Old, cross-looking man holding a grid-wand


The Hindu Cryptic (THC) crosswords by Gussalufz

Interactive versions of my THC puzzles that were published 4+ months back. Each puzzle includes revealable/checkable solutions and annotations as well as some notes by me, so be sure to click on "Reveal all!" after solving.
Do Jasoos

THC #14,057 from Thursday, December 28, 2023
Stripper

THC #14,031 from Tuesday, November 28, 2023
A Puzzle With Layers

THC #14,006 from Saturday, October 28, 2023
L for Lufz

THC #13,981 from Thursday, September 28, 2023
25 25

THC #13,954 from Saturday, August 26, 2023
Woke Abruptly?

THC #13,930 from Saturday, July 29, 2023
Covertly convert (13)

THC #13,929 from Friday, July 28, 2023
Some Jazz Players?

THC #13,902 from Tuesday, June 27, 2023
Sketchy People?

THC #13,878 from Tuesday, May 30, 2023
A Tall Tale?

THC #13,866 from Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Inner Secrets?

THC #13,853 from Monday, May 1, 2023
Two Grid-related Transport Mechanisms

THC #13,828 from Saturday, April 1, 2023
Pioneer

THC #13,802 from Thursday, March 2, 2023
Madonna's in it

THC #13,776 from Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Zzz...

THC #13,751 from Saturday, December 31, 2022
What A Cracker!

THC #13,726 from Friday, December 2, 2022
Nunc Est Bibendum!

THC #13,711 from Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Bond's Story in 21, 23, 25

THC #13,695 from Thursday, October 27, 2022
Charles's Story

THC #13,671 from Tuesday, September 27, 2022
7 About 7

THC #13,647 from Monday, August 29, 2022
9 + 21 = 25 + ?

THC #13,633 from Friday, August 12, 2022
Don't Tell Anyone

THC #13,619 from Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Prime Time

THC #13,591 from Friday, June 24, 2022
Four of Clubs?

THC #13,563 from Monday, May 23, 2022
Multilayered Puzzle

THC #13,543 from Friday, April 29, 2022
Next, A Sheep Dancing

The Hindu Cryptic on Sunday #77 from Sunday, April 10, 2022
The Best Left-hander

THC #13,502 from Saturday, March 12, 2022
Qaotic?

THC #13,495 from Friday, March 4, 2022
Self-Reverential, Moi?

THC #13,449 from Saturday, January 8, 2022
Puzzle's Pulse

THC #13,425 from Saturday, December 11, 2021
Seeing Red?

THC #13,401 from Saturday, November 13, 2021
Brainy, Essentially?

THC #13,380 from Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Self-Referential, Moi?

THC #13,361 from Saturday, September 25, 2021
Rocket Scientist

THC #13,335 from Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Boy!

THC #13,310 from Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Aap Ki Yaad...

THC #13,287 from Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Cross Words

THC #13,266 from Saturday, June 5, 2021
Visitors

THC #13,242 from Saturday, May 8, 2021
A Hidden Drawer

THC #13,221 from Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Running Theme

THC #13,199 from Friday, March 19, 2021
Hacky

THC #13,172 from Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Subject Matter

THC #13,147 from Monday, January 18, 2021
Healthy Constitution

THC #13,120 from Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Guru

THC #13,094 from Monday, November 16, 2020
Consumer Products

THC #13,072 from Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Dr. Who?

THC #13,044 from Thursday, September 10, 2020
Ghalib, Tera...

THC #13,013 from Thursday, August 13, 2020
Quaquaquaqua

THC #12,983 from Thursday, July 9, 2020
Indie Comics?

THC #12,950 from Monday, June 1, 2020
A Zoologist and DNA

THC #12,917 from Thursday, April 23, 2020
Faster!

THC #12,884 from Monday, March 16, 2020
Thoda Khao...

THC #12,852 from Friday, February 7, 2020
A Powerful Relationship

THC #12,820 from Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Recent THC crosswords by Gussalufz

The links below go to THC web site.
Semordnilap

THC #14,214 from Saturday, June 29, 2024
21s?

THC #14,189 from Friday, May 31, 2024
Let's Replay

THC #14,163 from Wednesday, May 1, 2024
What's Up?

THC #14,136 from Saturday, March 30, 2024
One Doesn't Belong?

THC #14,108 from Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Kakamuchee

THC #14,082 from Saturday, January 27, 2024


Other cryptic crosswords by Gussalufz (and doppelgängers, and friends!)

Several puzzles have special effects and/or trickery. Nearly all puzzles are intereactively solvable (please click on "Reveal all!" after solving, to see my notes).
Object 005

May 2024
Object Cryptic Crossword 005

What happened in India in May 2024?

This is my second crossword to appear in Object magazine. My Object crosswords are quite Desi-flavoured and are somewhat on the easier side.
Browser 166

March 2024
The Browser Cryptic #166

Themeless

Another puzzle by me appearing in The Browser (ed. Dan Feyer). I was quite pleased with 31A :-).
32

February 2024
69/89

The preamble says:
Connecting two entries of a kind will provide positional guidance for finding two headlines and their whereabouts in history.
A variety cryptic that was run as an online contest.
ixl-2023-2

December 2022
IXL 2023 Finals: Prelim-1

A little homage in there.

