“I’ll See You in Hell!”

by Lucy Howard & Ross Trudeau

[.puz][PDF][Solution] 🔥🔥🔥

She’s BACK! Lucy has previously collaborated with me on puzzles on this site and the New York Times, but now she’s returned with a trickier offering. I’m giving this puzzle a 4/5 on difficulty, and the grid architecture alone should alert you to the fact that *something* is afoot.

Also! Last night Parker and I continued our CursewordsLive solving stream over on Twitch, and we added a live crossword constructing element. Many thanks to the viewers who contributed and helped us a build a whole dang puzz in about 30 minutes! The video is recorded and viewable on the channel, and it might be useful/demystifying for folks who want to see how the sausage gets made.

A couple thoughts on “I’ll See You in Hell!” after the jump.

CursewordsLive construction crew 💪🏼

This puzzle is a riff on a concept I messed with last year, but with more challenging execution. I wasn’t convinced it’d even work, but Lucy stepped in with the final interlock piece, and we were off to the races.

GO DOWN IN FLAMES is lovely revealer answer, hinting at the center wall busting DISCO INFERNO, WHO THE BLAZES, and CAMPFIRE SONG, but it’s an unwieldy 14 letters long. There wasn’t a way to hide it anywhere such that it wouldn’t interact with the theme answers–you know I’m usually not into burying the revealer as a title–so the interlock was 100% necessary. The *triple* interlock, in fact.

Normally I’m not super into marginally-connected thematic content, but in this case pairing CATHOLIC SCHOOL with GO DOWN IN FLAMES was just too much fun. And note, again, the triple interlock that results in the northern half of the grid. These constraints were actually a bear to manage, and I was super impressed in particular with Lucy’s work in the south, where only ESTD and AT A strike me as compromise answers.

Happy solving, friends!


6 thoughts on ““I’ll See You in Hell!”

  1. Is it just me or does the solid bar across the equator of this puzzle increase the solving difficulty by a lot. I didn’t understand some of the words until I figured out what the dashes meant. After that it was still hard. A dash can mean SO many things.
    A very satisfying puzzle (once completed). Thanks Ross and Lucy.

    • Agreed! Particularly insofar as most of the puzzles on this site do a pretty explicit job of indicating the gimmick; this one leaves a little bit more room for squinting and head scratching. Glad you liked it, Dana!

  2. This puzzle was a lot of fun to solve. Couldn’t get a foothold in the north but worked back to the top after getting the revealer. Should have figured everything out at 12 down. Thanks, Lucy and Ross.

  3. Just worked through this one. LOVED it. Catholic School alum, here… And a Girl Scout… AND I was in my 20s during the Disco Inferno era…Thanks, Ross and Lucy!

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