BRIAN GUBIN ARCHIVES

THEMED #1

THIS IS A BASEBALL PUZZLE I CREATED. I DECIDED TO POST IT AS THE SEASON SHOULD HAVE STARTED BY NOW. OH WELL. HOPEFULLY THIS BRINGS SOME JOY UNTIL THE GAMES RESUME.

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THEMELESS #1

MY FIRST ATTEMPT AT CREATING A THEMELESS PUZZLE. THIS WAS DEFINITELY FAR HARDER FOR ME THAN FILLING IN A THEMED PUZZLE. I GOT SOME LONGER AND MORE CREATIVE ANSWERS IN HERE BUT IT WAS NOT EASY FOR ME!

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THEMELESS #2

DECIDED TO QUICKLY COME UP WITH A THEMELESS USING ONE TIMELY ANSWER AT 20-ACROSS. HOPEFULLY THE CLUES MAKE SENSE AND ARE APPROPRIATE. THIS IS A 16X15 TO MAKE MY SEED ENTRY POSSIBLE, BUT IT ALLOWED ME TO GET ANOTHER UNIQUE ANSWER AT THE BOTTOM OF THE GRID.

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THEMED #2

A PUZZLE I MADE A WHILE AGO. I GOT THE REVEALER FROM THE NFL AND I THOUGHT IT WORKED PRETTY WELL. THERE ARE A LOT OF OPTIONS I COULD HAVE GONE WITH BUT I THINK THESE WORK PRETTY WELL WITHOUT MAKING THE THEME TOO DENSE SO THEY WOULD COMPROMISE THE FILL. I LIKED THE BIG STACKS IN THE NE AND SW. 

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THEMED #3

THEMED PUZZLE I CAME UP WITH. THE REVEALER MAY BE A LITTLE ANTIQUATED BUT I THINK IT WORKS. THE BIG CORNERS ALLOWED ME TO HAVE A BUNCH OF LONGER ANSWERS WHICH I THINK HELPS COMPENSATE FOR SOME OF THE SHORTER, LESS PLEASING FILL. 

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THEMED #4: 23 AT THE FRONT

THEMED PUZZLE I CAME UP WITH. THE LAST THEME ANSWER WAS WHAT GAVE ME THE INITIAL IDEA. IT'S NOT THE TIGHTEST OF THEMES BUT I STILL THINK IT WORKS AND GETS THE POINT ACROSS. 

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THEMELESS #3

THEMELESS PUZZLE ATTEMPT. I WANTED TO FIT IN 15-ACROSS, 45-ACROSS, AND 60-ACROSS. THE NE SECTION WAS DIFFICULT FOR ME AND THERE ARE HALF A DOZEN OR SO ENTRIES I DON'T REALLY LIKE. HOPEFULLY MY FUTURE PUZZLES CAN BE HAVE A BIT LESS JUNKY FILL.

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THEMELESS #4

MY LATEST THEMELESS. I THINK THIS IS THE BEST ONE I'VE DONE TO DATE AS FAR AS NOT HAVING TOO MUCH JUNK. THE SE WAS QUITE DIFFICULT FOR ME TO FILL AND I THINK THAT IS THE WEAKEST SECTION BUT THE REST HOLDS UP PRETTY NICELY IMHO. 

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THEMED #5

I HONESTLY DON'T REMEMBER HOW I CAME UP WITH THIS THEME BUT I THINK IT WORKS PRETTY WELL. I THINK THE THIRD IS A SEMI-OUTLIER BUT I THINK IT'S OK. FILL DOWN THE MIDDLE GETS DICEY AS A LOT OF THEME ANSWERS RUN THROUGH THERE BUT I STILL GOT NICE LONG ANSWERS IN THE CORNERS. 

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THEMED #6

THIS WAS A PUZZLE I ACTUALLY CAME UP WITH A LITTLE WHILE AGO AND SORT OF FORGOT ABOUT. I THOUGHT POSTING IT NOW WAS APPROPRIATE BASED OFF 20-ACROSS. I DID A LITTLE CLUE EDITING TO MAKE IT MORE CURRENT. ENJOY.

