSSCRABBLE
DETECTHOORAYED
DEALERATTRACTS
STYNOBLEBABE
REVUEISABEL
WORDIERANKA
ARESSIRIABS
ICEDERIDESCEO
LADOPUSAMAT
TEENDANGERS
DEBASEPEKOE
ETESSEEITMOI
CHRISTIEMAKING
CARNIVALBRONCO
ANAGRAMSOYSTER

David:

Creating this puzzle was a Herculean effort. It began back in 2013 when I approached Kacey Walker with the question "Want to write a puzzle together?" We met through her husband shortly after I moved to San Diego, and I knew she would be game for trying something difficult. Given her interest in programming and Scrabble, we quickly settled on the theme: present solvers with a Scrabble rack and have them anagram the letters for the theme answers. The twist was that each rack would anagram in multiple ways — exactly 3, in fact — and so the puzzle would be a step up from the famous BOBDOLE/CLINTON puzzle of 1996, where the clue "Lead story in tomorrow's newspaper (!)" had not one, but two answers. We both loved the idea of taking these "Schrödinger puzzles" to the next level.

Original grid

The challenges in this were immense: finding racks that had exactly three anagrams, making sure all three anagrams were well-known words, avoiding triplets that had three different letters in the same spot (creating a triplet in the crossing that would get but a single clue), figuring out a black-square arrangement that would accommodate all this insanity, filling the crosses and writing clues that didn't feel forced, making sure the grid was clean, and on and on. Our initial effort had four of these Scrabble racks built around a center black square (see right). Can you see the three words in each septet?

This grid was ultimately rejected — words like RSA were too obscure, and a few of the clues were too forced and couldn't be fixed. Getting that rejection was hard. The two of us put in a tremendous amount of time on this version: Kacey wrote a program that searched for the well-known triplets; we argued over which to select; I went through endless drafts of the black square placement; and we spent months trying to fill, clean up, clue, edit, and re-clue the beast. For me, the neatest aspect of the final grid was that it had 81 different possible solutions (how would Will even print the solution?!), depending on what anagram choice a person made for each of the four Scrabble racks.

After the rejection, we decided that using four theme answers was simply too much. It hamstrung the grid in powerful ways, and led to substandard fill. When we moved down to three we had more freedom, and this allowed us to include SCRABBLE and ANAGRAMS as theme answers. It also resulted in a non-standard black-square placement, which I think is fun, especially for long-time solvers who constantly see the same old grids.

Final grid

In the final version shown to the left, Kacey was responsible for all the words starting at the central I, moving northeast, then around the corner and to the western edge. I did the other half: from the I to the southwest and then east. The clues were also split — Kacey did the Downs, I did the Acrosses — and we talked about all the clues that had to represent multiple words, like W/RAIL and N/ROTARY.

The rejection of the original version was also fortuitous. Between the creation of the first and second versions, a new version of the Scrabble dictionary was announced. Any new words would be legal in tournament play starting on December 1, 2014. Could we get the new grid constructed in time to celebrate this changing of the lexical guard (yes!)? Were any of our anagram triplets really quadruplets because of the new words (no!!)? Would Will be interested in celebrating the new dictionary with a Scrabble-themed puzzle (yes!!!)?

Kacey and I hope you enjoy this labor of love. It is her first puzzle, and sets a high bar for any future constructions. As for me, I think this is my favorite puzzle of any I have constructed.

