The Rackenfaction: Joeadultman, skills beyond mensch-in’

Thanking a pillar of the indie cryptic community for his support.

These posts often touch on the ancient origins of The Rackenfracker, but recent history is important too. And the load-bearing joker in that house of cards is streamer/test solver/setter/great human being joeadultman.

In 2020, the pandemic arrived just as your hosts were starting to write clues together again. Pre-lockdown, jmsr525 was already a longstanding member of Twitch's Witness-watching community, and pandemic seemed a good time to extend that comfort to dadgum, who had introduced the game to him. Once on Twitch, dadgum expanded into cryptic streams, and gave jmsr525 joeadultman as a hot lead. (The video game The Witness and cryptic crosswords appeal to like minds, and indeed, one of Joe's earliest puzzles is Witness-themed.)

Things snowballed from there. Joe was the first person we hadn't known since college to solve the Word▶️ puzzles. His feedback is always direct and clear, and while he clearly picked up what we were putting down, he's always ready to object when we're being objectionable. He's often self-effacing about his solving prowess, but a fair clue can't beat him, making him a terrific bellwether of when we've gone too far. And, of course, he was our collaborator on Rackenfracker's Eleven; many have said it's their favorite of our puzzles, which we credit to him.

On one early stream chat, Joe implied he was in the tabletop industry. Oh really, dadgum said; as they kept talking that day, dadgum took note of what Joe said about his sector of the industry, his job, his city and his company, and was compelled to ask: "Do you know [jmsr525 and dadgum's high school friend whose corresponding details would all be the same]?" Joe: "She hired me!"

It's a small world, kids. By the same token, Joe's puzzles live right next door. Definitely check them out, check out Joe's stream, check out Joe's work in the world of gaming, and check out Will & Hayley's stream where Joe will slay some puzzles tomorrow, February 17. Thanks for keeping us on the straight and narrow.*

* (Well … we appreciate the effort at least.)

Subscribe to The Rackenfracker

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.