Beekeeper Crosswords

Themed Puzzles from Beekeeper Labs

Archive for July, 2009

Puzzle #107: “Thin Pretense”

Posted by on 29th July 2009


What makes some puzzles come out very hard, while others tend to be easy? You can go into the project trying to accomplish one or the other, and you might succeed, or you can just fill in the grid and see what happens. There are tricks to making puzzles easier: putting in shorter words, less dense interlock, simpler definitions. To make it harder, you mostly have to follow your natural hyper-vicious instincts (and I think most puzzle-makers are sadists at heart) and not actively work at making it easy. Having a lot of theme words, or long theme words, helps too, since it makes for a very crowded grid. This week, I (mostly) didn’t hold back, and the result is a puzzle that my testers found particularly challenging. (I reined in the difficulty a little bit as a result, but I still had to pass out the Advil to compensate for the headaches that resulted from the testing process.) Maybe you’ll find it easier — solvers tend to be a hardy bunch — but you’ll probably find at least one clue and one fill word to hate me for before you are finished filling. Won’t that be a nice reward for both of us?

Title: Thin Pretense
Difficulty: Friday
Download: Across Lite or printable PNG (w/ solution)

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Puzzle #106: “Infrared/Light”

Posted by on 22nd July 2009


The title of this one may say “Light”, but don’t assume that means you are in for an easy time. We’ve included enough uncommon words (but still no UNAU), odd themes, intentionally misleading clues, unintentionally misleading clues, and twisted meanings that you should be kept on your toes for at least a little while. And remember: if you don’t understand the theme, look at the title; if you don’t understand the title, look at the theme.

Title: Infrared/Light
Difficulty: Friday
Download: Across Lite or printable PNG (w/ solution)

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Puzzle #105: “In Depth Analysis”

Posted by on 15th July 2009


This commentary has intentionally been left blank. Thus, it is rather like the mind of the person composing it.

Title: In Depth Analysis
Difficulty: Thursday
Download: Across Lite or printable PNG (w/ solution)

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Puzzle #104: “Early Deployment”

Posted by on 8th July 2009


Judging by our comments, last weeks puzzle managed to be somewhat more confounding than we had anticipated. Thus, we’re taking it a bit easier on y’all this week. However, just ’cause we’re taking a walk on the mild side doesn’t mean that we’re compromising on anything else that you are looking for. The puzzle is still themed, still filled with as much fresh vocabulary and innovative cluing as we can manage, and will hopefully still make you groan at least once and scratch your head at least once. If we can manage to inspire a chuckle or a curse, then we’ll really know that we’re on the right track.

We also notice that this is puzzle number 104. At one per week, this apparently means we’ve been giving you free puzzles for two full years now. Happy Birthday, or something like that. It’s been a long road, with lots of changes along the way, but its been a great time sharing with all of you.

Title: Early Deployment
Difficulty: Wednesday
Download: Across Lite or printable PNG (w/ solution)

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Puzzle #103: “Trident Please”

Posted by on 2nd July 2009


The joys of being a crossword constructor are a mixed bag. Slaving over a cantankerous grid trying to get just the right fill can be satisfying or frustrating depending on your mood and how soon you have to publish the danged thing. Finding a clue for OLEO that hasn’t been used 500 times already is mostly just annoying. However, sometimes you get to write a clue like “Circumnavigatory desire?” (39 across). [No, the answer isn’t OLEO. Try to keep up with me here.] There just aren’t a lot of other avocations in which you can use a word or a phrase like that one, much less be able to justify doing so. Such rewards are just bound to brighten a cruciverbalist’s day. (We’ve heard tell, however, that some people think us a bit eccentric. We’re not sure why.)

Title: Trident Please
Difficulty: Thursday
Download: Across Lite or printable PNG (w/ solution)

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