Sat 7/27/2013
MATTDAMONPASSE
SPEEDDATEINALL
RELATESTOENIAC
PREKNCOSCENTI
ROOMSEXTED
GESSOTABOO
ITHACANUFFSAID
STARKLYBTWELVE
HUGITOUTCORDON
HEMENREARS
GNOMESDUCK
SAWIVITCHDUPE
PINTOMALENURSE
OVETTPLEASESIR
TERSESKIPCLASS
Sat 6/8/2013
IPHONEAPPDCUPS
MROLYMPIAERNIE
PETEACHERSEGER
UMSHEIRDATE
MITEEDSULLIVAN
PEONNASTASE
ERNESPLINTS
DEERTRITECOBB
GROOVESOPAL
ONLYYOURENE
LOADEDDICEENNE
IBAROASTTED
VALIDCURSEWORD
ELANDASIANPEAR
SLAKEBABYDADDY
Sat 1/19/2013
JESUSFISHASSES
OPERAARIAXTILE
BILLABONGLOCAL
SSEBINGLINT
ATNOOILSWALTZ
CLICKCEASEFIRE
TECHIETILTAAR
ONEGLANA
STEGLOBBAZAAR
WHAMMYBARPULSE
EERIEIDEDRIFE
ERASDAISBAN
PICTSTATTOOART
ETHERSTATUSBAR
AZERAEASYPEASY
Sat 11/10/2012
INSTAGRAMQATAR
HATECRIMEVERGE
AMINOACIDCIERA
DECWITSONED
ANKHNUTSCUTEY
BATONSALARY
AMOSOZDOMEGNC
LEIPZIGTOPSOIL
LSTZORARETINA
ELNINOSATAY
SKYPETALCTARA
TROITEEMLII
REUPSLOOSEROCK
AMIELALLATONCE
PENNYBEERSTEIN
Sat 6/9/2012
DOHAQATARPHOTO
OBAMACAREATRAP
GOBANANASSEEME
READILLCTSCAN
APNEAISTHATALL
CAENNENEREY
ERROREATSUP
STOLAVTHESON
AGENTKSTONE
PJSSEALCREW
TAUBETAPIPOTTS
BRIARSINRIDID
OUTTALOGINNAME
ALOESICESKATES
TERSEMARKYMARK
Sat 3/17/2012
POTSMOKEDISCUS
ONELITERALEAST
PASYSTEMTEXTME
ASTTEPIDATTAR
PPPSRENEWOLIO
IRATEREBELYELL
LEGATOSILAS
LEEHAMTLCUPA
SOSADSEASON
PRAISEGODSNERD
PELLSOWEDERNS
PALESONSETNSC
PLINKOLATEDATE
PIETINODETOMAN
PASHTOWEREHERE
Sat 12/3/2011
SNOWBOOTSDAUNT
CACAOTREEEASYA
EMANUELAXLASTS
PENTROLLTACIT
TOATONEIDAOME
ENDITSAVEALER
REAPEDFEARLESS
JERISNEE
PYRAMIDSEUROPE
DOERVANSPOPIN
JUDHERONSSEND
ATRIAECOLENCO
MUONSSORELOSER
EBSENANTEATERS
SEESTYESPLEASE
Sat 10/1/2011
PAGERANKCABANA
EMOTICONTNOTES
REDSTATESKORTS
MXSALBEEABATE
ICANLAPAZJILT
TARESDAVYJONES
MRMOTODENEB
EDYYUMSGTTIS
ARSONALCOVE
JUMBOTRONINDEX
UNESSARANNOGS
SCRODLUGARLOC
TOLLEDLATENITE
GLOVERENTERSIN
OATERSSOYLATTE
Sat 9/10/2011
LABAMBAHUMPDAY
ASATEAMOBSERVE
CATERTOTOGGLES
EGGLOSTCATARI
URISROBOTHUTS
PARESZACAGREE
SYLVANROEVWADE
ELEVARIE
SIGNOVERALLOWS
ARRANRAJALOHA
LOOMNAIADSHAD
UNUMINDSETLUC
TOPSEEDOCANADA
EROTICANORULES
SENORESXYPLANE
Sat 5/28/2011
ITSASECRETLUNA
GUITARHEROICON
ONTHERADIOKONG
TABSERBSFENCE
ASECDRUEISNER
NASALOLDPRO
ALINESLICEPTA
MADEHAYPOPTART
EDEALEETISSUE
OVERDOTASED
SQUIRMMREREFI
TULLETEAMODAN
ROTCABELINCOLN
ATRALASERMOUSE
WEANPRESSENTER
Fri 4/29/2011
SNOOKISAMADAMS
KENKENTRADEGAP
IHEARTCINERAMA
PRAYFORRAINRAT
