Welcome, one and all, to the official launch of thisismattjackson.com! This site's "Puzzles & Things" section will be the hub for my contributions as an independent crossword constructor.
The aspirational goal is to put up a new puzzle early in the week, every week, from now through at least the end of 2019. It could well be more or less frequently than that. (If you're a betting person, bet on "less frequently"). I make no guarantees about a regular schedule at this time. However, I can guarantee that these puzzles are entirely FREE of charge -- and, barring anything highly unusual, they always will be.
An important shoutout before I begin: Special thanks to (and shameless plug for) Queer Qrosswords, which showed me just how great it is when independent creative voices are free to express who they are and what matters to them in puzzle form. I laughed. I was moved. I learned a lot. It's thanks to QQ that I felt what I'd now diagnose as the early stages of constructor fever. And while I'm not eligible to construct for QQ, I am indebted to the 40+ people who have so far, and hope to be the best ally I can be to the project.
The way it works is: You make a donation of $10 or more to an approved pro-LGBTQ+ charity or cause, and in return you get dozens of fresh, proud, unapologetic puzzles from many of the best constructors in the game. What's more, earlier this month they just came out with an even bigger sequel installment -- Queer Qrosswords 2! The first edition of QQ raised over $25,000 for pro-LGBTQ+ charities and causes. Can you help QQ2 raise even more?
Unrelatedly to all of the above, here's a puzzle I made. I hope you enjoy it!
Download as PDF
Download as .puz (for solving in Across Lite)
Or play in your browser right here, in the applet below!
P.S. I am currently looking for experienced test-solvers who are interested in providing feedback on future puzzles and helping make sure they're as great as can be before they go live. You would get my infinite gratitude, as well as advance access to puzzles a few weeks before they go up here. If you have significant experience constructing, editing, and/or solving puzzles, and would be interested in joining this advance access list, email me at email@example.com.
Last month, on September 26, my friend Erik Nelson hosted a Charity Trivia Championship in Minneapolis, MN, featuring rounds by me and fellow All-Star Colby Burnett! The entry fees all went to support the Bounceback Foundation, a new charity dedicated to mental health support and awareness for young people in the academic competition community. They've raised thousands of dollars so far for the cause.
If you didn't make it to Minneapolis and still want to play through the questions that Erik and Colby and I put together, you can! All you need to do is make a donation at this link, then use the "Add note" feature to request a copy of the questions; the Bounceback Foundation will send them to you at no additional charge. Quiz yourself, or invite your friends over for a trivia night!
It's give-what-you can; suggested donation is $20.
Without further ado, here's my first puzzle!
Download as PDF
Download as .puz (for digital solving in Across Lite)
This puzzle (and this site) would never have gotten where it was without the incredible feedback of several test-solvers. Special thanks to: Erik Agard, Matthew Ambler, Sam Brochin, Nate Cardin, Sophia Charan, Lillian Chin, Will Nediger, Benji Nguyen, joon pahk, Jacob Wasserman, and [anonymous].
Thanks also to the Facebook group Crossword Puzzle Collaboration Directory, Eric Douglass, Rachel Fabi, Susan Ferrari, Chris King, JinAh Kim, Andy Kravis, Jenna LaFleur, Jesse Lansner, Caitlin Mori, "Nancy Drew," and many others for their support and encouragement.
Puzzles are made using Crossword Compiler on Windows 10.