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A book of forty-five new variety cryptic crosswords constructed by some of the world's best logophiles (lovers of words).
A book of forty-five new variety cryptic crosswords constructed by some of the world's best logophiles (lovers of words).
258 backers pledged $15,804 to help bring this project to life.

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Cryptic All-Stars ebook

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The Puzzazz ebook version of Cryptic All-Stars has launched. Everyone who is entitled to the digital version should have received an e-mail from Roy Leban at Puzzazz on how to get access. If not, please let me know.

The puzzles look fantastic. See for yourself.

Roy and his team did a phenomenal job putting this book together. They added lots of features to their app just to be able to support some of the truly unique aspects of this book. So to all you folks at Puzzazz, my sincerest thank you.

While this book is certainly not for beginners, this ebook (along with all of Puzzazz's cryptics) has a hinting feature that will show you how a clue should be read in order to solve it. So if you have a friend that you are trying to ease into variety cryptics, or you occasionally would like some help, but don't want to try to sneak a peak at the answers for fear that you will inadvertently ruin the puzzle, this ebook may be the perfect solution.

For those of you who have come across this project too late, it can be purchased at Puzzazz here. Of course, if you prefer the paper and pencil version, you can buy that one at Amazon here.


__adjective__ News!


Good News: the MIT Mystery Hunt is just hours away. 

Great News:  Puzzazz is making excellent progress on creating the eBook. It is looking to be ready early February. 

Awesome News: In an unexpected burst of productivity, I was able to bind, package, and ship everyone's paper book last week.  Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night can now stop those puzzles from making it to your doors.  No, not rain nor dark, not a train or a car or a tree, not a house nor a box nor a mouse nor a fox can keep you from your cryptics now.

I had an absolute blast putting these puzzles together. I hope you all have a blast tearing them all apart.


Happy Holidays!

Lots to report. If you want the short version, the book's about done, and should be ready late January.

And for the rest of you who have some reading time....

The last couple of puzzles are being edited as we speak.  The final list of authors is Bob Stigger, David Ellis Dickerson, Hayley Gold, Henry Hook, John Forbes, Joshua Kosman, Kevin Wald, Mark Gottlieb, Mark Hapin, Mike Selinker, Roger Wolff, Roy Leban, and Todd Rew. The book will be ready to be published by Christmas. Unfortunately, it won't be under any trees this year, but late January is our new target.

I'm not a mathematician, so please don't ask me to explain this: Due to something called the Law of Large Numbers, it costs less money to print 250 posters than it does to print 100.  So I've got an extra 150 posters that I don't know what to do with. I mean, I could solve a couple of them, but that would get a bit tedious after a while.

The posters, on the other hand, will be under some Christmas trees. I'll be mailing them next week. In the meantime, if anyone would like a copy, please contact me at, and for $10, you can have one of these beautiful 20"x30", 316-clue puzzle posters hanging on your wall. 

For anyone who ordered a mug, they will be ready for Christmas as well. I've got a couple extra of those, too. For $25, you can have one, too. 

I've heard a lot of requests for the appeal of coil-binding, so as an early Christmas present, I bought myself a coil-binding machine. Not only do I get to hand-bind all of your books, I will be able to make the coil-bound version publicly available.  

Lots of Progress


I'm quite excited at the progress we've made and I just wanted to share the news.

New Constructors: I am very happy to announce two new constructors who have joined this project. These additions were quite rewarding to me as they were not initially sought out to contribute, but were so excited upon hearing about this project that they were willing to beg and bribe me to be a part of Cryptic All-Stars.  At least I assume they would have been willing to beg and bribe me -- instead, they simply offered up puzzles that were too good to turn down. Please welcome long-time constructor John Forbes, and the relative newcomer to the world of cryptics, Brendan Emmett Quigley (yes, *that* Brendan Emmett Quigley).

Poster puzzle: Very few details were provided about the poster puzzle. That's because very few details existed.  The poster puzzle was, quite frankly, a last-ditch effort to get this project funded. Thank you to everyone who upped their pledge in response to this without actually knowing what you were getting.  The puzzle is designed and currently being clued. It is a block-style puzzle of 316 clues, which is about ten standard 15x15 puzzle's worth. It is aesthetically as well as intellectually pleasing. 

Mugs and Pencils: The mugs and pencils are sitting in my office now, and look great. I haven't tested them all, but the ones I have write and hold coffee as expected. They are also proving to be quite helpful puzzle-solving tools.

Puzzles: We've gotten about 30 puzzles so far, and of those, I'd say about 30 of those are pretty awesome.

Henry Hook is Back!

For those of you who have been waiting for years to get their hands on some more of Henry Hook's puzzles, have I got a treat for you.  Not only do we have five wonderful puzzles from Henry in the book, but we've got an extra one for you to solve right now.