Hope you've recovered from solving Francis's tour-de-force Pride cryptic from a few weeks ago, because we've got another tough (if not quite THAT tough) cryptic coming at you today from Ryan Patrick Smith.
Ryan Patrick Smith (he/him) is a writer, gamer, and inveterate moviegoer excited to be making his AVCX cryptic crossword debut! Despite his SoCal roots, Ryan has long loved the Guardian's playful cryptics (shoutout to Nutmeg and Picaroon!) and the creativity afforded by the medium's more complex approach to wordplay. That said, he enjoys constructing American grids too, and has done so for a variety of outlets including the NYT, the Universal Crossword, and Smithsonian Magazine. With the support of his friend Liz Fischer, Ryan also recently launched his very own free-to-play crossword blog, Real Puzzling Stuff. He will be attending Boswords on location this year--his first-ever in-person xword tourney--and is hyped to make some cruciverbal connections there! In any event, he hopes you enjoy this puzzle--with luck, it holds some fun surprises. Feel free to direct any compliments, complaints or general hellos to Ryan on Twitter @WriterlyRyan--he's always up for a spot of repartee.
We enjoyed the unusual twists and turns that Ryan took us through in the editing and testing process, and we hope you will too!
The AVCX Cryptic team
P.S. -- speaking of that Pride variety cryptic, it was recently brought to our attention that the "Most Easier" PDF and the 2-page version of the "More Easier" PDF had misnumbered Down clues. Corrected versions of those two PDFs are also attached.