Thursday, February 14, 2013

Two in one (Puzzle No. 3,272)

Theming your entries is a pretty common way of bringing some extra interest to straight cryptics.  British constructors do it a lot, particularly by putting the theme in the grid and then using its number to refer to it in the clues.  Hex also frequently theme their weekly National Post cryptics.

So what do constructors do if they they think a single theme isn't challenging enough?  Put two of them together in a single puzzle.  The main theme is words and phrases meaning "Yes!" (in this case the exclamation point is not indicating a clue functioning as definition and wordplay simultaneously), and many of them also have a music reference in them (Trazom could have worked another one in at 14a).

Link to puzzle

Hozom’s comment:  Going to the Bank, in which we learn that the word “venisonivorous” is actually in MW2 (is that the right shorthand for the dictionary?), and that it won Hot and Trazom’s hearts instantly.  Those guys?  Not surprising.  In my case though, The Other Doctor Mitchell wins my heart every day.  

We also learn that Hot and Trazom are kicking themselves for missing some good letter bank opportunities in the past, and that we should keep an eye out for more of them in future puzzles.  They need more good indicators though.

Degree of difficulty (by standards of this weekly puzzle): pretty easy.  I knocked off almost all the acrosses before I got across campus to the caf√©, and would have had the downs on the way back if I had a third hand to wield a pen while holding a coffee cup and a puzzle.

Solution and annotation will be published Monday.  Use the comments for hint requests, gripes, and shout-outs to whomever wins your heart.


  1. I hope the writer of this blog is healthy and okay. I say that because I've always found the postings to be consistently timed whereas for the last two puzzles of The Nation the solutions haven't been on Mondays, as promised.

  2. You're right, Patrick. And everything's fine. Usually I prepare the solution post on Saturday while Sabers is at his rehearsal, and queue the post up to appear Monday. But there were a couple of weeks where first the orchestra was away on tour, and then I was at a meeting instead of taking Sabers to rehearsal, and the solution post was late. But we should be on schedule this week.

    Thanks for reading.


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