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Out of Left Field

Cryptic Crosswords
by Joshua Kosman and Henri Picciotto

Frequently Asked Questions

Click the triangles for the answers!

▶ Where Can I Find Past Puzzles? ▼ Where Can I Find Past Puzzles?

Subscribers to Out of Left Field Cryptic Crosswords can always find current and past Left Field puzzles on the Patreon site.

Everyone can find information about our books of Nation puzzles, as well as some of our other cryptic ventures, on this site's home page.

▶ Will You Make Variety Cryptics? ▼ Will You Make Variety Cryptics?

On several occasions in the past we used our space at The Nation to create small-sized variety cryptics that were designed to present roughly the same amount of solving time and effort as our usual puzzles — which is to say, less than the full-sized variety cryptics you can find in the Wall Street Journal or Harper’s. We plan to continue doing that in Out of Left Field cryptics, but not very frequently.

▶ Why Did You Leave The Nation? ▼ Why Did You Leave The Nation?

It was not our decision. Like all print publications, The Nation is struggling financially. They decided they could no longer afford the puzzle.

Almost all of Left Field puzzles #1-28 were created for the magazine, and we are publishing them just as they would have appeared there. As we create new puzzles for #29 and beyond, we do not expect to make any changes to our cryptics in either style or difficulty.

▶ How Do I Cancel My Left Field Cryptics Subscription? ▼ How Do I Cancel My Left Field Cryptics Subscription?

Log into the Patreon site, and go to this page for instructions.

▶ What Is the .puz File? ▼ What Is the .puz File?

Every week, we post three files: two PDFs and one .puz file. If you want to solve the puzzles on paper, you can ignore the .puz file. If you accidentally download it, you can delete it. It is only there for people who want to solve the puzzle on a screen, and for those who want to save ink. (See next question.)

▶ How Do I Use Less Ink? ▼ How Do I Use Less Ink?

There is a free app called Across Lite which can be used to open .puz files on Mac, Windows and iPad. Across Lite preferences include the option to modify the darkness of the black squares when you print the puzzle.

▶ How Do I Solve the Puzzles on a Screen? ▼ How Do I Solve the Puzzles on a Screen?

There is a free app called Across Lite which can be used to open .puz files on Mac, Windows and iPad.

There are many other apps on all platforms that will open .puz files. One free one that we are familiar with is Puzzazz for iOS. Among other nice features, it allows you to enter letters by handwriting them with your finger, which is convenient on a small screen.

▶ How Do I Open the .puz File in Puzzazz? ▼ How Do I Open the .puz File in Puzzazz?

Here is what worked for us:

One way to somewhat streamline the process is: when you get to Copy to Puzzazz, tap Edit, and then tap the + sign next to Copy to Puzzazz. This will make the app easier to get to in the future.

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