Thursday, May 9, 2013

When a cryptic is not a crossword (Puzzle No. 3,283)

Tom Toce's "Golf"
Continuing a week devoted to Tom Toce's puzzles, I solved the 2010s, and one of them was called "Golf."  Like the others, it was not too difficult, yet quite creative.  But it didn't have a grid: not a grid of squares, and not an arrangement of hexagons or triangles or a spiral either.  There were 18 sets of lines on a "scorecard" and a theme answer to be derived from one column, so at least there was something connecting the answers to each other.

I imagine this might bother some of the purists: those of you who find comfort and security in knowing the rules of cryptic crosswords.  Others get their kicks marveling at grids where words are knit together so as to be almost watertight (they worship Patrick Berry).

Is ignoring the "cross word" requirement of a crossword a constructor's copout or is it a fun change of pace?  Is a non-gridded a line you don't want constructors to cross, or would you rather let the standards be loose enough to make room for creative ideas?  Leave a comment so the constructors who read the blog will know what the sense of the solving community is.

This week we definitely have a theme to the The Nation puzzle, as 27a will tell you.  Work the other acrosses first though and see if you can figure out the theme without the hint.  If you can, go brag over at Word Salad.

Link to puzzle

Degree of difficulty (by standards of this weekly puzzle): mostly easy, part of the SE is hard though

Hozom's comment: Mixing It Up Even More, in which Hot and Trazom explain what a compound anagram clue is.  It's a clue where there may be some extra words breaking up the anagram fodder.  We have one of those in this week's puzzle: to avoid a spoiler, the clue with the compound anagram is in white text: drag the cursor over this --->  (13d) <---  to see which one.

Solution and full annotation posted Monday.  Join us this weekend for Sunday Brunch: there's a new Mark Halpin to solve.

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