The credo of our craft is simple: Puzzles are meant to be solved. That can encompass any range of difficulties — and thanks to those solvers that reached out to let us know that they summited our last crossword, Multicellular, with smiles on their faces — but a puzzle is nothing without a solver who's up to the task.
A corollary of that principle, then, is that puzzles are collaborations, and it's our onus — i.e., it's on us — to create something that fair and solvable. It can't be required that you read our minds.
Today's Word▶️ finale pushes those ideas about as far as we dare: We're relying on you to write about two-thirds of the clues.
We want to shout out our thanks one more time (as well as birthday wishes!) to Bill MacDonald and the work he did editing this collection. It was important to us that these puzzles be edited, and it was our good fortune and our sincere pleasure to get to do it with him. With any luck we'll contrive another reason to bring him back to The Rackenfracker, but in the interim, keep your eyes on Cryptics Monthly.
Thanks abundantly to our test-solve crew of Andy Stilp, John Sams and joeadultman, of whom more was asked this time than usual, and particular thanks to Alex Boisvert and skaldskaparmal for their efforts to help us bring this puzzle to online solvers. (If that's you, check out the extra instructions below.)
And, to take it back to the idea of collaboration, thanks to you in particular for ▶️ing with us. For those that have been waiting for Word▶️ to be released as one volume, be advised that we're at work on it and you should see it this fall, but launching our next series is a plentiful distraction. See you next month for Out of Shape!