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Pete Muller
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
184/18/20067/16/20177
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
6042501
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.60250

with Jeff Chen comments

See the answer words debuted by Pete Muller.



18 puzzles by Pete Muller

Sun 7/16/2017IF THE SPIRIT MOVES YOU
OLAVSPJSNEBSPOSH
NADIRSHAIERLEAPIAN
LIVEITDOWNWRENYESNO
ANATYINANDYANGDRAKE
NINLMAOFRONDBIALYS
DETRAINWEIRDEARN
AONEREINKKNITTING
SEGUEFRANKBETOFOE
OLEGDORRSOLARADAMN
WISHFULSHARONACUTEX
COCKTAILLOUNGES
INFUNTOWELEDCOSTNER
WALTZASADAKNEWMOAN
IVEPLAYRANASFONTS
NEDROREMCOROTALPS
EPOSCRUETILOSTIT
STIVESPHONYSPARANI
AIDANSEEADOCTORERTE
ITEMSATWTUNEDUCATED
DRAPELEOIIBNMISERY
ELSAERNANCOVERNE

Acme and I hung out at ACPT years ago, catching up, when she suddenly smacked me. (I get that a lot.) One of my puzzles had just run, scooping her and Pete of an idea they had been working on. Neat to finally see it finished and in print. I appreciate that Will spread them out, so solvers got a chance to forget mine.

(Between them, there was another one in a similar vein, but it didn't use the same revealer.)

I liked the visual aspect of this one, the circled-up drinks looking a bit like bubbles in champagne. Fun to get a lot of variety, from a DIRTY MARTINI to a COSMOPOLITAN to a PINK LADY. Very upscale!

I'm more of a BEER guy myself, so, on the one hand, it was nice to get that and WINE too. But on the other, they weren't nearly as cool as the long drinks forming big bubbles. Would have been great to get two other mixed drinks to make the set tighter.

So, so difficult to fill around those circled-up drinks. Any time you fix letters in place, you create inflexibility for yourself. And to set so many letters in place right next to each other is nutso. Acme and Pete did well to put black squares in the middle of the biggest drinks, absolutely crucial to filling around COSMOPOLITAN. Still, they ended up with a FLOR, oddball ALARUM, and a GOW. Hmm.

That's not too bad, but there are similar costs throughout the rest of the puzzle. As if the six circled-up drinks weren't hard enough, putting in DRINKS ALL AROUND and COCKTAIL LOUNGES was bound to cause serious pain points. Not surprising to see some oof-worthy BETO, DUC crossing DORR, TO SAM, HIED right where those two long themers cross. And ORLE is one of those Maleskan-era words I'd like to see elevated to "puzzle-killer" status.

I like seeing different implementations of a similar seed idea. The appearance of bubbles was cool. However, I tired of the experience maybe half way through — I wonder if it would have been better as a 15x puzzle with maybe three or four mixed drinks. Tough though, as that would have given Acme and Pete even less real estate to work with. The freedom of the huge Sunday 21x21 palette can be awfully tempting for constructors.

Sun 9/8/2013BUMPER CARS
SPAYTALCMCATSSEPIA
ILIAOHIORICOHEARLS
PARKAVENUECOUGARQUEST
TWIXMARSHPALAUSAO
SEAMENISITELMERS
CAVALIERCAPRIDIPLOMAT
HUEGMAYSERSWAMI
ALHIRTAMOURENYA
BOBCATRABBITACCORD
ROLEXARATALEABS
INTREPIDRAMCHALLENGER
MASSOMASOOBURNT
STORMTROOPERSONATA
AQUIHENCESHANKS
MUNROBITOUZIATF
CELEBRITYGOLFDEFENDER
ONSIDENEMOFLIMSY
AKACOINSTERSEAXIS
MIDGETOUTBACKEXPLORER
PREENCRAMPERASNERF
SIDLEYETISDEMISDAK
Fantastic to see a brother and sister team up! I'm trying to get my nephew (age nine) to co-construct with me, but he stubbornly and heinously insists that LEGOs are more fun than crosswords. I will break him sooner or later.

Five grid-spanners (21-letter lengths) plus two 18's make for a tough construction. All those long across entries necessitate a spate of down entries which must cross two or more theme entries. Pete and Sue use a quasi-stairstep pattern (note how most of the black squares flow NW to SE) which is frequently employed to reduce these constraints and segment the grid into sections. Working with smaller subsections is much easier than trying to fill an entire grid as a whole.

Areas that are more cordoned from the rest of the grid tend to be easiest to fill. Let's look at the ROLEX/BRIM section at the west. There are five parallel constraints (five down words that must cross both of the theme answers), but the fact that this area doesn't have to connect to anything to the left makes it easier. Pete and Sue did an admirable job with a tough set of constraints, only OONA being slightly esoteric (I'm still not sure what her "Game of Thrones" role is, but then again, I still get Renley Baratheon confused with a dozen other people).

