Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tripping (Old tIme hockey)

No puzzle from Hot and Trazom this week as The Nation published a double issue last week.

Need substitute puzzles?  Trip Payne has us covered.  He's collected some of his past works over at Triple Play Puzzles.  Trip is a versatile constructor: there are straight and themed crosswords there, variety crosswords, block cryptics, and variety cryptics.

This week we'll make note of the block cryptics, of which there are a dozen.  Most of them are basic 15 x 15s constructed in 2006 and 2007 (I guess for Cryptics Monthly).  They play it pretty straight, rule-wise, and their degree of difficulty is comparable to the Hex puzzles in the National Post.  They'll serve us well the weeks we don't get our regular puzzles, as well as when you just want an extra puzzle after finishing the week's new ones.  

Trip's "Megacryptic" is particularly notable.  With a 21 x 21 grid (and four-way symmetry), there's room for multiple 16-letter and 14-letter answers: a welcome bit of variety and an extra challenge.  

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