Friday, April 19, 2013

Ellipses... (Puzzle No. 3,280)

Puzzle No. 3,280

Link to puzzle

Degree of difficulty (by standards of this weekly puzzle): difficult.  Another tough one to start with, but once I got about halfway through, the rest of the solution was at hand.

Hozom's comment: "To Be Continued," in which Hot and Trazom introduce a new solver to the clues that start and finish with ellipses.  The ellipses don't really make a difference in solving; they just splice two consecutive clues together into one coherent sentence.  It might be to make a very a clue lacking proper grammar or a short clue (the brevity of the clue itself being a demonstration of the constructor's skill) read better, or it might be a target of opportunity where the constructor could find a common theme between two clues.

In straight cryptics, these are mostly little bonbons that constructors toss in as ornamentation: they're not essential to the puzzle (though sometimes British constructors [who use these features more] build a theme around them.  But in variety cryptics, continuation clues might be the heart and soul of the puzzle.  In its extreme form (done several times by Stephen Sondheim, among others), all the across or down clues are strung together into a story or a letter, and the solver has to figure out where one clue starts and another ends.   Got an example of one of these to share?  Post a pointer to it in the comments.

Solution and annotation to The Nation puzzle 3,280 will be posted Monday.  Join us this weekend for Sunday Brunch, including the latest Harpers.

1 comment:

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