Anniversary Puzzle


“Heated Exchange” by Becky Lien & Eric Mueller

We would like to first introduce the winners of this year’s Anniversary Contest:

Becky Lien is a consultant at a small but fierce Minneapolis firm specializing in evaluating public health programs. Born and raised in the lake country of northern Minnesota, her favorite activities involve spending time with her family on—or in—a lake. She constructed her first puzzle about a month after the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders kept her away from family lake activities. Friends (including collaborator Eric Mueller) were overwhelmingly supportive. She also received encouragement from some lovely individuals in the Crossword Puzzle Collaboration Directory Facebook group. Becky lives in St. Paul with a couple of dreamboats: her husband of 20 years and their 17-year-old son.

Eric Mueller still remembers the breathy excitement of receiving each new issue of Games magazine when he was an impressionable teen; it rewired his brain to look upon life as an endless stream of puzzles to be solved. Eric is a photographer, and also teaches iPhone photography classes. In 2020 his first photography book, Family Resemblance, was published by Daylight; the book explores the idea of resemblance and its impact on families, both adoptive and biological. He lives in Minneapolis with his husband of 29 years (7 of them legal!) and their two high-maintenance cats.

Also we would like to thank the folks at Amuse Labs who have allowed us to use their PuzzleMe™ online solving application gratis.

And finally, we would like to thank all who participated in this year’s contest; we hope it will become an annual tradition helping new constructors begin their cruciverbal careers!

Click to solve puzzle online in a new window

Click to download puzzle in AcrossLite (.puz) format

Click to download puzzle in Adobe Reader (.pdf) format