with Amanda Rafkin
Ladies and gents, meet my x-wife.
Back in April of last year, Amanda was one of the first people to reach out when I started advertising a desire to mentor folks in puzzle construction. She messaged me on Instagram, and within a matter of weeks–no joke–I was on the other side of the country churning out puzzles with her in her living room in Hollywood, CA.
Much of our puzzling time together is spent with me trying to talk Amanda down from puzzle ideas that highly conventional moi finds too saucy or outlandish. But to her credit, she sees her ideas through, and has put her weird and wonderful stamp on such outlets as the Wall Street Journal, the Universal puzzle, the Inkubator and the New York Times. As of this writing, she and I have sold 5 puzzles to the Times together, so GET COMFY.
Today’s puzzle is a new take on an old standby. Here’s Amanda:
“This puzzle started out as one of the many puzzle-related ridiculous joke texts that I send to Ross on the regular. It had occurred to me that the phrase SPLIT THE POT could be taken literally, and I sent him a message with that revealer and examples of what the theme set could be, laughing aloud to no one throughout. Ross is the one who noticed that using the gerund form of SPLITTING THE POT would make the revealer a spanner along with the rest of the theme set I had proposed. Leave it to him to punch up my ridiculousness into something great. The rest, as they say, is history. We hope you enjoy the puzzle and get as much of a chuckle out of it as we did.”
What she said.