Saturday, 3/28/09

NYT 4:54 ... LAT 2:36 ... CS 1:52 ... ND 8:21

Had an unusual amount of trouble with Doug Peterson's Stumper. The top right in particular, and whole top half, have some really rough clues. Should have remembered much earlier that "All Quiet on the Western Front" is not by ZANE GREY. Right idea, wrong Scrabbly letter! (Er, wrong continent?) My other excuse was that solving in Across Lite felt wrong somehow...

Oh, and Joe Krozel's NYT ties for second place all-time with 19 black squares. Sweet!

In other news, Games Magazine Presents Variety Crossword Puzzles, Volume One is now in my hot little hands. About half of the 50 puzzles are crosswords with a twist or post-solve puzzle. There are a few diagramlesses and cryptics, and one each of all the GAMESy variety grids like Pencil Pointers, Spiral, Petal, Marching Bands, etc., including a couple I've never seen. The only drawback is that not ALL of the puzzles are by Berry, Payne, Hook, Shenk, Shortz, Reagle, Ross... just most of them. I don't think there's a Volume 2, but OMG there's a GAMES compilation of World's Most Ornery Crosswords?!? *click*


Howard B said...

Don't feel bad about the Newsday; I could not complete roughly the top half. I finally peeked at the answers (evil me, I know), and looking over the solution, there was only one answer remaining that I should have been able to find up there; there wasn't a chance in hell that I could have completed it with the words I had. Too much trivia and obscurity beyond my ken.

So there you go, for what it's worth. Not a fan of the cluing in those puzzles, generally, although they definitely stretch your skill and challenge your ability to think in unusual directions for alternate meanings.

Doug P. said...

This was undoubtedly one of my stumpiest Stumpers. The NE corner gave everyone fits. Sorry you weren't able to finish it, Howard.

Consider this one my revenge for getting my butt kicked by the Friday and Saturday NY Times puzzles.

Howard B said...

Touché, Doug. Very stumpy.

In retrospect, I should have done what I would normally do, put the puzzle away and come back to it later. Usually that does the trick.

Didn't know if I'd get another chance this weekend, though.

Joon said...

i'm somewhere between howard and dan. finished it, but definitely took my lumps in the process. oddly REMARQUE was literally the first thing in my grid, but everything around it save AMENDS, MRT and AQUA was blank for just about forever. eventually i got ANDES and then LEVANT and OVERTURN, but the last few letters up there took a good five minutes.

the NE wasn't quite as tough, because TUX was actually my first thought for 10d (when's the last time stan actually bothered to use a ? in a stumper clue?), and RBIS went in pretty early too.

doug, can you explain the JANES clue? i'm at a loss.

Doug P. said...

Joon, the JANES clue refers to this:

They publish illustrated guides to planes, ships, tanks, etc., giving all of the technical specifications. Tough, but more interesting than my "Addams et al." clue.

I get nervous when I see a "?" on a Stumper clue. :)

Joon said...

thanks doug. tough clue indeed.