No Cross Words

No Cross Words

Our cryptic maestros say a fond farewell.


For nearly nine years now, we’ve had the honor of providing a cryptic crossword for every issue of The Nation. We’re only the third to do so in a lineage that dates back nearly unbroken to 1943—the oldest and longest-running cryptic crossword in the United States, by far. Our illustrious predecessor Frank W. Lewis constructed the Nation puzzle for more than 60 years. We had been devoted fans of his work since the 1970s, and we’ve tried to maintain his tradition of lively wit and wordplay while adding a few wrinkles of our own.

But nothing lasts forever, and the next issue will have the final installment of the Nation cryptic. We’re grateful to the magazine for giving us this opportunity, to the readers who chose us as Frank’s successors, and to the solvers who’ve matched wits with us over the years. We’re especially thankful for the chance to work with editors Sandy McCroskey and Judith Long, who lovingly shepherded each new puzzle into print.

We will continue to construct a weekly cryptic crossword, under the name “Out of Left Field,” which will be available to subscribers through the Patreon website beginning April 2. To keep our puzzles coming without interruption, sign up now at For an introduction to cryptic crosswords, plus links to our puzzle books, go to our new website (

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