Sunday, June 30, 2013

Off to nationals (Sunday brunch: June 30, 2013)

Trip number two starts today.  A couple of months ago, Sabers punched his ticket to the US Fencing national championship in Columbus.  This was his last year in the Y14 category so it gets harder from here, and we'll take the opportunity to get the Nationals experience.

Puzzles this weekend are easy.  So easy that I'm going to offer folks a tougher version of Hex's WSJ cryptic.  That puzzle, "Fireworks" is just 11 by 11, and since the special squares are marked and enumerations are given, you'll get the theme really fast.  I won't fault Hex for making something that easy: their last opus (just two weeks ago!) was pretty hard for a WSJ puzzle, and this makes a nice entry point for those who've never tried a variety cryptic because they're too intimidating.

Nathan Curtis posted a nice Snake Charmer that is a little different than usual in that the words form two overlapping loops rather than a single loop that goes back on itself.  You'll get what I mean when you see that the starting points of one set of words are marked with numbers and the others are marked with letters.

If you didn't see the comment from the June 21 entry here, Xanthippe let us know that she has posted some crossWHOrds and other puzzles in that vein.  They're in the British style, so expect emphasis on the "play" part of wordplay.  Go cross swords with her at  While the site is lovely, unfortunately, the puzzles aren't very printer-friendly.

The Sunday Times variety puzzle is an acrostic by Hex.  Meanwhile, Deb reports (spoilers) that Friday's Times puzzle by Joe Krozel broke the record for fewest words in a grid, though some will grumble at the aesthetics of the result.

If you use Puzzazz, there's an update for you: they now make the New York Times puzzles available for solving in the app.   You have to subscribe to the NYT puzzle site: enter your login info and the puzzles will download to your device automatically so you can solve on the go.  That ought to drive some more subscriptions and also some more Puzzazz downloads.

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