puzzle #11: themeless nine

puzzle 11: themeless nine – tapping in PDF PUZ Solution

Short post!! I have school in the morning and it’s late and I’m procrastinating putting together a soundtrack for a play I’m in because I do NOT like doing sound work. Oof. I like this puzzle though and you should try it.

Favourite entries:
The long ones. Is that fair? Also, the clue for 3-Down and 24-Down are favourites.


I’ll be back next Monday with another puzzle, see you then!


puzzle #10: themeless eight

puzzle 10: themeless eight – flintstone

PDF PUZ Solution

Two for two!! Small wins.I have no idea how to go about making triple-stack puzzles and every time I try there are like 15 incomplete puzzles for every 1 puzzle I make. This is that puzzle. This wasn’t originally going to have a grid-spanner going throughout the middle as well (not to brag) but in order to keep the grid relatively lively, I had no other option. I’m glad it all worked out. Also, thank you to a certain you-know-who for the clue on 23-Down. *wink*

Favourite entries:
16-Across, 41-Across, the bottom triple-stack, 6-Down, 45-Down (I’m Canadian), 50-Down

I’ll be back next Monday with another puzzle, see you then!


puzzle #9: themeless seven

puzzle 9: themeless seven – when it freezes over
PDF PUZ Solution

Welcome to the rebrand. I have a new batch of crosswords I’m ready to post! I’ve decided to change my blog from “The Word Nerd” to “luckystreak xwords” for a few reasons:

  1. I don’t feel like anybody needs to be a nerd in order to enjoy doing crossword puzzles. I don’t identify as a nerd anymore, but I still love crosswords, and I want to share that love with all my nerd and not-nerd friends alike. Crosswords are for everybody!! This is semantic and unimportant.
  2. “luckystreak” is the name of a collection of puzzles I made late last year consecutively where I suddenly got really efficient in filling grids and writing clues. I’ve been calling all my puzzles “luckystreak” ever since as a good luck charm I guess, so now it’s this blog’s name.

Now onto this week’s puzzle!! I am very excited about it. I sort of love using cheater squares to cram in good fill (such as 17-/19-Across); it gives me kind of a Brodaesque indie vibe which I really dig. Also, I’m really happy with the initial test-solver reception to the puzzle. Usually, when I cram a lot of Gen-Z/pop-culture/goofy fill I really like into a puzzle I feel like it becomes inaccessible, but I got good feedback on this which I was totally not expecting. If this is what works, I’m excited to construct more. I hope you enjoy solving it as much as I enjoyed making it! Thank you to Paolo Pasco, Nate Cardin, and Christopher Adams for test-solving.

Favourite entries:
17-/19-Across, 31-Across, 39-Across, 48-Across, 7-Down, 15-Down, 47-Down

I’ll be back next Monday with another puzzle, see you then!

– adam

puzzle #8: themeless six

puzzle 8: themeless six – *evil laugh*
PDF PUZ Solution

I’ve recently realized that I want to make puzzles more accessible to people my age, so I had a friend help look over this puzzle. This puzzle wasn’t designed initially for my demographic, so it most likely fails its criteria, but I’ll actually take that in mind when I construct more. That means the cluing in this puzzle today might/should skew a bit easier. That doesn’t mean I’m getting rid of harder puzzles, it just means there might be both types of puzzles.

21-Down and 39-Across are my favourite clues. My favourite entry I think is 30-Across. I have very fond memories of making fun of that movie.

Enjoy the puzzle! I’ll be back next week! Happy puzzling!

