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Puzzle #81: Get Low

 Hi friends! Back with a themeless this week! I hope you'll find it, well, relatable.  Many thanks to Norah for helping to test this one - you'll see several of our collaborations appearing this month. I also had a cryptic puzzle in The Browser earlier this month. Dan Feyer was kind enough to lower the paywall on that, so feel free to give it a try if you haven't done it yet. Having a published cryptic has been a big goal of mine for a while, and I'm really proud of the result. .puz PDF Solution   Mmm, blondies

Puzzle #80: (T)Ricky Themeless

 Hi friends, Back with a challenge this week! If you'll remember from the last Half-Baked, the crossword Discord server had a "Secret Santa" style exchange of crossword grids. This is the one I made for Ricky Billingsgate, a great constructor you can find at Lexicon Devil for all types of awesome puzzles, with a special emphasis on meta puzzles. Rather than attempt to make a meta for a master of metas, I instead took Ricky's request that he was looking for a tough puzzle akin to the Saturday Stumper or a Stormy-level Boswords grid. This is that puzzle, a themeless that I think is easily the hardest puzzle to date on this blog--but one that I think you'll really enjoy.  Thanks to Norah for help in testing this one.   .puz Solution PDF Mmm, rice pudding cake with mango caramel

Puzzle #79: A PUZZLE FOR @TlMBERWOLVES by Paolo Pasco

 Hi friends, Super excited to bring you a guest puzzle this week from constructor extraordinaire Paolo Pasco . You can find his work in the New York Times, AVCX, cryptics at the New Yorker and the Browser, and generally you'll find him anywhere quality grids are found. This puzzle was made for me (!) as part of a "Secret Snowflake" (aka Secret Santa) exchange on the crossword Discord where a bunch of us made grids personalized for our giftees, and then gave them anonymously. Now that we've all been unmasked, Paolo graciously gave permission for me to run this puzzle here. It was truly one of my favorite puzzles of 2022, and I think you'll love it too. Paolo says: "HONORED TO BE ON THE BLOG, TO CELEBRATE ONE OF THE GREATS NO LESS—HOPE YOU ENJOY!"   .puz PDF   Solution   Mmm, apricot hamentaschen

Puzzle #78: America’s Finest Crossword Puzzle (with Alex Boisvert!)

 Hey friends, Got a cool collab for you today. This one is the brainchild of the talented Alex Boisvert , and I'm so grateful to him for bringing me along on this one. We think you'll really enjoy it. Special thanks to Kate and Norah for their help on this one.  Solve online iPuz download Mmm, pecan pie

Puzzle #77: Low-Hanging Fruit (with Norah Sharpe)

 Hi friends, Back today with a themed collaboration with Norah Sharpe ! Inspired by her "fruit talk" lecture, we think you'll find it fun and full of juicy details! Many thanks to Steve Mossberg for his help in testing this one-check back in on Square Pursuit when Hannukah begins for a delightful series of little cryptic puzzles each night! Norah says: "Did you know that a strawberry isn't really a berry and isn't even a fruit at all? 🤯 Those "seeds" on the outside? Each one is a single achene, a category of fruit that also includes sunflower seeds. The red fleshy stuff is just the part of the flower where the achenes grow. TMYK 🌈 🤓 😚" .puz PDF   Solution Mmm, mascarpone cake with red wine prunes  

Puzzle #76: Cantina

 Hi friends! Coming at you just a wee bit late with a midi this week. If you like these slightly-smaller puzzles, there's plenty more to be had over at Lil AVC X where I'll be part of a fantastic team of editors in 2023! Thank you to Lil AVC X roster member Norah  for helping test this one.    .puz   PDF Solution   Mmm, bagels

Puzzle #75: Fetch!

 Hi friends, A little extra-wide themeless action coming at you this week. I'm indebted to the help I got from Steve and Norah in making this puzzle the best it could be. Enjoy!     .puz PDF Solution   Mmm, pizza with sausage and roast veggies