Monday, May 29, 2023

themeless no. 26

this time last year i was in a really shitty place, mentally. i made a whole puzzle about it, vaguely, if you will recall. i'm not going to go back and look at it though, because i (as some of you know) grade myself on all of my puzzles in a very unhinged spreadsheet, and when i revisit old ones i get the urge to downscore them because...reasons. i see a million little things i could have done better, or fill i wouldn't use now but felt fine using then. the lesson i learned last year (unrelated to crosswords), and why i am not indulging my worst habits now, is that it's okay to be nice to your past self. you didn't know everything you know now, and you should extend yourself the same grace that other people do/did. we're all learning! 


totally forgot what i was talking about. um. this puzzle did not come from a bad place! it came from a place of unadulterated whimsy and i think it's fun. i hope you think it's fun! i hope you're having a good summer, and so help me god i hope you are wearing sunblock while you do so. 

this was test solved by alex. huge surprise, i know. his new mondrian puzzle is so good, please check it out. (i should add that will nediger also made a mondrian puzzle??? [what is in the water???] so do that one, too, while you're at it)


Sunday, May 21, 2023

"themeless" no. 25


as someone who has never made a themed puzzle in my life, it gives me no joy to announce that this is maybe not a themeless puzzle. i'd call it a 'choose your own adventure' but, well... i chose for you! i tried to make this one pretty easy breezy because...y'know what? let me stop while i'm ahead. this puzzle was both encouraged and tested by alex, so please direct all your complaints to crossword butler. without further ado...

(ED. NOTE / SPOILER: gur nygreangr gvgyr sbe guvf chmmyr vf "bbcf, nyy qbjaf!")


Tuesday, May 2, 2023

themeless no. 24

i didn't get around to posting a puzzle in april and, for the first time in crosstina history, i'm not flagellating myself over it! and that's on personal growth. a lot happened over the last month, not the least of which being a 'songs to listen to while solving crosstina puzzles' round in music league (which made me feel very blessed and highly favored, thank you erica) that brought this song to my attention, for which i am very grateful: lowercase IS my love language! i also have a new job, which is fun! not much else to say here— remember to wear your sunscreen, and fund compassionate health care, nonjudgmental support, and reproductive justice for all!

no one test solved this because i'm a gremlin who will never learn from previous mistakes.


Sunday, March 19, 2023

themeless no. 23


have you ever seen the fake 30 for 30 on the space jam game? watch it and then get back to me. i'll wait.

common sense would dictate that i not post this puzzle—three puzzles in one month exists in perfect opposition to both "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and "you can't be missed if you never go away". only here's the thing: i've done the go away thing! i was miserable! and since this is my blog, where i make the rules, and everything is about me, you have to suffer through me posting another crossword. 

legend has it that this skeleton may have started out as a natan last puzzle? but i came across it as a paolo pasco puzzle, at which point i was like 'wow, what an incredible grid! i should ruin it!' and here we are. 


Thursday, March 9, 2023

themeless no. 22

two puzzles in two weeks? who do i think i am?! myself, from march 2022? 

no poster because clearly the keebler elves who run my photoshop have been busy! 

this grid had been sitting unclued on my computer for months after getting rejected in late 2022 and my subsequently...forgetting about it. you may notice a spanner that has appeared in an earlier puzzle, to which i say: mind your business! also, it's clued better this time, so leave me alone! [ed note: there is actually another earlier-puzzle dupe here that is not clued better. i contain multitudes!] there's not much else to say here— i hope it's fun?!

alex test solved this one, too. if you haven't done his puzzle with brooke yet, let me upgrade u.

shortest notes ever? maybe! please let me know how you like the new look; i loved the old header but i was craving more color. mission: ✅


Wednesday, March 1, 2023

themeless no. 21

i had a very long blog post written here, reflecting on a lot of things, including the unique loneliness that really hits you at like 2:30 am in mid-february when it's 11 degrees outside and nothing seems to be going quite the way you hoped. then i realized that the post read as...well, sad? and extremely self-pitying. and not actually representative of how i really feel—which is still kind of amazed that i get to spend any amount of my time doing this, which brings me such happiness! i also have so many of you to belatedly thank—a bunch of people i like/love/adore/admire/respect, etc. signed my birthday card in january and it is something i truly cherish and makes me feel very special. so thank you, to everyone, for the incalculable difference you all make in my life.

this post is not turning out much shorter. i'm wrapping it up, i promise!

i've decided, in my newly acquired age, that i think life is about like, maybe three things:
  1. wearing sunscreen
  2. finding/creating/multiplying joy
  3. a little bit of mischief  
i can promise you will always find at least 2 of these things in my puzzles. i can't make you wear spf, but so help me god if you don't i'll make sure you never hear the end of it.

okay i'm done I'M DONE. there's a new puzzle after the jump. i am not going to fixate on the fact that it's march, i am simply here to offer it to you and ask that you be kind. alex tested it, and there's a new tag on the crosswordnexus blog for all my favorite puzzles, so you should bookmark that. xoxoxoxo


Wednesday, December 21, 2022

themeless no. 20

hi, welcome back to crosstina. it's been a while, hasn't it? a lot has happened since we were last here, and two-plus months slipped through my fingers. i've been busy and life has been life—as in, all the good and bad and beautiful and terrible things that happen in life continue to happen. i've desperately wanted to post here, and i'm sure at some point in the past two months could have found the time, but i was also locked in a really negative head-space and have been very unkind to myself. to that end, this puzzle feels remarkable in that i even finished it. anything beyond that is icing on the cake!

i want to thank everyone who's shared their time/energy/eyeballs/laughter/creativity/passion with me this year. i had no idea what 2022 had in store, and was simply along for the ride. suffice to say, i love this ride. i'm enjoying the hell out of it. it is unpredictable and challenging and exciting and i feel very lucky to be on it. i couldn't have (and wouldn't have) done it if it weren't for every person who has done one of these goofy puzzles and enjoyed it. thank you, again, for everything.

that all being said! this is my official end-of-the-year puzzle— it is themeless, and only an 'end of the year' puzzle in that i have no plans on making another one in the next week. pet your dogs for me, tell the people you love that you love them, and celebrate your holidays in a way that makes you happy. see you next year!!

(thank you to alex for the test-solve— check out his latest doodad here!)