Thursday, June 10, 2021

who made my puzzle?

This month's constructor spotlight shines a light on Et Tu, Etui?




"I'm excited to announce that I've hired somebody to ask me questions about myself. Excited to finally share a bit of my personal life!" - Et Tu

Who are you?

I cannot disclose this information.

Where are you?

I cannot disclose this information.

What inspires you?

I cannot disclose this information.

Is there anything you can disclose?

As you know, I am notoriously secretive about my personal life. However, I am willing to talk here today about my past in puzzles and potentially any interpersonal relationships that I have currently blossoming.

Where and when was your first puzzle published?

My first puzzle was published in the New York Times! Back in grade school, my friends gave me the nickname Lazer. But then the editors demanded I submit a full name, so I started submitting as A. Lazare. Can’t win ‘em all!

How did you get into puzzling? What is your first memory of solving?

I started crosswords like every other constructor does: after watching my favorite documentary “Best Buy Employee Training Guide Vol. 1: Making a Sale”. In that training video, I learned a lot about theme development and creating a grid from scratch on paper. Back then, we didn’t have all these fancy softwares like Google Sheets or DeviantArt. Luckily, the Best Buy guys were able to bring in Arthur Wynne for a seminar. Also Craig was there too. That’s where I met him.

Wait, isn’t he your brother?

He *WAS* my brother. He died in a volcano. He is now dead.

That wasn’t really the point of my question.

Wowwww. It’s kind of insensitive to just shrug off my brother’s death like that. Y’know, I say something vulnerable to you and you respond with apathy? Sad. Ugh, whatever. He was estranged before that point, to answer your question.
 

Why do you continue to make crosswords?

I paid the “Fill Me In” guys so much money to mention me that one time that all of my work nowadays is an attempt to make back the money. Still trying to figure out how to get paid for all of this.

Do you use a computer software constructing program and, if so, which one? What do you like about it?

For the past ten or so years, when constructing for publications, I’ve used this software called “New York Times Solving Applet”. It’s very handy because the grid is pre-designed, the clues aid in the filling process, and the exporting to PUZ and PDF are streamlined. I usually send these puzzles to the New York Times (it just seems like their style) but they pretty much always get rejected. When I construct indie, I use this software called “Adrian Powell Secret Puzzle Collection (200+ files)”. It just appeared on my desktop one day.
 

How many hours a week, on average, do you spend on refining your tools, like your word list?

My personal word list is currently over 9000 entries, and I’m planning on releasing it in the near future. I spend maybe five minutes on this word list every single day where I just sit down, purge out 100 entries, and then take a nice long finger bath. My favorite personal entry so far is YOU'RE A SUSSY BAKA (15).

What entry or entries would you never put in a puzzle, and why?

I personally hate using crosswordese like RAE, ENO, ESTEE, EDIE, JEN, MATT, QUINN, JOEY, AVA, MARTHA, EVELYN, HANNIBAL, CLEOPATRA, CHRISTINA, TIMOTHEE CHALAMET, etc. Also, the more cluing angles for a word, the more I hate it. Entries should really only have one definition (that’s how the dictionary works).

What's an untapped market in crosswords you wish to explore?

People named "Bryce". I feel like everybody lumps them in with the Bruces and I just want them to feel recognized. Also: there should be more puzzles with clues that apologize for the entries in the puzzle because I love it when puzzles make me feel bad.

What else is going on in your life?

Ask me about my blossoming interpersonal relationships.

Do you have any blossoming interpersonal relationships?

I’m on Tinder now.
 

Is that it?

Holy shit, I tell you about something that’s super big for me (I was a sheltered kid) and the immediate response is “is there more to that?”. What if there wasn’t, huh? Geez, tabloids are all the same huh. Well, to answer your question, I also joined Hinge.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Saturday, May 29, 2021

puzzle one hundred and fifty: testing, testing

happy 150th puzzle! in celebration, i actually got people to test-solve the puzzle before i posted it. i think they liked it! idk i never really looked at their feedback.
 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

puzzle one hundred and forty nine: money doesn't grow on threes!!!

three-letter entries are like caviar: they are not sour patch watermelon candy, but they are still everywhere for some FUCKING reason.