Thursday, November 8, 2012

Breezin' (Puzzle No. 3,260)

This one's a good puzzle to hand to your friends who have gotten the idea of a cryptic crossword, but aren't quite fully hooked yet.  You jump in, and something doesn't feel quite right.  You can't put your finger on it just yet, but you're making progress.  Then there's another clue where you've got the answer but something again isn't quite right....  Once is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action....  By gosh, I've found the theme!

And that, my fellow solvers, is how you get that person hooked.  For us veterans, this week is an easy, breezy solve (literally in my case: it was plenty windy while I was on my way to lunch), but for others, this is the puzzle that tells you: "I can really do this."

Link to puzzle

Hozom's comment: What Do You Know, in which Hot and Trazom remind us that while different solvers have different strengths and weaknesses in knowledge of pop culture, classical composers, and other sources of clue definitions(*), the wordplay in cryptic crosswords is a great equalizer.

Degree of difficulty (by standards of this weekly puzzle): easy

Political reference: 29a (did Hot and Trazom know something the rest of us didn't?), 1a (clue)

Composer reference: no composers, but performers in 24a (a Curtis alum) and 8d (clue)

Solution and annotation Monday: use the comments for hint requests

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If you're responding to a hint request, please remember not to give more information than necessary. More direct hints are allowed after Monday.