This web browser is not supported. Use Chrome, Edge, Safari, or Firefox for best results.

Thumbnails

3 puzzles by Nam Jin Yoon
with constructor comments

TotalDebutLatestCollabs
38/14/20201/30/20210
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0000012
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.53000
Nam Jin Yoon
Sat 1/30/2021
HOAGIEDROID
ROCKETSCIENCE
YOUHATETOSEEIT
SAYNOGRADDONE
CLADCOATESFEN
ATLSUITECRUST
BASELINEMOUSSE
PANGDAUB
CASINGKITTYCAT
EXACTDUSTSADO
ROOSCONCEKNIT
ALIGRODECEDES
MOREPOWERTOYOU
ITSNOWORNEVER
CLEATPASTED

I recently passed my one-year mark of constructing themelesses, so I thought this might be a good time to jot down a few things I wish I'd known when I first started.

  • Stair-step block patterns that go up are usually easier to fill than stair-step block patterns that go down. (I'm realizing now that Patrick Berry actually explained why this is in his excellent Crossword Constructor's Handbook and that my dumb ass had somehow glossed over it the first time around.)
  • Actually reading Berry's handbook will save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run.
  • "Cheater squares" is a term invented by masochistic constructors who want to make an already difficult task harder for no good reason.
  • "No partial dupes" is another one of those unwritten crosswords rules, which in many ways resemble baseball's unwritten rules. For instance: a small but vocal contingent of crossword purists will get pretty mad at you if they catch you disregarding this "no-dupe" rule. As a rule of thumb, crossword's unwritten rules should be afforded the same respect and reverence as baseball's unwritten rules.
  • Every themeless construction is an exercise in avoiding SEERESSES as your final across answer. But go too far the other way with your J's and Q's, and eventually, your seams will show, and everyone will know you are just afraid of SEERESSES. It's best to deal with the SEERESSES early on while maintaining a healthy but respectful distance.
  • Pangrams should be reserved for immediate family members who have the grace not to write mean things about your puzzles on the internet.
  • Don't pander. Your solvers can tell when you do, making them heavy bored. Stick with words you'd be happy seeing as a solver (without lying to yourself), and the rest will work itself out.
Sat 11/28/2020
TIMETRAVELESTA
AREYOUGAMEXMAN
POWERSUITSPAST
SNLTHANTARTT
TOEBLOTTER
FAIRSFAIRMBA
DRESSCODESOUP
PROBEORCSANDS
LOGOAUTOTUNES
APPPITYPARTY
CARRELSBEA
ELIOTGPASOCT
BINSOVERSHARES
ONCEPINACOLADA
SEENTEETOTALER

If anyone's looking for a good quarantine read (or re-read), I'm a fan of 21A's The Secret History, which is still the GOAT campus novel.

Fri 8/14/2020
KAMASUTRAANGST
ATITAGAINSERTA
FLATWHITESHOOP
KATELAWYERUP
ASANASERUPTS
DRUMBEATCHI
LAMPOONSTHAN
GINSDUOBOAT
DAFTBANKRUPT
ALESOLDIERS
BOSSEDPREGGO
SWANSONGCHOU
SHOTSPELLGRANT
EERIEEYEOPENER
ASKEDDONTSTARE

Fridays are my favorite crossword days, so I'm excited to see my first puzzle published on one. This one started with the EYE-OPENER / DON'T STARE pairing in the SE and proceeded counter-clockwise from there. As a law librarian, I was particularly happy to be able to work in LAWYER UP and angsty law grad KAFKA along the way. Props to the editorial team for making me look a lot better at this constructing thing than I am.

If you're a member of an underrepresented group in crosswords (regardless of experience level) and would like to collaborate, shoot me an email at njywords@gmail.com.