Puzzle #19: Reptilian Overlords

[.puz][PDF][Solution] 🦎 🐍 🐊 🏛

This puzzle was inspired by comedian Claire Parker’s Twitter bio (spoiler alert), which led me down a deep, dark Wiki-conspiracy rabbit hole.

I had only tangentially been aware of the Reptilian Overlord conspiracy theory. Which, if you’re not familiar with, deserves extensive poorly-sourced research on your part.

Sssssssspoiler alert

*SPOILER ALERT*

One of the pros of running an indy crossword puzzle site is that I can frame an otherwise straightforward theme (people descriptors with a reptile in them) as something outlandish like… an alien lizard conspiracy puzzle.

It’s a pretty tight theme set: FLORIDA GATOR, SOCIAL CHAMELEON, DJ SNAKE, LOUNGE LIZARD. And there isn’t a ready-made revealer answer (REPTILIAN PEOPLE, 15, to match SOCIAL CHAMELEON, felt a little forced), I had to go to mirror symmetry with the theme set. And since mirror symmetry allows you to isolate them answers in pretty tidy ways, I was able to get a bunch of bonus fill I like in there: FÜR ELISE, ETSY SHOP, SO TO SAY, DAD JOKE, MEGADETH, etc.

Anyway, try to watch Mitch McConnell and believe he’s not a bullfrog in sheep’s clothing. JUST TRY.

-Ross

Puzzle #8: Loose Chronology

[Across Lite] [PDF] [Solution] ⏰🤔

Omg omg omg we interrupt this regularly-scheduled Rossword Puzzle for a shameless plug. You *didn’t hear it from me*, but tomorrow’s New York Times puzzle is totally worth solving. Not because I had a hand in it (I did), but because it’s a NYT debut for this stellar human. Amanda reached out to me some months ago for some construction tips, and as of this writing she’s sold several crosswords to outlets like Inkubator, the WSJ, and the NY Times. And she’s my new puzz bestie. 💕

Anyway, a bit about this week’s Rossworld Puzzle below… *SPOILER ALERT*

Drip tock

This puzzle’s revealer, DO YOU HAVE THE TIME, is one of those 16-letter revealers that you giddily count out hoping (HOPINNNGGG) it’ll fit in a standard 15×15 grid. When it doesn’t, you know that whatever you come up with is going a) to the NYT, which allows constructors to go 16-wide, b) onto the scrap heap, or c) onto your blog. And… here we are.

There aren’t any super long down “bonus” answers because the middle themer requires black box placement that chops up the sides pretty thoroughly. But when the first themer came to mind, I knew there was a decent puzz here.

Solve it quick, nerds… tempus fugit!