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Courtesy of Viresh Ratnakar
Viresh Ratnakar, pictured with dog Oona, has a framed copy of Gussalufz’s first crossword in The Hindu on display at home.

Los Altos resident Viresh Ratnakar’s pursuit of clues began with doing crossword puzzles, then making them, then building the infrastructure hosting the puzzle itself.

You can use his free open-source software, Exolve, to create your own interactively solvable crosswords (and discover how he constructs his). At the bottom of this story you'll find a cryptic crossword, "Last Solo," Ratnakar created for Town Crier readers this week (see if you can notice a theme as you work it). He’s a regular crossword setter for The Hindu, one of India’s major English-language newspapers, and follows the British convention of using a playful pseudonym – Gussalufz – to sign his work. It’s a punning transliteration of “crossword” to Hindi.

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