Octavian's Ascent

This is my first ever crossword construction, and it was built especially for CrossweirdTV. The theme was inspired by my own personal interests, but I asked them to solve it on stream and they obliged, so I included some Easter eggs in the clues.

The clues have an intentional pop culture/meme bent, which I hope solvers will enjoy! I figure those of you who solve a lot of crosswords will appreciate not seeing the same old clues for familiar entries.

NOTE: I redid this puzzle with the same theme but better crossword conventions (fewer blocks, better fill, etc.) thanks to feedback from the wonderful Norah Sharpe (check out her puzzles here). If you'd like a more conventional solving experience, check out the new version here (or, do both!). The theme is less obvious in the new version, so that might be more fun to do first? If you do them both, let me know how it goes! Any feedback is welcome so I can improve :)

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.puz | PDF | solution