Saturday, June 15, 2013

Bonus hockey (Sunday brunch: June 16, 2013)

I think it was Bill Pidto who coined the phrase "bonus hockey" for NHL overtime, but it's caught on in the Mitchell household.  The Stanley Cup final is extraordinarily intense: if you doubt me, just watch the linesmen.  They throw extra intensity into their signals, even the washouts (the swinging of the arms when there's no offside as the puck enters the zone or is turned around at the blue line), and the faceoffs get put down a little harder.  The guys who are there know they earned their way by solid work through the playoffs, and want to show Toronto that they made the right choice.

Overtime in the Stanley Cup is even more intense, and if you watch closely, you'll see players seeing what they need to do and trying to will their bodies to get to the puck or to take out an opponent, but cruelly, it just isn't there.

Want to feel a little of that?  It's crunch time for solvers: will you have to work overtime to solve this weekend's cryptics?  Will you get them done by Sunday night?

The July Harpers is out, with a Richard Maltby puzzle.  Emily may still be busy with her video series, but she should have the solution and annotation to the June puzzle over at

The Wall Street Journal weekend puzzle is a Hex variety cryptic called "Loose Ends."  It's tough: definitely the hardest weekend puzzle I've seen in the Journal in a long while, if ever.  Each of the answers has had its last letter relocated to somewhere else in the light, so you can't necessarily use intersecting words to help you.  My approach was to pencil in the unmodified answers anyway, and then I could figure out what letters were possible at a particular intersection.  If you rule out everything but one letter, you can fill in at least one half of the light.  The solution is below the fold.

The regular straight cryptic by Hex is in the National Post.  Falcon is back from vacation with solution and annotation.  He's also posted last week's puzzle in case you didn't get a copy elsewhere.

The Times has a Hex acrostic behind the paywall.  Deb Amlen has Hex's comments (and spoilers) at Wordplay.  It's a Father's Day quote from an expert on parenthood.  I look down on the site where his house used to be every morning as I ride the train into town.

The weekly Nathan Curtis variety puzzle is a Snake Charmer.  Nathan thinks it's a harder one.

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