Crossword FAQ

How do I solve a puzzle on paper in the good old-fashioned way?
Download the pdf file to your computer.  Double-click on it.  It will open.  Print it.  Get a pencil or pen.  Fill it out.

How do I solve a puzzle on my computer?
Download the puz file to your computer.  Download, install, and open Across Lite and with it open the puzzle.  Fill all the squares.  If you fill them correctly, a happy pencil will congratulate you.

How do I solve a puzzle on a phone or tablet?
Use the online version of the puzzle, generously provided by AmuseLabs via its PuzzleMe software.

Where can I find solutions to these puzzles?
Solutions are built into the Across Lite version. I have posted completed versions of each puzzle here.

Why does everything in this puzzle seem so passé, yesterday, tired, old-hat, done with, etc.?
My exacting Victorian-fiction-reading regimen does not allow me the leisure to keep up with current popular culture.  I do not subscribe either to ESPN or to HBO.  I do not know anybody who says things like "fo' shizzle" or "amaze balls" (at least to me).  If you want crossword puzzles that are totally now, many venues, both in print and online, offer such puzzles—The New York Times crossword, for example, where I learned both the phrases I just quoted.

Where are the crosswords in which everything is straightforward and completely in-the-language? Crosswords, for example, that have theme phrases all of which begin with a different word that can follow some one word in some other phrase?  Like you have as a revealer, say, "fourjacks," and then you have entries like "bootcamp" and "frostbit" and "knifegrinder" and "assbackwards"—implying "jack boot," "jack frost," "jack knife," and "jack ass"—so four "jacks"? I love crosswords like that!
I am sorry; you will not find any on this site.  Nor will you find tribute puzzles, or quotation puzzles, or puzzles that just list things in some category, or puzzles that offer common phrases with some accidental point of resemblance, or puzzles with answers that turn corners for some reason, or themeless puzzles.  All my puzzles have themes involving words and phrases either altered or reinterpreted according to some pattern that yields amusing results—amusing, anyway, to me.

Hey!  This puzzle has a letter-substitution theme, in which x is replaced with y—but not every x in every theme entry is replaced with a y.  Don't you care?

Hey!  A word in this puzzle's title appears in the puzzle itself.  Don't you care?

Hey!  You repeat the same word in several of this puzzle's theme entries.  Don't you care?

These crosswords are too easy!  
My purpose is to entertain, not to baffle.  Sometimes my theme and grid force me to use obscure entries, but I feel bad about it. 

What do all these images of oil paintings have to do with crosswords?
Not much.


Novel FAQ

How do I download a novel into a computer?
Click the link I provide.  Depending on the site where the novel is available, various consequences will ensue.  The Internet Archive will open a window with a menu of formats for downloading (I always choose the "B/W PDF" option). Google Books will open a window with a little gear icon near its upper-right-hand corner; this, if clicked, will offer "Download PDF" as a menu choice.  The British Library will open a window with a "Download" link at the bottom; this will open another window in which you select the option "Select some or all pages for download," and then again click a "Download" link;  this will open another window in which you select the pages you want downloaded (click "select all"if you want to read the whole novel) and then click on another button labelled "download";  this will open yet another window in which your pdf will be prepared while a little circle rotates—be patient, and eventually you'll be invited to save the pdf with the default name "From the British Library"—change this name yourself to that of the novel.  The Bodleian will open a window with an “Online Access” link.

How do I download a novel into a phone or tablet?
Use your browser to navigate to the link, then get the pdf, following the same steps as for downloading into a computer.  When you have the pdf, either open it in your default pdf reader (iPhone's default is Apple Books) or (using the "more" button if you have iOS) copy it to a reader app of your choosing (I use the Adobe reader app for iOS).

Why isn't there anything here by Charles Dickens or George Eliot?
My purpose is to recommend novels unknown to the general public.

Many of these novels are filled with bigotry.  They often assume that a character's behavior or abilities are dictated by gender, race, class, nationality, religion, etc.  Doesn't that bother you?
Part of the pleasure of reading these novels is the reminder they provide that at least this idiotic assumption, or that malevolent prejudice, is now long gone—that, bad as the present may seem, it is yet undeniably in many ways an improvement over the past.

You seem to cherish a naive belief in a real world susceptible to representation in language.  Don't you know anything about literary theory? 
I used to know something about that stuff, but I forgot it all.  And I advise you to do the same (unless, of course, your professional or educational responsibilities require otherwise).

Why are Victorian novels so long and boring?
You are just not reading them right.  As with any valuable skill, practice is crucial.  Start again with volume 1, page 1, and proceed deliberately to volume 3, page 300-some.  Repeat as necessary.  Eventually you will find yourself being amused.