– Adam, a.k.a. The Word Nerd

puzzle #7: themeless five

puzzle 7: themeless five – “cryptic location” PDF PUZ Solution I have an obsession with trying to put stacks in unconventional locations in grids (as you can tell from my last puzzle) and this puzzle came from having some 9s I wanted to incorporate somewhere and I was like “the middle!” so I did that. REASON FOR THE SEEMINGLY UNRELATED TITLE: It was originally the clue to 21-Down, until (spoiler alert) I discovered that although cryptic crosswords have unchecked squares, they rarely don’t have a 1-Across (end of spoiler alert). Luckily it was also the name of a book. I think it’s inferrable enough anyway and I’m too happy with the fill around it to scrap it. It’s like my own version of the Patrick Berry “KRISS KROSS” incident of 2014. How time flies. Enjoy the puzzle! I’ll be back next week! Happy puzzling! – Adam, a.k.a. The Word Nerd

puzzle #6: themeless four

puzzle 6: themeless four – “just reply already”
PDF PUZ Solution

This grid idea came from me having a stagger-stack that didn’t work in the middle of the grid and I thought the entries were too good to not use in a crossword of some sort, so I made this. Is this grid design kinda cheating? Yeah, but I’m happy with how it turned out. Some people cheat and still fail the test, y’know.

I’d like to think my clue has improved somewhat in the past few months. I think my favourite here is 2-Down. A dumb obvious pun but I’m proud of it.

Enjoy the puzzle! I’ll be back next week! Happy puzzling!

– Adam, a.k.a. The Word Nerd

puzzle #5: themeless three

puzzle 5: themeless three – “childhood prank”
PDF PUZ Solution

Last week we had 8s, now we have 9s. Next week 10s? No. But next week’s grid should be good, or at the very least, interesting. Actually nah it’ll be both.

Also, shoutout to Crossword Butler for still having my crosswords on the blogroll after all this time. Wow.

Enjoy the puzzle! I’ll be back next week! Happy puzzling!

– Adam, a.k.a. The Word Nerd

puzzle #4: themeless two

puzzle 4: themeless two – “tsk tsk”
PDF PUZ Solution

I am back! And I have puzzles that will last this blog the next few months at least! So if you’re interested in (mainly) themelesses with fresh, modern fill and a little bit of humour, buckle in. How fun! Every Monday? That’s right. (Hoo boy.) Also, thanks to Chris of arctan(x)words for shouting this place out! You all are probably here from his site so I don’t have to convince you how great his puzzles are but I still feel like I should mention how much I enjoy his puzzles. Also, check out a Sunday-sized collab we did!

This puzzle started off as essentially a purge of my seed entry list. Most of the seeds were planted on the left side of the puzzle, with the right side coming together with the happening upon multiple other miniseeds I was very happy to include. I hope you enjoy this puzzle as much as I enjoyed making it!

One last thing: I tried embedding a crossword applet into the site but the code used to do that (iFrame) doesn’t work on WordPress.com. So, in slight frustration, I decided to create a mini 3×3 puzzle called “iframe sucks (only on wordpress)”. It took me 5 minutes to make and it’s more of a joke puzzle but it has a point.

Puzzle 4.1: iframe sucks (only on wordpress)
PUZ (whoops only works in puz, sorry)

Anyway, expect some minipuzzles occasionally based on whatever I find inspiration in (but not that much inspiration) in my life.

Hope you’re as excited for this as I am. Happy puzzling, and I’ll see you next Monday!

– Adam, a.k.a. The Word Nerd

puzzle #3: themeless one ft. erik agard

puzzle 3: themeless one ft. erik agard

This blog is back from the dead! However, like the actual undead, I won’t say too much.

I’ve been spending my time nowadays working on stand-up comedy and other comedic endeavours, which is why I haven’t posted in eight (!?) months. However, I have still been crosswording from here to there, and this is the result of one of those instances.

I started this puzzle off on the bottom-right corner with multiple seed entries and then worked my way upwards with crossword legend Erik Agard helping me out with that upper-left corner of the grid. (He wrote the wonderful 1-Across clue as well. This puzzle couldn’t have been done without him.) However, that was months ago. Today, I see this file on my computer and decide to finish cluing it, with Erik helping to edit the final product through a series of e-mails. The result of that is the themeless presented upon you today. I hope it’s as fun to solve as it was to construct!

Does this mean I’ll start posting more? Probably not. (Wow, I’m really selling this, aren’t I?) However, when inspiration strikes, I’ll be back. In the meantime, follow my Twitter @adam_nicolle where I post jokes and musings, etc.

Happy puzzling!

– Adam, a.k.a. The Word Nerd