Although I very much appreciate a clever theme, some of my favorite puzzles to solve are themeless puzzles like the ones in the New Yorker each Monday and Friday. It’s not easy to fill wide-open spaces with fresh and interesting vocabulary while avoiding things that aren’t things, or things that are obscure or musty. The New Yorker constructors do that consistently, and their puzzles are typically the highlight of my solving week, along with the Sunday Washington Post by Evan Birnholz. I am striving to come closer to that level and I hope you find today’s 4/5 difficulty Free Association puzzle pleasing as I work toward that goal. It hasn’t been submitted anywhere and I made it just for you. Let me know what you think!
Speaking of highlights of the solving week, there are many puzzles not reviewed on Crossword Fiend which are worth your time. In addition to the many good indie puzzles out there right now, make sure you are doing Matt Gaffney’s New York Magazine puzzle, and if you want a reliably-good easy crossword, you can now check out the USA Today puzzle edited by Erik Agard. The Vox puzzle is also worth looking at. Kind of like the wrecked car they show high school students to discourage drunk driving.
I’ll see you next week with a Brief Therapy offering. Have a great weekend!
I'm a husband, father, psychologist, musician, and crossword constructor living in Catonsville, MD. My puzzles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and its syndicates, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Andrews McMeel Universal Syndicate, and crossword apps such as the Redstone Crossword Puzzle App on iOS and Google Play. All of that means I've been published in every newspaper in the United States and many others around the world. And now I've been published here at Grid Therapy, which allows me the amazing freedom to let who I am shine through. Maybe it will occasionally rub you the wrong way politically. I don't know. But in this space I get to not care. I hope you enjoy your time here on the crossword couch! I'd love to hear from you if you have comments or suggestions. If you're interested in having a custom crossword puzzle created for your event or organization, email me at drtrent (at) gmail.com.