Today, we have a bonus puzzle for Purim. I'm not Jewish, but it seemed like this was an apt day to post this puzzle, given one of the entries. The Snake Charmer form is, like many of the forms I use, an invention of Patrick Berry. It's on the easy side -- even easier than a Spiral -- but I think it's fun nonetheless. Enjoy the puzzle, and if you're celebrating the holiday, please don't drink and drive.
Today I am offering what I believe to be an original format for a variety cryptic. It is inspired by some of Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon's cryptic creations in the Wall Street Journal, as well as Patrick Berry's Boxing Rings format. I'm particularly happy with the overall quality of the cluing, compared to my earlier cryptics. Enjoy!
ETA on 2/26: Oops! I somehow managed to forget to upload the puzzle and solution files. That has been fixed!
ETA on 3/11: Oops! the clue for #5 was missing a word. This has been fixed. Thanks to Brian for catching the error.
Sorry for the delay on this one. I'd been working on a puzzle that took me a lot longer than I expected -- I'm still working on it, almost two weeks after I started -- so I took a break to throw this together. Trying out a new type, and though it has some rough patches where I wrote myself into a corner, I think it turned out well for a first attempt. I will probably return to this type in the future.
After a long hiatus, I'm back! My personal life intervened for a bit, and then there was the MIT Mystery Hunt (which was awesome, more about which later), but now that that is taken care of, I should be able to get back to posting puzzles. I originally wrote this one as a submission to the New York Times, and sadly it did not make the cut. But that means I get to share it with you!
With this puzzle, I have posted three Marching Bands puzzles in the last 4 weekends. Perhaps I should work on a different type for next week. Mostly by chance, this puzzle has a preponderance of music-related entries -- I've got 3 song titles, 4 bits of music terminology, and 1 band name. My apologies if music isn't your strong suit.