SUMUNION
FELINECHAP
CALIFEXAMROOMS
AGEOLDTETRIS
SHOWERCAPFEAST
SANAXANADU
VALIDPGA
UTATHEPOSITION
SUBPRIMECARLOT
EBBTIDESOTIOSE
DEAAGENTSEXTED
Fri 10/9/2009
JRRTOLKIENITSY
COUNTBASIETHEE
CONTRABANDSENS
HMSARODSWAMIS
AMFMSOOTEBOLI
SARISMROCTOBER
ETERNEAGONY
ZEEALTANATEC
DPLUSSPEEDO
DEARSANTASTEIN
EXISTEKCOANTS
PASEOSICEDAMO
ACLUPETESEEGER
UTESARTSTUDENT
LASSMASSEXODUS
Fri 8/28/2009
FREETIBETACTIV
AIRCANADABOOLA
THEGRUDGEBRAIN
HALTIDEJOSHED
ENOSTOOKITEASY
ANNEEGUNNTICK
DAGAMATAXIRUE
TINSREDA
SSSROTCDEJAVU
AHASDIAZSODAS
FATALERRORBETS
ELIDESFOILLIC
SARINSIMPATICO
ELISTERIECANAL
XACTOPENNYLANE
Sun 7/27/2008GOING EVERY WHICH WAY
DEVILSLIMNSIPODDBOY
AMANITAAFOOTORZOTERI
MUSCLESSASSYSEAUHEAP
USTAIRSDSTAIRSVWBEETLE
NUSIRONSALLR
LITUTOCHANCEATOEFFUSE
ONEAMHILOESPANOLIMAX
NESTEDFIDOHONESLEAVE
BRSNASTXSANDOSELMER
AREITHELYULINAODIST
SORTSEDANBLANEBIL
ERASMUSDSIZINGDIVISOR
RONSPADESUDOGNINE
SETUSSPAARRRENDELAS
TREYSTOYSHOPLEIFEDT
ANNOYAIMTOMAGIGINNIE
LIEUONLEASEFOCIRATED
LETRIPTNGSITDANDSHUTU
AQUATEATSCHO
GILLSLITRWHEREYOULTHEM
ABELEMITREUELCREASES
ZINENEMOATLASKEYRING
EDDYTEEMPETRAREPAYS
Fri 4/4/2008
ADAMSALEDEVIL
LIMETREEURSINE
DNATURALSUPERG
ATTDENSSMORES
IANQTS
FMAJORQUEENMUM
ROLOSQUIETGAME
ESTHQUELLASIA
REHNQUISTVITAL
ELOQUENTKIOSKS
ITTSIP
PIZAZZGASPATV
ORIANAIRSAUDIT
PATROLSAMSPADE
SNIPSTHESIREN
Sat 3/15/2008
GAYICONSEAWEED
OPENERAINRANGE
KEATONSXSANDOS
ASHSODAPOPNIK
RUMPTATARPOST
TIARAQVCSETTO
STNICKSKINDEEP
MEADSTAX
LOSALTOSSKIHAT
ANITAEISENOCH
TALELAMIAGERE
EDEBADPERMDOC
RANLATERIOLOBO
ARTISTERACEWAR
LEATHERASSANTE
Fri 2/22/2008
SADBUTTRUELODI
GREENBEANSAVON
TENNISACESRETE
MOVEPROVEKNOX
ALETADOINGMAC
JARTBONEUNITE
MEOWSCNOTES
SODACANLOCATES
THEARTJONAH
ARESOLAWNSNOR
MERWHOMEEVADE
PASTAVERTIPOD
ALKALESLEYGORE
CLIPALVINAILEY
TYNESLIPNSLIDE
Fri 1/25/2008
SADRCITYBEIGES
TRUELOVEELNINO
ATALANTAEMAJOR
TILMIRRORROTE
ECRUCANAQUEEN
SLOPEYEROUT
MELOTTDESESKY
AVENUECDONTLIE
NISDARESCRIMS
CELICAHADJI
SONYSESTDPEON
TEARISEEITIND
ASHARPGASRANGE
ITUNESASCOTTIE
DEMODEREINHOLD
Fri 10/26/2007
MYSPACEGOSSIP
IOMOTHSREDWINE
SKIPOUTONEFLAT
SOTPGATOUREPI
TOTOSTATSSNIT
ENEMYERETITLE
PONIESTROUNCES
GALLSANA
IMNOTYOUTITHES
DRESSVCRCREPT
ESTHBELOWARID
ALFHASACOWETE
MALAISEKRATION
ETICKETORIGAMI
NEXTELNYTIMES
Sat 10/6/2007
NETFLIXPVCPIPE
FAIRESTAEROSOL
LUMIERECRUSADE
DDESERIESEBUN
REZADRACOJENA
