updated April 2, 2010

Dark admission here: I LIKE CROSSWORDS. One of the high points of my week is the Sunday NY Times Crossword. But one of my favorite kinds of crossword puzzle is the that mutant, misbegotten offspring of the word junkie's art, the cryptic. Creating cryptics is an exercise in pain and pleasure. The painful part is constructing the puzzle, making all those damn words fit. The pleasure comes in constructing the clues. For a while now I've been building cryptic puzzles and putting them here on the Hillwoman website.

Why? Because I can, and because maybe some sick mind or minds out there derive some fun from trying to solve them. And because someone might just stumble on this new one and wish they'dgotten a crack at the old ones, I'm now archiving them on the site so they can be found at any time.

Don't know what cryptics are, or how to solve them? Down at the  bottom of this page
is a primer on this peculiar art as I practice it. And most of the puzzles offer a couple bonus clues
This time around we're back to yet another bent cryptic, one I'm calling Planting Thoughts
The archived puzzles (so far) are:

Scary Stuff -from late Fall '08
 Practical Foolishness -from Spring 08
Yule Regret This -Xmas '07
Summer Fun -the summer 2007 puzzle
Good Riddance 2006 -a puzzle to begin 2007
We All Fall -a puzzle looking toward winter's approach
Spring '06 -a spring puzzle
Flurry '05 -the fall/winter '05 puzzle
Falling Sideways  -a puzzle for the first frost.
The New Year '05 puzzle.
X Marks the Spot
-a puzzle about voting (with a bonus puzzle attached!)
Spring -a puzzle about plants and planting
Talking Turkey - puzzle fit for stuffing.
Spring '05 -to thaw out the old brain.

One rule I try to follow is that I give you the answer at least twice. Yes, twice. Does that
make it easier? Well, maybe. Each clue is a sort of puzzle in and of itself. Solve
the clue and you have the answer. Plus I tell you how many letters in the word or
words. For example: Cleaning cloth comes back as a fish. (3) The answer is, of
course, RAG. The cleaning cloth (rag) comes back--read back to front--is a fish,
a GAR.  Comes back, returns, reflects; clues like these mean all or part of the answer
backward. Crazy, jumbled, twisted, shook up; clues like these mean I'm handing you
an anagram. Like:  Fido thinks he is crazy god.(3)  Fido (a dog) thinks he is an anagram
of god, which is dog. 'Sounds like' or 'we hear' suggests a homonym. For instance:
Wet weather! We hear it may rule over us! (4) The word is RAIN and the homonym
is REIGN. Shortly, or in brief, or such a clue means a contraction or abbreviation, such as
A short bit of California is found in Canada and Ocala. (2) The answer is CA, and those
two letters are found in Canada and Ocala.

Anyway, GOOD LUCK!

-The Troll

and a warning--I may start generating Sudoku at some point!

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Comments? Stumped? Want to crow that you solved the puzzle?
What the hell, let me know! Just email me.