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THEMELESS #5

ANOTHER ATTEMPT AT A THEMELESS. I STARTED THIS WITH A 15-WIDE ACROSS THE MIDDLE USING WIN SOME LOSE SOME BUT AS YOU CAN SEE I ABANDONED THAT GRID DESIGN. THIS HAS 14 8-LETTER OR LONGER ENTRIES WHICH IS THE MOST I'VE HAD IN ONE GRID. 

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THEMED #7

PRETTY SIMPLE PUZZLE I JUST CAME UP WITH. I'M STUDYING FOR THE BAR EXAM SO I HAVE A LOT LESS TIME FOR PUZZLES THAN I'D LIKE BUT I STILL TRY TO DEDICATE A LITTLE TIME PER WEEK TO MY CRAFT. I THINK THIS THEME COULD WORK IN DIFFERENT WAYS SO I MAY TRY ANOTHER VARIATION OF IT AT SOME POINT. 

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THEMED #8

I CAME UP WITH THIS THEME 7 YEARS AGO OR SO AND STARTED WORK ON THE GRID. THEN THE SAME THEME WAS PUBLISHED IN THE NYT SO I STOPPED WORKING ON IT. I FIGURED I WOULD FINISH THE LAST 1/3 OF THE GRID AND PUBLISH IT HERE BECAUSE OUR GRIDS ONLY SHARED ONE ANSWER. 

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THEMED #9

I'M NOT SURE WHERE THE INSPIRATION FOR THIS CAME FROM. MAYBE I'VE BEEN WATCHING TOO MUCH OF THE OFFICE. EITHER WAY, I THINK IT PROVIDED GOOD THEME ANSWERS AND ENOUGH FREE SPACE TO HAVE SOME LONGER DOWNS. 

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THEMED #10 - SABERMETRICS

ANOTHER BASEBALL PUZZLE. SPORTS SEEM TO BE A COMMON INSPIRATION FOR ME. ALTHOUGH IT SEEMS LIKE THERE ARE LARGE CONCERNS ABOUT PLAYING, I AM GLAD SPORTS ARE COMING BACK. HOPEFULLY THE PLAYERS AND THOSE INVOLVED CAN STAY SAFE. ANYWAY, HOPEFULLY THIS IS STILL DOABLE FOR THOSE WHO DON'T WATCH THE NATIONAL PASTIME. 

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THEMED #11

I'VE BEEN STUDYING AND THEN WENT ON VACATION SO I HAVEN'T HAD MUCH TIME TO DEVOTE TO PUZZLES. CAME UP WITH THIS A COUPLE WEEKS AGO AND WAS ABLE TO FINISH IT UP UPON MY RETURN. 

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THEMED #12

I USED TO BE PRETTY BIG INTO WATCHING 59-ACROSS VIDEOS AND IT HAPPENED TO LEND ITSELF TO A PRETTY SOLID REVEAL. WIN WIN I'D SAY. THE PLANNING OF THE GRID WAS DIFFERENT THAN WHAT I'M USED TO AS I NEEDED TO STRUCTURE AROUND BLACK SQUARES. GOOD LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR ME. 

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THEMED #13 - AND ONE

MY FIRST PUZZLE OF THIS ILK. I REMEMBER A PUZZLE WITH THE THEME "YES, AND" THAT I WAS IMPRESSED WITH AND ALWAYS WANTED TO TRY SOMETHING SIMILAR. THE THEME/TITLE SEEMED LIKE A PRETTY OBVIOUS PHRASE TO BUILD AROUND. ANOTHER SPORTS INFLUENCE BUT NOT SPORTS RELATED. I DEFINITELY THINK I WANT TO TRY THIS TYPE OF PUZZLE AGAIN.

