To take advantage of post-Halloween clearance at a costume store, I made a few purchases to feed my costume obsession. Among the purchased items is a pair of black lacy fingerless gloves. I have taken to wearing the gloves every day as my statement piece. “What is a statement piece?” you might be asking me. Probably in your head rather than out loud, but that’s none of my business. A statement piece is an accessory that makes a statement, which is mostly “look at me!” but gloves can say other things as well. Shall we explore?

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A third contender on the Sneer Cryptic Crossword scene arrives! Veeder enters the arena with a possibly difficult puzzle for you to do battle with. When you are cryptic crossword masters like we are, it’s hard to tell if something is difficult, of course. B) But still, if you wanna reach the top, you gotta solve ’em all. Actually, honestly, it was hard to tell if this was very difficult, or very easy once you think of the theme. There IS a theme.

If you are new to the endeavor, you can read the introduction to our first one, which is probably all you need?

– Amandoll

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Apparently driven by molten jealous fury, cchris broke his frosty content contribution silence on the same day that AlexT‘s crossword appeared. He vowed to make one for us to post, too, after he learned “what they even are!” So he’s slithered in with a puzzle about 200 times harder than the last one. Special Hint: the answers are all about cchris! So we hope you’ve been paying attention or even stalking him! (If you have been stalking him, please contact me so that we can share notes.)

Also, horror alert: one of the clues is extra special next level difficult, even for those of us who do these puzzles for fun (even though we are like baby novice skill level), even for those of us who have been talking to him like every day for the past thirteen years. Actually that probably speaks more of how mysterious he is than anything. You know those cold case files and unsolved murders that people still like to try to crack? Well, I’d say that even the Zodiac Killer has nothing on cchris.

Also, if you don’t know how to do these, go to the Inaugural Cryptic Crossword post and read the paragraph AlexT provided.

– Amandoll


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Smooching. It is one of the best things there is. William Shakespeare said, “To smooch is divine. To do another thing is not as good as that, y’all.” When you smooch another person, you put your mouth on their mouth and kind of just smooch your mouths together, and is it ever good! There’s nothing better than sitting back with a tall glass of hot lemonade on a sunny winter afternoon and giving your sweetie the old mouth bridge. Here are four hot tips to make your smooching the best smooching it can be:

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Greetings. What you lucky fellows see before you is the first, best, and only bespoke Sneer Campaign cryptic crossword. It’s small, and near-perfectly formed, like a friendly armadillo.

For the uninitiated (which I will assume is most people – I’m told cryptics are a largely British preoccupation), here is a quick guide:

Cryptic crosswords are like regular crosswords, except generally more difficult, and definitely more insane-looking, to begin with at least. Unlike regular crosswords, the clues don’t give you a single word or phrase that you have to find an alternative meaning for. They give you a collection of words ordered in a seemingly baffling and incoherent way. Crucially though, one of the words (or phrases) in the clue is always still effectively a synonym for the answer. The rest is then some sort of wordplay that can lead you to the answer. Helpfully, you are not told which part is which. Tricks commonly found in cryptics include anagrams, acronyms, backwards words, letters being used as visual representations, hidden words, and other such skullduggery. For example, a clue to a four-letter word might read “bad rumblings conceal quality instrument,” to which the answer would be “drum.” Instrument is the synonym, conceals tells you something is probably hidden somewhere, and bad rumblings contains the word ‘drum’. See? Easy peasy when you know how. There are often themes within one crossword; sometimes they are helpful, sometimes they are not.

Print it out and enjoy!
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I have vivid memories of my first day in California. I remember clumsily carrying three large bags from the airport to the rental car center. I remember intentionally ordering a Mountain Dew when I stopped for pizza, because my new city was named Mountain View, and “drank a Mountain Dew in Mountain View” was going to make an excellent first status. I remember my landlord arriving late in her pajama pants and oversized sunglasses to hand me the apartment keys. Most distinctly, I remember the thoughts I had in IKEA that night.




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Money is grosser than gross. It is essentially nasty garbage that everybody wants and feels compelled to carry around in their pockets. “Look at that nasty garbage,” people say, “I want it very much. I want to take the nasty garbage with my bare hands, and place it lovingly in the pocket of my pants. Then I will carry around the nasty garbage with me for some time, before exchanging it for goods or services, giving the nasty garbage to someone else who would very much like it. I love you, nasty garbage.” I might be paraphrasing.

do not touch

After over two decades of experience and exhaustive research, I have concluded that no one should ever touch paper money. Not you, not me, definitely not your children or other loved ones. Not ever, and not even a little bit. Maybe you can let your pets handle your cash, but remember that that’s the same creature that eats its own poops and greets others by sticking its entire face in their assholes.

Why is it that something so coveted by everyone should be so detestable? Why? WHY?! Calm down, psycho, you don’t have to yell. I’ll tell you.

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I’m glad that I enjoy things as much as I do. There are two things that I love as an adult that are frequently enjoyed by children: learning and Pokémon. The thing is, whenever I learn something new my brain can’t help but apply it to Pokémon.

I recently listened to a business audiobook. I was consumed with one of the concepts in the book and how it applied to Pokémon. They talked about the hedgehog versus the fox. The former is of a single mind, and the latter is essentially scatterbrained. The book argued that the hedgehog is the one who can enjoy great success, while the fox won’t ever get there despite his many efforts.


I don’t have enough business experience to reject or accept their argument for corporations. I’ve been playing Pokémon with great intensity since 1998 and I’m really torn on their conclusion. Perhaps most importantly, my reaction is: it depends. The part that bothers me isn’t that it depends, but short of results-oriented-thinking, I can’t tell what it depends on.

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Lately I’ve been trying to find something that I can eat for lunch at work that doesn’t come out of that part of the frozen meal section that oh so many middle-aged women huddle around at your local supermarket. While those frozen meals are generally okay, I find myself slowly spiraling into depression more and more with every microwave thawing of one. I have no idea why. Maybe because it makes me sad that I would much rather be eating SpaghettiOs straight out of the can than sitting there deciding if I would rather get another frozen brick of French Mushroom Italian Delight Panini, or Italian Lobster Fish Fart Bake. At least SpaghettiOs have a taste. They taste like SpaghettiOs. All of that frozen stuff just tastes like microwave radiation, no matter how many fancy ingredients you claim are in it.

As much as I would like to just drink a can of SpaghettiOs at work, I feel I need to be a bit more “adult” in my lunch approach. So I did what any confused person that has no clue what the fuck they want does at the supermarket and wandered into the mystical International Foods aisle. I was instantly greeted with more than a few lunch options: mostly a bunch of generic rice packets and other assorted ricey things. But that shit need not even apply because out of the corner of my eye, I spotted these little beauties:

Cup Noodle

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