“Well, I’m Stumped”

[.puz][PDF][Solution] 🌲🌴🎋🌳

It occurs to me that maybe, from time to time, I should point out the “Rosswords by Mail” feature. Drop your email address in the field to the right and you’ll get each Sunday’s #Rossword whooshed straight to your inbox. It’s a good way to ensure you won’t miss a trick!

A couple of #Rosswords out the in the wild to apprise you of:

– Tomorrow’s New York Times Monday (5/3) puzzle, which I’m told by a colleague “isn’t a GIANT waste of time *wink wink*”. I submitted that one sometime in mid-2019, so it’s not exactly cutting edge Ross material, but I think it holds up okay.

-Yesterday’s 5/1 Universal puzzle, “Look Within Yourself,” a collaboration with my dear friend and noted weasel aficionado Amanda Rafkin.

Oh! And don’t forget to tune in tomorrow (Monday) evening at 9pm eastern for some live Twitch solving over at Cursewords Live. Parker and I are temporarily taking over the Boswords primetime slot, at least until Boswords returns and we can resume our more natural role as afterparty hosts.

Thoughts and spoilers for “Well, I’m Stumped” after the jump!

Maybe solve this week’s puzz via the PDF? Cap’n America helped me make it!!!

There is nothing, and I mean nothing inherently interesting about “wood” as a crossword puzzle theme. And truth be told, I’m not sure how this is going to play out from a solving standpoint. I think when I fixed on the idea of a) hiding various types of trees in the grid, b) stacking them one on top of the others, and c) trying to pull off a triple stack three different times in the same grid … well, I think I just liked the challenge. But that’s a pretty navel-gazy approach to crossword construction. Ah, well. Perhaps the, ahem, craftsmanship will be enough to make this a worthwhile solve.

If you’ve got the wherewithal, I suggest clicking into the PDF and downloading/printing/solving with pen and paper. The colored cels in PuzzleMe are nice, but I was able to do more with the PDF.

Happy solving, friends!

-Ross

16 thoughts on ““Well, I’m Stumped”

  1. Neat visuals! I know that some puzzles have already substituted occasional images for clues, but your PDF makes me wonder whether an entire puzzle (possibly a mini) could be constructed this way—no written clues at all, just grid art. This would most likely require two side-by-side grids, for Across art and Down art… unless one wanted to ramp up the difficulty by actually superimposing the two. Food for thought?

  2. Enjoyed this one, Ross. Not at all tinny. I did it on a browser, and the only issue I had with the colours was 19A, which is maybe a bit too dark for the print to be easily legible.

  3. The textures in the PDF grid really do look beautiful. Great idea! Also enjoyed the clue for 50D :O

  4. I wood have pared down some of the clues, might have shaved off my solving time.

    Be careful stacking your piles so close to 15A….

    A Frozen reference that isn’t ANNA or ELSA? Deserving of a warm hug.

  5. Very clever clues for 6A and 1D. Enjoyed the puzzle overall, wooden’t expect any less from you..

  6. Went down so smooth it almost felt like a tight themeless in the first few corners (maybe I just couldn’t see the forest for the woods?) and then I was delighted to see it slide into a groove.

  7. “Yo that’s lit”. ??? Maybe someone can explain to an old man what that means? (I did get the answer from crossing entries, but it’d be nice to know what it means, and Google isn’t much help.)

    1. Google “That’s lit” and “slang”, and you’ll see that, figuratively, lit = awesome (or “on fire,” as in “this party is lit”). Then again, FIRE is literally lit. Hence, a pun. Enjoy.

  8. Very fun and an impressive feat. I wonder if you could sub TIMBER for 41D as another way to tie up the theme. (Not a helpful suggestion, I realize.) Loved it!

    1. Thanks, Adam! I’ve personally never gone in for the “double revealer”; if you’ve got an apt revealer, may as well leave it at that, no?

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