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THEMED #14

CREATING THIS PUZZLE HAS ME NERVOUS. I LEARNED OF THE TRAGIC DEATH OF THE SUBJECT AND WAS (AND AM) SHOCKED. I THINK 21 BRIDGES WAS THE LAST MOVIE I SAW IN THEATERS BEFORE QUARANTINE. HARD TO BELIEVE HE WAS ACTING WHILE SO ILL. I CREATED THIS TRIBUTE PUZZLE AND JUST HOPE IT DOES HIM A LITTLE JUSTICE. I AM SORRY I COULDN'T/DIDN'T INCLUDE SOME OF HIS OTHER ICONIC ROLES, LIKE JACKIE ROBINSON OR JAMES BROWN. 

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THEMED #15 - CHANGING OF THE GUARD

THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE THEME TYPES. I ENJOY THE WORDPLAY ASPECT. 7-DOWN WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE MOVIES GROWING UP. I STILL FIND MYSELF WATCHING IT IF I SEE IT ON TV. 

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THEMED #16

I KIND OF LIKE THESE PUZZLES WITH DOWN THEME ANSWERS. I GUESS IT IS JUST DIFFERENT AS MOST PUZZLES I SEE HAVE ACROSS THEME ANSWERS. I THINK I MANAGED TO GET NICE LONG ANSWERS THAT WEREN'T THEMERS WITHOUT COMPROMISING THE FILL. THE REVEAL SEEMED LIKE A VERY OBVIOUS PHRASE LENDING ITSELF TO A THEME BUT I DIDN'T SEE IT IN MY LIMITED RESEARCH. 

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THEMED #17 - CATCH OF THE DAY

I CAME UP WITH THE THEME BECAUSE I WANTED TO USE 32-ACROSS IN A GRID. IT JUST SO HAPPENED THAT HIS LAST NAME FELL INTO A SPECIFIC CATEGORY. I DABBLED WITH THE IDEA OF THE REVEAL BEING PESCATARIANS FOR A BIT BUT DECIDED TO STICK WITH NAMES. AND 58-ACROSS DESERVES THE GRID SPACE. 

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THEMED #18 - HOME RUN DERBY

ANOTHER BASEBALL PUZZLE I HAD BEEN WORKING ON FOR A BIT. I HAD THE THEME AND THE ANSWERS AND FINALLY GOT AROUND TO FINISHING THE GRID. JUST IN TIME FOR THE BASEBALL PLAYOFFS. HOPEFULLY A TEAM LIKE THE RAYS OR PADRES CAN BREAK THROUGH. 

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THEMELESS #7

I HAVE A DECENT BACKLOG OF THEMED PUZZLES SO I DECIDED TO RESTART LEARNING HOW TO CRAFT THEMELESS PUZZLES. I'VE NEVER BEEN GREAT AT IT SO I NEED THE PRACTICE. I GOT PATRICK BERRY'S BOOK I JUST NEED TO MAKE THE TIME TO READ IT. I WOULD SAY 29-DOWN IS MY FAVORITE ANSWER WHILE 13 OR 14-DOWN MY LEAST. 

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THEMED #19

UNTITLED PUZZLE TODAY AND NO REVEAL PHRASE. 18-ACROSS WAS THE NAME THAT GAVE ME THE IDEA. I CAME UP WITH OTHERS BUT EVENTUALLY NOTICED I HAD A MUSICIAN/ATHLETE THING GOING SO I WANTED TO BE CONSISTENT. UNFORTUNATELY THAT DID LEAD ME TO ONLY HAVING MEN'S NAMES FOR MY THEME SET. THANKFULLY I LIKE THE THEME SET I CAME UP WITH SO I'LL HAVE TO GIVE WOMEN THEIR DUE IN THE FUTURE. 

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THEMED #20 - ROLE REVERSAL

A THEME IDEA I CAME UP WITH A WHILE AGO BUT JUST RECENTLY FINISHED. I WASN'T SURE ABOUT THE VALIDITY OF 20 AND 57 ACROSS, BUT THEN I REMEMBERED - IT'S MY WEBSITE AND I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT. DON'T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT MAINSTREAM APPEAL. 20-ACROSS IS FROM ONE OF MY FAVORITE SHOWS AND I JUST LIKE 57-ACROSS. 