Now consider the adjacent POOH/SOMA section. This part must connect to the left (into the ROLEX/BRIM area), but also to the SE (the BITO/TCBY area), which already has its own constraints. The result isn't as nice, with a IMRE crossing SOMA. That's two subsections covered, and the constructors have roughly a dozen more to boot, each with its set of constraints. Is it any wonder that Sundays are so much more difficult to construct than weekday puzzles?

Tue 6/11/2013
ACCTECHOLAPIS
NOLALRONEVENT
DRUGABUSETERSE
RENAMEEDAMDIE
EAGLELAGBEHIND
OBIEERGOT
PUBGAMESIONIZE
EVASKIEDOED
WARMTOBIGBANDS
BLURBNEAT
CRABGRASSATARI
YERBYTEZEALOT
CAIROMIXEDBAGS
LIANAAKINONEO
ERNSTNONOYARN
Wed 10/10/2012
ABCOTHERASBAD
GRODRAMATHANE
HIPJOINTSHODGE
ABSORBPROPJET
SEENESPELSOL
TDSICEAGEKIA
SNAPJUDGMENT
USEASTANASSAM
STUMPJUMPERS
HEREMAILSSTS
PODGESTLCHIA
TIPJARSIDIOCY
ONEISFLAPJACKS
STANSPERSEKEN
SONNYDOMEDSRO
Thu 9/8/2011
STUERWINSELECT
EASTERLYIRONER
TRACTILEDENALI
HEFYENSEMITIC
APRESSKIEEK
WOLFEVERITE
PTUIAESCENSE
MERRYPRANKSTERS
AESOPMOSRASP
TURRETKESEY
IVARAISABLE
NOLIMITBLUJFK
DITTOSTOODLEOO
ILEAVEAVOGADRO
CARTEDREMEDIAL
Sun 7/3/2011MY TREAT
MEATABCDETCGEENA
OKRASDRLAOMAHUNSER
BERLEREATABROWNCOWS
SELTZERWATERCANITBE
DOAGAINSAYSOSNEIN
PURLPADMATOILKOREA
ITSANLOINSDAMNYSL
SDSISAIDETAIL
EGGSACSFLAVOREDSYRUP
ANEKAUAIMDVIRHEIMS
RASHLARRYSETTOSOBA
ORTEGATEEDNEONSJET
FLEXIBLESTRAWNECTARS
ALLORINCANSAW
MRSLENIORRINBOSSA
RUNESGEMSEELEDSKIN
ILEXASSAILVOICING
SEATRIPICECREAMSODA
COKEFLOATTRENDPORTS
ANENDORRSEEYASPORK
NERDSNEEELANSWAY
Thu 4/14/2011
IPODSDVDSAPISH
SADATRAINTALIA
MYEYEILLEARIEL
TRAVELERSLOGO
ITSONMEATONES
SHADEPROVIDER
LAMARRADOHER
ARMYREELINTELE
MPSARCSBANTU
GENEKELLYPROP
UNSOLDLEADINS
HITFORRIHANNA
USURPEBONONEAL
RANEEAEROSCALE
ANTEDMTNSEERIE
Wed 5/12/2010
NICHERHODAIOWE
ONHERORRINTUBB
SLOPEMENSASTAB
HOPCSAOPCITS
EVILTWINRICOTTA
DENYANEMONEAOL
NOMTOVBERYL
JACKINTHEBOXES
MOSHEOLEEXP
ESTESTELLEASST
DEEPFATSONATINA
REEBOKWESROC
PAIRODILEKNICK
RASPTALONUSUAL
YAKSSYNODPASTE
Sun 2/14/2010THAT'S AMORE
NEHIAETNABLINDHAJI
OPENRERANSODOMOLIN
WHATISLOVESCIFIOILS
TUNETAMSKOANKALE
FRIENDSHIPSETTOMUSIC
MEATPIEOCATREPEAT
KEYSTONEROWANASSN
TDSELMSNOLOAD
THEBEAUTYOFTHESOUL
PUTOUTMILELAICORZO
CHANGESLUNTSTHEREIN
BORERUHROOHSORELSE
SHARINGYOURPOPCORN
TEAPOTOPAHGYM
VEGAREMUSSIGNORAS
PAMELARINGLEERING
AMANYSPLENDOREDTHING
NONETRODEMILDRED
DOURHITITALLYOUNEED
ASEAMOTTSALIENTREO
