People, I am swamped. You know how we're seeing more puzzles from Brendan Quigley each week (three, at his blog) than anyone else? Those represent but a teeny fraction of his constructing these days. On my plate: Second pass on the page proofs for two BEQ books. Almost half done with the first round of solving/proofing for a third book of BEQ puzzles. Have not yet begun the fourth, which landed in my in box today. Sure, I didn't get a chance to blog about Brendan's Monday puzzle, but rest assured, he is keeping me busy elsewhere. Then there's that medical paper I'm editing, too... Why should you care? I'm excusing myself from all but the most cursory blogging for a few days.
Matt Ginsberg's New York Times crossword
Matt must get bored with the standard sort of theme because he specializes in nutty themes. Here he's got 18 SIMILES in which the first word appears in the grid—and not in symmetrical spots, either—and the "as a blah-blah" part is in the clue. Of course, you can't fit 19 theme answers (including the explanatory SIMILES) into a 15x15 grid without making 'em short, so they're 4 to 7 letters apiece. Fun twist on the norm—and a surprise to see an oddball theme on a Tuesday.
A handful of clues to note:
Matt Jones's themeless Jonesin' crossword, "Center Piece"
Matt's crafted a plus-sized (16x16) themeless puzzle for us this week. The center zone is the centerpiece of the puzzle: a 6x8 chunk of uninterrupted white space, with 6- to 10-letter answers intersecting it vertically and 8- to 10-letter entries running across. Swirling out from the middle are four corners with three or four long answers stacked together. Many of the answers are stone-cold awesome, while some others rate high on the "meh" scale. Here's a small group of both, just from the Acrosses:
Beautiful grid, isn't it? Now I am hankering for more plus-sized themeless grids with a skosh more room for insane blocks of white space.
Updated Tuesday morning:
Joy Frank's L.A. Times crossword
Today's offering is on the easy side, unlike its Wednesdayish counterpart at the NYT. The theme is things we do to animals, metaphorically speaking:
Crossings I liked:
Paula Gamache's CrosSynergy crossword, "Joint Account"
Paula's quartet of theme entries begin with joints in the body:
The first two theme entries I had were the KN ones, and having paid no mind to the puzzle's title, I figured the theme would be all KN phrases. Er, no.
14A, ROUX, could have been clued as [53-Down thickener] to avoid having SAUCE both in the grid and a clue. [Type of yogurt] clues NO-FAT. I'm never keen on that answer, because hardly anybody uses that. Nonfat, yes. Low-fat, yes. Not NO-FAT.
[Rasta's messiah Haile] SELASSIE is timely for me. Rastafarianism is largely a Jamaican thing, and today my son will be dyeing his first-ever tie-dye shirt—using the colors of the Jamaican flag. His school is studying the Olympics and the nations that compete in it, what with Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Games. Having the Games here would be both a hassle and awesome. A proposed tennis site would be about three blocks from my house, and bringing the Olympics here would probably mean that a promise to fill all those potholes within 7 years. If the Games go elsewhere...then there is no hope for the roads.
April 27, 2009