hello, everyone, and wel-BOO!
(okay, admit it. i scared you that time.)
-come to the 71st episode of matt gaffney's weekly crossword contest, and the second week in "hell month." this week's puzzle, "Walk in Fear," has a very curious theme. the following seemingly-unrelated clues are all marked with asterisks:
so what's going on here? well, the instructions tell us that This week's contest answer is an unnerving event that occurs five times in this puzzle. what's the unnerving event? well, the first five starred answers (the ones that read down) are all the names of cats, real or fictional: SYLVESTER from looney tunes; FELIX the cat of silent films; ALONZO ... i have no idea who ALONZO is (but maybe one of you can enlighten me?); SOCKS, the former first cat of the clinton white house; and SCRATCHY of the simpsons, who's not only fictional but metafictional (i.e. he's a fictional character even in the simpsons universe). tipped off by the "unnerving event," i conjectured that they were actually all black cats, and the sixth theme answer, PERSONAL JOURNEY, intersects all of them. in one sense, therefore, you might say that all of these black cats are crossing one's path. neat, eh? neater if i had any idea who ALONZO was.
the crossword wasn't too tough, but it had its moments. i liked the double-stacked 11s in the NE (ANNOUNCES TO and KWANZAA CARD) and SW (IN ACTUALITY and MACHU PICCHU) corners. there was some unfamiliar stuff:
clues i enjoyed:
so far, hell month hasn't been so bad for me. how's it been treating you?
October 13, 2009