Rows Garden No. 1
Let's make it a variety Friday, shall we?
For those unfamiliar, Rows Garden is a variety puzzle style invented by Patrick Berry. Instead of having across clues and down clues, like a normal crossword, Rows Gardens have row clues (two in each lettered row, except for the top and bottom) and bloom clues, which are sorted into light, medium, and dark. They're an interesting challenging to solve ... and, I've found, to make as well!
Thanks so much to variety puzzle maven Joon Pahk for test solving this and providing some incredibly helpful feedback for future puzzles, and to Sid Sivakumar for helping me get the last few rows of this one cleanly across the finish line (Sid just launched an awesome new crossword over at the Juggernaut, which you should definitely check out if you haven't already).
To make things a bit nicer for everyone, I've got two versions of this puzzle for downloading below. They have all the same clues and answers, but the easier version's bloom clues are listed in the order they appear in the "garden" (left to right, top to bottom), while the harder version presents them in a random order (you're left to figure out which goes where using just the row answers).
If you want to solve more Rows Gardens, check out Joon's Outside the Box subscription, Andrew Ries' website, Aries Puzzles, and/or the Wall Street Journal's occasional Saturday Rows Garden (here's the latest, by Patrick). And if you enjoy mine, please let me know!