Saturday, September 1, 2012

Individual Medley (Sunday brunch: September 2, 2012)

If you count the puzzle from The Nation, we have an individual medley for puzzlers this week.

The first leg, butterfly, is Hot and Trazom's puzzle (see link in "Comprehension exam" below).  Like the swimming stroke, it's a challenge to do well, but if you're good at it, you'll find the results are elegant.

Second: backstroke.  The Puns and Anagrams puzzle in the NYT (a Mel Taub creation) fills this slot. This isn't quite a regular cryptic either: closer to the British rules in terms of cluing with lots of anagrams and some double definitions.  If you don't see an indicator for the type of wordplay, start by assuming it's an anagram.  Deb Amlen will have comment at

Next up?  Breaststroke.  It's the most different stroke, with arms staying in the water the whole time, which also slows you down.  You'll need different solving skills from the cryptics  (most importantly a broad selection of words to sift through in your head) to get through Patrick Berry's "Section Eight" in the Wall Street Journal.

If you've made it through the first three, turn for home and solve the National Post cryptic by Hex (link to Falcon's forum).  You should be able to get through it without coming up for air more than two or three times.

I should have kept a stopwatch on my The Nation solution this week: it'd be fun to see if my predictions pan out as far as which leg will be fastest.

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