Next Saturday is All Saints' Day, so Daniel Bryant's "All Saints' Day" New York Times crossword appears the Sunday before. The abbreviation for Saint, ST, gets added to the beginning of a word in eight phrases:
The trickiest crossing for me was in square 125, where the [Old Indian V.I.P.] meets the [Key of Bach's best-known Mass]. As far as I know, there are seven letters that could work for the music clue (A through G), and NAWAB is better known in the corrupted form, nabob. Do musically inclined people remember things like "Oh, yeah, Bach's Mass is in B MINOR"?
Here are some clues I think people might be Googling this weekend:
Places! (Sort of.)
And the catch-all, miscellaneous:
Updated Saturday night:
Merl Reagle's Philadelphia Inquirer crossword, "Halloween Party Checklist," has another of Merl's punpalooza themes. Before I get into the theme, though, I must single out this clue: [Colon opening] is the clue for a 4-letter answer. Could it be...ANUS? No, Merl wouldn't do that. It's the prefix SEMI, as in semicolon. This one's my pick for gutsiest clue of the month.
There are 13 theme entries, with two pairs of Down answers running right next to one another.
My favorites are the PAIL and BEET ones, where the last word is changed to a homophone. Unfamiliar answer alert: DECRI is [Disrepute, to Depardieu]. Right next to that is HOBS, the [Pegs used in quoits]. (Anyone here ever play quoits?) ETERNO, presumably meaning "eternal" in Italian, is clued [Everlasting, to Enrico]. Its E crosses LEAL, which is an archaic Scottish word meaning [Faithful, old style]. For my generation, SHAZAM is forever enshrined as the Captain Marvel word, but my husband (betrayer of the generation!) also knows it as a [Mayberry exclamation] from Barney Fife.
Henry Hook's Boston Globe crossword in Across Lite was originally published some weeks back. The Across Lite edition shows up the same week that Lynn Lempel used the same theme idea in her Tuesday CrosSynergy puzzle, and both puzzles have the title, "Popinjays," as the constructors have popped in a J. Hook has eight theme entries, some of which intersect other themers. My favorites:
Oddities in the fill include NICHEVO, or [Nikita's "never mind"]; ASOR, a [Bible-era lyre]; FASCIATED, or [Malformed, as plant stems]; and ILIESCU, the [1990s Romanian president]. And then there's the insane crossing between a [Small nautical rope] called a CABLET (which I'm guessing is based on the word cable) and actor [Brad of "General Hospital"], MAULE (he played Tony Jones, a character I'm familiar with, but boy, did I not know who played him). The crossing was an L, but I tried some other random letters there first. There's also some primo fill: B-COMPLEX vitamins, the song "GET A JOB," a JALAPENO pepper, DERRIERE, Rhett Butler's GIVE A DAMN, and some potent GANJA.
Updated on Sunday morning:
On Halloween last year, the holiday-themed LA Times crossword was credited to Ada Honeywell. This year, the pre-Halloween syndicated Sunday Los Angeles Times crossword is another Honeywell puzzle with a timely theme. In "Scared You!", each theme entry is made by adding BOO to an existing phrase:
Seven theme entries is on the low side for a Sunday puzzle, and the result is that there's space for yummy fill:
I do wonder, when I see a constructor's work only in the LA Times and I like the puzzles (as I do this one), if the byline contains another pen name for editor Rich Norris or if it's just a constructor who isn't particularly prolific.
It's my impression that among the CrosSynergy team of constructors, the one whose themeless "Sunday Challenge" puzzles are most likely to contain triple-stacked 15-letter answers is Martin Ashwood-Smith. He's got another one today, with triple stacks at the top and bottom. Favorite clues/answers:
October 25, 2008