December 09, 2006

Mmm, taste the cruciverbal goodness!

(I'm borrowing this from a comment I wrote at the Rex Parker blog.)

Some of my favorite themeless constructors have a certain flavor to their work, hallmarks that they use more often than not.

Karen Tracey likes Scrabbly letters and insane-named geographic entities—an exotic curry, perhaps.

Byron Walden likes to build a puzzle around one or two entries with a showy batch of letters in them, and frosts them all with devious clues—imported bittersweet chocolate with nuts, a smoky whiskey.

Harvey Estes tends toward fill that feels light and droll (even in his cryptics in Games), with a smattering of churchy words—a rich soufflĂ©, not something to rush through like a dish of pudding.

Constructors like Bob Klahn and Sherry Blackard seem to go more for straight-up wicked difficulty, like Scotch bonnet peppers. Patrick Berry, perhaps a slightly milder hot pepper.

What flavors do your favorite constructors' styles embody? (And no fair picking someone who bores you and likening their work to Wonder Bread.)