Puzzle No. 44: "RIP Elmo" (by Nate Cardin)
Don't worry, Elmo's okay.
What's more than okay? This guest puzzle from Nate Cardin, one of my favorite people in the puzzle world. He's recently been taking over the cryptic scene with some truly fantastic puzzles, and his American-style crosswords, like this one, are also wonderful. Follow him on Twitter here so you don't miss anything!
From Nate: "I'm excited to share my puzzle on Matthew's blog today! I've been sitting on this theme idea for nearly a year, but couldn't quite get a solid theme set firmed up until Adam Aaronson's amazing Wordlisted tool dropped. Seriously, go check out his amazing site, which has already moved to the top of the list of tools I use when constructing.
I'm also excited because my husband and I just closed escrow on our first house (today!). Expect more house-themed puzzles in the future, and know that I will also think that escrow is spelled incorrectly, no matter how many times people say it actually ends with a w. The only w we want today is you winning while solving this puzzle. Apologies for my morbid sense of humor in the theme. >:)
You can find me on Twitter @naytnaytnayt. Black lives matter, especially those in the LGBTQ+ community."