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THEMED #21

I ACTUALLY DON'T REALLY CARE FOR THE MOVIE THE THEME IS BASED AROUND. I DON'T DISLIKE IT I JUST NEVER QUITE GOT THE HYPE. EITHER WAY, I THINK IT WORKS AS A REVEAL AND THEME CONCEPT. I TRIED TO MAKE A GRID WITH NOTHIN BUT A G THANG SPANNING THE MIDDLE BUT IT DIDN'T WORK OUT. TOO BAD AS THAT'S A GREAT SONG AND ANSWER. I DO REGRET SOME OF THE FILL IN THIS ONE BUT I DIDN'T HAVE THE TIME TO MAKE IT PERFECT. 

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THEMED #22 - MIC DROP

I THINK I REALLY JUST WANTED TO GET 9-DOWN INTO A PUZZLE AND HIS NAME JUST SO HAPPENED TO WORK WITH THE THEME PHRASE. SERENDIPITY INDEED. I THINK 3-DOWN MAY BE A LITTLE OBSCURE BUT I WENT WITH PEOPLE WHOSE NAMES TAKE THE REVEAL LITERALLY, AS OPPOSED TO ANSWERS LIKE JORDAN RIVER, AS THEY USE THE TERMINAL -AEL WHEN BEING ADDRESSED. IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY GET, STOP DOING THE PUZZLE AND VOTE! IT'LL BE HERE WAITING FOR YOU WHEN YOU RETURN!

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THEMED #23 - MUSICAL RHYMING AND DINING

I STARTED WITH 58-ACROSS. I DON'T KNOW WHY I THOUGHT OF IT BUT ONCE I DID I FIGURED I COULD BUILD SOMETHING AROUND THIS. THEN I TRIED TO GET SOME CONSISTENCY IN THE ANSWERS. I DON'T KNOW IF MAKING ALL THE RHYMES FOOD RELATED OR MUSICAL ARTISTS RELATED CAME FIRST. LOOKING AT IT NOW I REALIZE 3/4 ARE CANDY RELATED. NOT SURE IF I COULD FIND ANOTHER TO MAKE IT 4/4. 10-DOWN IS MY FAVORITE ANSWER. 

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THEMED #24 - TWISTED METAL 

THE TITLE OF THIS WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE VIDEO GAMES GROWING UP. THERE'S JUST SOMETHING ABOUT SHOOTING MISSILES OUT OF YOUR CAR THAT IS CATHARTIC. AND I LIKE THAT I CAN USE THE REVEAL IN DIFFERENT WAYS, SO EXPECT TO SEE THIS TITLE AGAIN. I THINK I GOT SOME DECENT LONGER ANSWERS INTERSPERSED. MAYBE A FEW TOO MANY PROPER NAMES FOR SOME. 

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THEMED #25 

I THINK THIS THEME GREW AROUND 20-ACROSS. LIKE THE BAND AND THE SONG SO IT WAS NICE IT WORKED. MAYBE NOTHING SPECTACULAR IN THE SURROUNDING FILL BUT I DON'T THINK THERE IS ANYTHING TOO OBJECTIONABLE EITHER. ALTHOUGH I DO LIKE 18 AND 54 ACROSS. MAYBE A FEW TOO MANY NAMES. 

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THEMED #26

CAME UP WITH THE THEME AT SOME POINT AND DON'T THINK I HAD CREATED A PUZZLE WITH THIS TYPE OF THEME BEFORE SO IT WAS FUN TO BUILD. DIFFERENT, WHICH WAS GOOD PRACTICE FOR ME. I SUBMITTED THIS TO THE NY TIMES AND IT GOT REJECTED B/C THE REVEAL WASN'T A KNOWN PHRASE. I DISAGREE, BUT WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO? GAVE ME A PUZZLE TO PUBLISH ON MY SITE! I LIKE THE OPEN CORNERS AND 12-DOWN IS MAYBE MY FAVORITE COCKTAIL. 