I was the anonymous setter for this Indian Crossword League (IXL) 2023 crossword that was one of the two used to narrow down the finalists to pick the top six for the on-stage round.
Browser 144

October 2023
The Browser Cryptic #144

Title (three words)

This is my third crossword appearing in The Browser. It has a theme and the preamble asks solvers to find a "three-word title." My Browser crosswords are made freely available here (roughly 6 months after publication) with kind permission from the editor.
ixl-2023-1

October 2023
IXL 2023 Round 5

Themeless and ninaless.

I was the anonymous setter for this Indian Crossword League (IXL) 2023 online round crossword.
29

July 2023
Determination

The preamble reads:
Solutions to four Down clues have a common element that's called out by the title. These solutions are also the definitions for four other special Down clues that do not include definitions. Solutions to these special Down clues have to be entered in the grid in a cryptic manner. Enumerations shown in these special clues are for the grid entries, not for the solutions. When finished, the phrase formed by the circled letters will also confirm what you did.
My third crossword in 1 Across, UK.
Browser 131

July 2023
The Browser Cryptic #131

Pioneer

This is my second crossword appearing in The Browser. It has a theme and an unusually hidden nina that solvers were asked to find (with a prize going to one lucky solver). My Browser crosswords are made freely available here (roughly 6 months after publication) with kind permission from the editor.
Object 001

July 2023
Object Cryptic Crossword 001

Kutch ni Koyal!

This is my first crossword in Object magazine, a sleek coffee-table-worthy magazine from Bombay that goes deep into Indian socio-political-cultural issues *and* fashion. I have tried to make my crossword reflect the authentic desi vibe of the mag.
By Hitchhiker & Gussalufz

April 2023
Random Number Doubled

My first collaboration with the hoopiest of all froods, Martin DeMello!

We ran this one as an online contest in April 2023.
Browser 112

February 2023
The Browser Cryptic #112

Browser aficionados may spot a theme!

This is my first (non-mini) cryptic in The Browser Crossword. The Browser is a subscription-based newsletter from UK. Every Sunday, it carries a US-style cryptic crossword brilliantly edited by Dan Feyer. This puzzle has some pukka American features, such as American spellings, no Commonwealthy abbreviations, no setter-pseudonym, and a couple of crass surfaces :-). With kind permission from the editor, I've made this puzzle freely available here. I'll be doing the same with all my Browser crosswrods, roughly six months after they are first published.
ixl-2022-1

December 2022
IXL 2022 Finals: On-stage Grid-2

Also themeless and ninaless.

I was the anonymous setter for this very last Indian Crossword League (IXL) 2022 crossword that was solved on-stage by the finalists. This is a recording of the live stream from the event.
ixl-2022-2

November 2022
IXL 2022 Round 8

Themeless and ninaless.

I was the anonymous setter for this Indian Crossword League (IXL) 2022 online round crossword.
ixl-2022-0

October 2022
IXL 2022 Practice Round

Swades.

I was the anonymous setter for this Indian Crossword League (IXL) 2022 practice round crossword.
Browser-Mini-22-01

November 2022
Browser Sevens #10

This is a mini cryptic (5x7) that's meant to be an easy puzzle (but hopefully is fun, nonetheless!).

This crossword was published on Tuesday, November 8, 2022 (the day of mid-term elections in the US).
27

July 2022
Missing Links

The preamble reads:
Each across clue omits one or more letters from its wordplay. Figure out a few ways to connect and recover the missing links.
My second crossword in 1 Across, a monthly subscription crossword magazine started by the legendary Araucaria in 1984. This crossowrd has been made available here freely with kind permission from 1 Across.
ixl-2021-2

December 2021
IXL 2021 Finals: Preliminary Round 2

Minus or plus?

I was the anonymous setter for this Indian Crossword League (IXL) 2021 crossword, used in the finals.
ixl-2021-1

November 2021
IXL 2021 Online Round 9

One does a lot of talking...

I was the anonymous setter for this Indian Crossword League (IXL) 2021 crossword, used in an online round.
26

December 2021
Blame Ancients?

This crossword is a part of IIT-Madras Alumni Association's 2021 annual gathering event, Sangam. The crossword's theme is borrowed from the event's theme, which is, "Restoring Balance in STEM." It was run as an open contest in early 2022.
23

August 2021
Trump is Trump

Is W the only titular connection?

My first crossword in 1 Across, a monthly subscription crossword magazine started by the legendary Araucaria in 1984. This crossowrd has been made available here freely with kind permission from 1 Across.
ixl-09-2020

November 2020
IXL 2020 City Round

Encouraging words...

I was the anonymous setter for this IXL 2020 crossword.
20

October 2020
Unlock and find a bug

Elementary, etc.

I ran this as another fun competition across a few online groups. Solvers' comments can be seen after clicking on "Reveal All" in the solved version.
By Ribelle & Gussalufz

September 2020
Chain Letters

A puzzle jointly created with Faten Ismail, a brilliant and natural setter.