SELLAROSEMEESESSGT
Thu 12/3/2009
LTRSSIRNOSOUP
POETPLOSECURE
NOGOAREAARTIST
LAGGARDSVOIT
MARYIISHEAUNE
ITDONAITCHIER
DEEMGOETHE
DENVERLETTE
SEAGODHONE
KRISHNASETHEM
REFISPSAVAILS
ANODSTARMAPS
KONICAURBANPOP
OILRIGNCODUNE
WRYESTGOBESSU
Sun 11/1/2009COMPOUND FRACTURES
CAPSBATTABHORCDS
APOCRYPHAPIANOTWEET
RETROSPECTACLESVILLE
BATESKATFLEWAKITE
ELEPHANTOMSPORADICAL
AILSYANCORTESPAS
RELCRAGWADIDOTE
PSYCHEDELICACYNODICE
AAHALAEATMISOS
CONTRABANDONLIPBALMS
UTAHSEDGEEFILETAME
OHFATHERROULETTERMAN
METRORAJAMOICI
ORATORGUITARISTOCRAT
ILAYSVENNOELEGO
RECLECTERSTLAFEW
PERHAPSODYFOREVERIES
HIROSHIMAZOLAASAN
OSAKACENTIPEDESTRIAN
TETESARDENMAKEHASTE
ORANSYNCNYESTHAW
Sun 6/21/2009FAMOUS LAST WORDS
OSCARWHAMHAMWILDE
MAORIAUTOMATABESEEM
ISLASREMNANTSRILEUP
THEBENDSGROUCHOMARX
ITEFOCIEDAM
LOUCOSTELLOSTAIRUMA
AKCSOFAPIERRECPUS
BRAESDOGGONEITCASTS
SALVADORDALIBEPOLITE
ARISONOPENALIZES
DESPOTNWTJASROGERS
EXTENSIONBUYECRU
PEERGYNTCONRADHILTON
OTROSFIREDOORSNARCO
TEENYEMENILEOSATE
SROMORESDYLANTHOMAS
IRONADESEEN
PANCHOVILLAPAPACIES
IAMTOOILLEGALSRANDI
DAEWOOPLAYEDUPOLDEN
ERROLSSNROSSFLYNN
Sat 2/7/2009
SAMESMARTDRUGS
EBONPENTHOUSES
XENALATEDINNER
ORTRITZNEARS
BREVITYMUGS
JACOBSFIFIFIB
ETATSLEMONSODA
CIRERAVESCUER
TOLDTALESLUNAR
SNOAJARRIDDLE
SLAWSETSAIL
FRANKCEDETSR
LIVEINMAIDTITO
OCEANBORNEROIL
ROCKGARDENENCL
Thu 11/20/2008
WOLFFWAILSHAD
AKIRAALTOHIFI
CAPITALISMONTO
CAPNABRADED
WITHOUTFAILURE
RANISTEARNS
ITSOKLCDSMEN
TEENAGETIEPINS
ARTBOTHSACRE
FUNERALKROC
ISLIKERELIGION
RAELIANTARS
ANGEWITHOUTSIN
BEAROTOENAFTA
URLSLYRATNOTE
Tue 6/3/2008
WHORATINGANEW
HASALONSOCIAO
ELLIPTICALALTO
WOODALADUDE
COREMAOISTS
CSPANTKOMACHO
WHERESWALDOREB
PARDTASTEGAPE
OSSINTHECORNER
STOUTEINSAENS
TANDOORMOON
ADOSSEPDEAL
SALEMONTICELLO
SAARARIANEMAE
WADSNAPLESSEW
Tue 7/10/2007
TOTALELLIDAHO
AERIEFEEGIVER
BRIDGEFINANCING
PASTESLIT
POLCTRITASCA
OVERTHEEDGETOD
DACHANAHERAS
TROUBLEDTIMES
BIOSRAWDIETS
ROWWATERFILTER
ANNIESDOALDS
NTSBGINZA
SONGBYPAULSIMON
KOALAOWEEMPTY
AFTERELSCASTE
Thu 7/6/2006
VIPERTUBBILLS
ENATEOLAYMEAL
I NEED MY SPACE
LTDDEBSCALPED
EWANSETAMY
DOSAGEHERAFIE
FORCEDNSYNC
NEXT TO NOTHING
BYLAWAGATHA
AESHULAOARMEN
HISPROKAMA
ARBITERELILBO
LEAVE SOME ROOM
PAREUTNEDONDI
ODDSPUTTOBEYS
Tue 4/18/2006
FRETAMAJAPART
AIRYBIGABONER
QTIPECRUDEICE
ACERTAINCOMMON
DOTTAMEND
ORELEOVRED
LETTERWILLNOTBE
ALTAENOERAT
FOUNDANYWHEREIN
KITLEERETA
ADDLOOAGE
THEPUZZLETODAY
EATATOATHGLAD
ABOVENITEELLA
MIXEDEDERDYED