Hi! I'm Sam, a 17-year-old high school student from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Starting constructing in early 2020 and soon after started solving daily. That helped me sharpen my construction skills, and got this guy accepted to be published in January when I was still 16.
Fun fact: this isn't my first accepted NYT puzzle. Unfortunately, I was set to debut with a 62-worder in March, but some circumstances had that one pulled last minute. Excited to showcase this one instead, which I think is a better grid than the other.
This started as an audacious 62-worder, with a block being added in the NE/SW corners once they became nightmares to fill cleanly. Started with 33-Across and built out, looking for snazzy stuff wherever I could. That NE corner was the hardest to fill by far, so happy I came out of it with just 7-Down.
Clue-wise, happy to see 42% of mine remain unchanged! Fun additions from the team include 32-Across and 30-Down (!). A personal favorite that made it to print was 19-Across, though sadly, mine for 7-Across [Way to track someone on the run?] was left out.
Hope you enjoyed it, and I'll surely be back sometime with another themeless offering for you all. See you then, and have a great rest of your Saturday.
P.S. Shoutout to my mom! We still solve together often, and she's always been so supportive. I'm excited to see how long it will take her to crack this one.