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THEMED #27 - FACE PEEL

I THOUGHT ABOUT TITLING THIS "SPA TREATMENT" OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT BUT OBVIOUSLY DIDN'T END UP USING THAT TITLE. I THINK WHAT I HAVE WORKS. ALSO CONSIDERED FACE OFF BUT THAT'S MORE BECAUSE I LIKE THE MOVIE. MAYBE I CAN USE THAT AND HAVE FACES BE OUTSIDE THE GRID OR SOMETHING. I LIKE THE OPEN CORNERS AND THAT I COULD GET SOME LONGER ANSWERS IN THE GRID. DON'T LIKE USING 16-ACROSS BUT I HAD ADP AS IN "AVERAGE DRAFT POSITION" AND DIDN'T REALLY KNOW HOW TO CLUE IT TO MAKE IT ACCESSIBLE. 

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THEMED #28 - POSITIVE THINKING

I GREW UP WATCHING BASEBALL AND PROBABLY DIDN'T REALIZE 28-ACROSS'S "FIRST NAME" WAS ACTUALLY A NICKNAME BUT HEY, KIDS ARE DUMB. I WAS TOO BUSY ROOTING FOR CAL RIPKEN ANYWAY. ALSO GREW UP WITH ADAM SANDLER MOVIES SO 43-ACROSS WAS A FAVORITE AS WELL. I MAY TRY AND MAKE MORE OF THIS THEME-TYPE IN THE FUTURE. 

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THEMED #29 - IT RISES

AS I FREQUENTLY SAY ON THIS SITE, I'M NOT SURE THE THEME WORKS BUT THE BEAUTY OF THIS IS THAT I GET TO EXPERIMENT. I THINK IT WORKS FINE. AND ANYTIME I CAN FIT 23-DOWN IN A PUZZLE IS A BONUS. IT'S MY FAVORITE FOOD AND I COULD EAT IT EVERYDAY. THIS PLACE IS MY FAVORITE LOCAL SPOT. I THINK THE SE CORNER IS THE BEST BECAUSE THE LONG ANSWERS ARE SOLID AND INTERESTING. HOPEFULLY PEOPLE WATCH THE NFL OR THE SW MAY BE A SKOSH DIFFICULT. 

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THEMED #30 - HELP IS ON THE WAY

I KIND OF GOT INTO A STREAK OF MAKING THESE PUZZLES WHERE I ADD WORDS TO A FAMILIAR PHRASE. THEY ARE KIND OF FUN. I LIKE 18-DOWN AS A PHRASE FOR A PUZZLE I JUST HATE HOW THAT SUFFIX GETS ADDED TO ANY SCANDAL. I DON'T THINK THERE IS ANYTHING TOO EGREGIOUS HERE SO HOPEFULLY PEOPLE THINK IT'S A RELATIVELY SMOOTH SOLVE. 

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THEMED #31 - THE SOUNDS OF BREAKFAST

MY TYPICAL BREAKFAST REVOLVES AROUND EGGS AND SAUSAGE. I USED TO EAT LUCKY CHARMS REGULARLY BUT UNFORTUNATELY I GREW UP. HOW FOOLISH OF ME. AT A FRIEND'S HOUSE WE ATE 52-ACROSS FOR BREAKFAST AND NATURALLY I NEEDED TO LOAD MY BOWL WITH SUGAR. OF COURSE MY FRIEND GAVE ME THE SALT. I'LL NEVER FORGET THE TASTE OF THAT FIRST BITE. 31-ACROSS IS AN AMAZING CANDY BAR AND VERY UNDERRATED. 

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THEMED #32 - END PURSUIT

A PRETTY BASIC THEME TYPE BUT THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT BAD! I THINK TOM CRUISE HAS AWESOME MOVIES SO I THINK 46-ACROSS MAY HAVE BEEN THE INSPIRATION FOR THE PUZZLE. NOT MUCH MORE TO SAY ABOUT THIS ONE HONESTLY. HAVE FUN. 

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