We ran this as a fun competition across a few online groups. Solvers' comments can be seen after clicking on "Reveal All" in the solved version.
21

July 2020
Last Solo

Is shahar mein...

In the Los Altos Town Crier
19

May 2020
Wormholes

Travellers...

In the 1ACross blog
18

February 2020
Bar Bar Dekko

Reading between lines?

In the 1ACross blog
15

December 2019
Al's Trick

Who is Al and what's his trick?

In the 1ACross blog
17

July 2019
Puzzling Times

Sometimes...!

In the book Cryptic Crossroads Volume 2
16

July 2019
Untitled Crossword

Ninas foreshadow Exolve!

In THCC
14

June 2019
Putting Two And Two Together

Partly diagramless; metas probably my best.

In the 1ACross blog
13

May 2019
Cursory Appearances

Why is "squinting" part of the instructions?

In the 1ACross blog
12

January 2019
Fifteen Puzzles

What is a fifteen puzzle?

In the 1ACross blog
11

December 2018
Missing Instructions

Find the instructions!

In the 1ACross blog
10

August 2018
King's Rule

Hhgttg-themed clues, but is that it?

In the 1ACross blog
8

April 2018
Do Squares Reveal?

Does the title reveal?

In Preston Pages
5

April 2018
French Toast

Appropriately numbered puzzle.

In the 1ACross blog
4

January 2018
Hidden Figure

Rocket scientist needed.

In the 1ACross blog
3

December 2017
Smashing Plates

Moving puzzle.

In the 1ACross blog
-

September 2017
22⅘ Across

Fractionally crazy.

In the 1ACross blog
2

July 2017
Many Rustams

Lots hidden!

In the book, Cryptic Crossroads
1

June 2016
Gussalufz

My first grid after at least 10 years.

In the 1ACross Facebook group


Scrypbles: my articles/books on cryptics

July 2024 Goddess & Murphy: Gussalufz's first 50 cryptic crosswords from the Hindu: My first fifty THC crosswords are now available in convenient book form. Please contact me if you really want the printed book version but the price is unaffordable or the book is not available in your region.
April 2023 Cryptic Grammar
April 2022 Composite Anagrams


Links to crossword resources

Exolve Free open source software (MIT License) for setting up interactively solvable crosswords. All my puzzles above are powered by it. I have developed this software and I actively maintain it. The link takes you to the Exolve GitHub project that includes a detailed README file with instructions.
Exolve Player: https://exolve.app This is a powerful web app that uses Exolve to provide you with interactively solvable crosswords from .puz and ipuz files. Of course, you can also open Exolve-formatted files with it. Any crossword opened with Exolve Player will also have the Webifi interface available (see below).

Moreover, it also lets you create an interactive version for any standard blocked crossword, starting from just the text of the clues (copied from a PDF or any web site), by automatically inferring the grid using clue numbers and enumerations.
Exet: https://exet.app Free open source software (MIT License) for constructing crosswords. You can save the crosswords as Exolve files as well as .puz files. I have developed this software and I actively maintain it. You can directly start using the web app link given to the left, or you can access the Exet GitHub project for the source code and documentation.
Exet-Hindi
Exet-Brazilian
Versions of Exet for creating Hindi iand Portuguese (Brazilian) crosswords! Early days for these, lots of rough edges, but they will only get better.
Webifi Free open source software (MIT License) that complements Exolve by adding an "interactive-fictionesque" solving interface to crosswords. You can navigate through clues, enter solutions, get assistance, etc., all in a manner similar to playing a text adventure game. You can use audio output and (if available on your platform) voice input, to create a screen-free crossword-solving experience. Webifi is enabled on most of my crosswords here, and in any crossword opened with Exolve Player. See documentation and details at the Webifi GitHub project.
Intro to Cryptic Crosswords When someone asks me to recommend a good introduction for cryptic crosswords, Sarah Lolley's excellent site is what I usually start with.
Crossword Unclued @ShuchiU's blog with excellent articles on various aspects of cryptic crosswords, including nice compilations of lists of indicator words.
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Blog articles on Daily and Sunday Telegraph cryptic crosswords. Many other interesting sections (such as an annotated list of mythological characters).
Fifteensquared Daily analysis of most British newspaper cryptic crosswords. If I come up with an indicator that I'm not sure of, I search in this site to see if someone else has pulled off the same trick previously, without inviting ridicule.


About

Me
Old, cross-looking man holding a grid-wand
I'm Viresh Ratnakar, a cryptic crossword enthusiast and a setter for the Hindu Cryptic (and elsewhere). Other interests: Books. Running. Cooking. Eating. Writing. Coding. Movies. TV. Cricket on TV. Red wine. Beer. Scotch. Dogs. I get along best with dogs.

Here's a feature on me that appeared in Los Altos Town Crier, accompanying an entry-level, locally-themed crossword that I constructed for them.
Contact @vireshratnakar on Twitter, @viresh@mastodon.social on Mastodon, @viresh.bsky.social on Bluesky, viresh at gmail d0t com.