AVOWSAMABALKS
FINALSBRAUN
TEESOFFSCREWIT
HOOEYENDASH
SCRIPVACTORTE
CLANDELOSECHO
HOIOARLOCKRAN
WALDORFKUWAITI
ACOUPLEESOBESO
BANDSAWDINESON
Fri 6/1/2007
PAPASMURFUSOFA
ICESKATERFINIS
RUPPARENAOVERT
AMPSCNOTEACER
TEEVHSBLTALI
ENDEMIOVERRAN
HEALYINYANG
ABOARDSPATES
CYCLONESPAN
IGOOFEDIRSBBB
DETFSUGETREL
ROILSCANSBAMA
ARLESAPOLLOVII
IGLOOTIREIRONS
NEONSEASYTOSEE
Fri 5/18/2007
ROEVWADESKETCH
ANTIETAMPIERCE
CSIMIAMIANKARA
ETCRRATINGLID
CAKEISTOOBADE
AGENTKEWAOLER
RETTONDAYSTARS
ENNESOOT
STANGETZSNOCAT
OMITSCALEMOTE
MORETHROBSULA
EBBIRAQWARLAP
DIANNEAFRAIDSO
ALLUREWANNABET
YELLEDITSAMESS
Sat 5/5/2007
STEPHENCOLBERT
POLEAXEARALSEA
ITERATERIPTORN
KAISODAPOPBEL
ESSOLETONMEDI
TTOPSDOOMASON
VENEERBLUENOSE
NEONSATS
BMXBIKESLAMODE
AIMATATMLANES
FARRBRATSNAST
FHABABYFATDOR
LADANSEULULATE
EMIRATEJANEROE
SMOKIERITSBEST
Fri 4/20/2007
TOYSRUSKIDMFAS
ONEMANARMYALIT
ABSOFSTEELBURP
SOIRIMMADSWE
TATEONLINECHAT
ERISJOINPROVE
RDSBONNEOUTER
MUSDRX
ULCERPIVOTPST
PERILEDENMOME
CHARACTERSAPIA
CATPANAMLTDS
OVIDBATONROUGE
DROPAMENCORNER
EENSLESTROYENS
Tue 4/3/2007
JULEPVAINMASS
ALEVEELMOILLS
MANETROHEXOUT
NINETYSIXHOURS
SRISPIEL
ITSOPENTHOMAS
PAHAROARGASP
OCEANSTWENTYTWO
DEBTALLAHTAR
STANZAONECENT
OSSIECAY
FANTASTICEIGHT
ELOIIAGOSNIPE
TEEMSLEDLEEKS
AXLETYRAETSEQ
Fri 3/30/2007
READMYLIPSROTH
EDDIEMONEYOTHO
SMOKEALARMAHEM
TENETIRISMERE
DEADSTUDLIB
ASISEATONALTO
YESLETSTEACOZY
ORORAT
BESTBUYDERIDES
ATITTONEUPEPA
TELKENSVEIL
CREETOATPEPSI
ANNAHOLYPERSON
VATSONONESSIDE
ELKENONEWTAXES
Sat 12/16/2006
SILENTXASTARTE
THEFORETHREERS
DOGFOODTIECLIP
EPIPOOCHESEON
NERFPURERYALE
ISOLATAGRESEW
SONATATYPESETS
TECHMAHI
RENTACOPCATNIP
ONEAMKIXBIOME
STAXSKEGSSTER
ARRPHARAOHUMP
RAPANUIMRAPRIL
INABINDETIENNE
OTRANTOSAMESEX
Sat 10/28/2006
HUSKERSAMIDST
EXHIBITAMETEOR
YOUDAMANMOESHA
DRTYESDEARPAL
AITSSERINCAVA
YALEUSEEARIEL
SLEEVETIAMARIA
HULKHOGAN
WERELIVEOHIOAN
OPERAAGRLANCE
BILEOSIERLETO
ETAINSALESTUG
GOTOLDNOTAHOPE
OMENIVTARRAGON
NESTEDDOGGONE
Sat 10/21/2006
HOMEFREEDAYSPA
ONASLANTIMONIT
GETSAWAYRIBOSE
WHEATPINSWHA
AERIFYENDTIMES
RAISEUPALAMODE
TRAENAMIDUB
STLOGRADSSIGH
WSWBLOCKLOI
AGITATOFORCEPS
LETERRIPPARTON
GONTELEMARSH
ODEDONANTEDATE
RESORTLIARLIAR
ESSENESEXSELLS
Sat 10/7/2006
CERAMICSKOJAK
EXONERATEANAME
SQUAREPEGPENIN
TUNLASERGUIDED
LIDSDIVERTJLO
ASHENZETA
VIOLATESNLMEA
ITLLDODABOMB
EEEARRHERETIC
RACEDAHLS
