Alex is a devotee of the variety puzzle on the straight crossword side of the house, and, besides being a sharp constructor full stop, has developed web interfaces to aid in the creation and online solving of puzzle structures such as acrostics and spirals; created an online solving space where one can upload a host of puzzle formats or obfuscate perfectly good puzzles; given us two of Twitter's most useful bots, Crossword Butler and Cryptic Crossword Butler; and bestowed upon constructors the height of technological assists, The Onion clue generator. (That's not to mention his collaborative wordlists, PDF converters, build-a-Bee tools … his indefatigability on this stuff is every puzzler's gain.)
When Alex announced that Crossword Nexus was running a series of collaborative puzzles to celebrate each track from Stevie Wonder's album Innervisions, we knew we wanted to create a puzzle with him for it, and while replaying the album to contemplate which song might be most suitable to some light racking and fracking, we flashed on another puzzle form that Alex had recently enabled: the Snake Charmer.
And thus this collaboration was born. Alex, thanks for having us and letting us repost the puzzle here, and thanks to Andy Stilp, John Sams and Will Eisenberg for their test solves. (And, yes, the above grid is for today's puzzle and we think it's pretty cool, but let us leave you with this classic Alex grid, which you should totally go solve ... after today's puzzle.)
Unfortunately, today's puzzle is not solveable in Puzzazz — the solve in-browser link, hosted on Crossword Nexus itself, is by far your best online bet — but both the .ipuz and .jpz files are available for you to try with your preferred tool.
Facebook/Twitter image credit: "November 21-December 22: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas New Year’s Eve Celebration Featuring Stevie Wonder Giveaway" by The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.