EDAVITALSKEEP
VENUSDEMILOAZO
AMATIDECORATOR
DOINGGREENBELT
ESSENASSOONAS
Fri 9/29/2006
JONSTEWARTMIZE
ALOHATOWERENYA
CDROMDRIVEDAZS
KMARTDRESSSIZE
SANTASELSADYS
OIDMAJLEOVI
NDAKBIGGESTFAN
EGOMANIAC
BIPARTISANHOPI
ADANOWEBPEN
ROYAMCSNADERS
WOMENSLIBDANSE
ADENDONOTENTER
RINDOVERANDOUT
ETTESEXGODDESS
Fri 9/1/2006
RISOTTOSREATAS
OHMEOHMYECZEMA
YOADRIANPATENT
GPSENOWREBEC
BEHALFNEEDCASH
ISERESYLLSLIM
VODKAGIMLETLAO
SPASYNEZ
MMETHEHEATISON
RAMSANOSETHNO
FRAIDNOTASSETS
IRINARSVPCHI
XYLENEHINDERER
IMEANTONESPADE
TEDDYSTEATABLE
Fri 5/12/2006
IBEFOREECDROMS
REDDFOXXAIRBUS
ITSAFACTMEREST
SHEANERVESYES
HELPSPAIRED
PLATPALOMAR
LUBRICANTMONA
ATOOTHFORATOOTH
MARVTHESTATES
SHEATHEATOR
LEARNTPIPPA
ADDENCAMPGALL
BERETSNEEDANAP
CLICHEANNOTATE
SEQUELSTTHOMAS
Sat 3/11/2006
QUIDPROQUOGETA
ULTRASOUNDOXEN
ITSINTHEREOPEN
VIALSATDOTO
EMTSMATTSASHY
RARAALEEKNEES
ETATSADDLED
DEPICTINEVER
NOSCOREVENI
JESSEONANINST
AMAHGNAWSLENZ
COTEACTHRAI
OTOESEEIFICARE
BERTERADICATES
ISISSTRESSTEST
Sat 2/11/2006
AIRGUITARCOCA
SNOOPDOGGLAPAZ
TESTATORSAMEMO
ARITATEZONE
IRESGEEAYMARA
ROTCSDROPSINON
ERHARDSHOULDNT
ERIESMOSES
FIRELANERATHER
ANITALOOSNEURO
SAVANTLEAATMS
HECKINDSCII
COTTAITSAPLANE
OLEINTHEMASSES
MERCESSAYTEST
Sat 1/14/2006
MMMMGOODOFFED
AAAMEMBERPRONE
TELLSALIETERRA
TWATHATSTOOBAD
HERRADIOSNAGS
ASIANIEREDEE
UTAHANSTTERESA
ATORSSNS
EXPLODESENVIED
XERICETAPPLE
PROBCHERISAAB
LOTUSEATERSNIE
OXEYELOVESCENE
REGISLIONTAMER
EDENSTRESPASS
Thu 7/7/2005
ECANSCMDHALFE
BIZETHAIAFOOT
OCULIOKSIRISH
XERRAREBITSTR
ERESWASABILEE
SOSOALARMRARA
LORENTENET
LEAVESEHANDED
CISCOPESTO
ONCEEARPSNEBR
MEAINTOTOECRU
ESPSTOMACHZEN
UMASSDIGOKEMO
PADREDSOHEMEN
ENESTSENONANE
Fri 6/10/2005
PIZZAZZJAZZAGE
ONESIZEPLAINER
DERALTEMENTION
USOSOMEONEMRI
NSECPADREMAGE
KESEYNAGBELIE
ZAPMATERIAL
RELAXESNORMANS
AGONIZESYEA
MOONSXYZTIMID
PIKELISLEDARA
ADECANTONSNOM
REDNOSETSARINA
TATAMISYULELOG
SLOVAKSSEALANE
Fri 12/31/2004
HADTHELASTLAUGH
AGREETODISAGREE
YADDAYADDAYADDA
EZRRMNERSUSD
SEESTOSUM
ASLOPEPICKS
JESUORANGDRIQ
IMATGEENADEEM
FIXEYASIRLEVI
FREEHDESIRE
DIEBACALL
ITSDLIMAGSEA
RUMPELSTILTSKIN
ABUSHELANDAPECK
NATIONALHIGHWAY
Fri 6/18/2004
JUMANJILIONIZE
OPINIONACRONYM
GATELEGYANGTZE
GTOEYESOREEZR
ERSESALVEKAYS
REINSRYESERVO
SESAMEARKANSAN
MINUSSIGN
STTERESADEEPER
CHALKAFCSTONE
REGSATOLLHOLA
ERLEPOXIESRAD
AMISTADMAESTRI
MINUTIAAVERAGE
SCENERYXEROXES