Saturday, July 6, 2013

Variety (Sunday brunch: July 7, 2013)

Sabers at Nationals
This is a weekend for variety crosswords.  The Wall Street Journal has a Patrick Berry Beginnings and Ends puzzle.  I'll post the solution elsewhere on the blog, but you probably won't need it: the first commenters say it's easy.

The New York Times has a Marching Bands by BEQ behind the paywall.  Is this the first time they've run one of these? Definitely not the straitlaced puzzle selection of old.  Add your comments to those of Deb Amlen at Wordplay.

Update: I've added a hint grid below the fold.  If you're having trouble with the NYT puzzle, the hint grid shows where the band words start and end.

Puzzazz brings us the June installment of their Year of Puzzles: a bit late due to the NYT rollout there.  They promise to catch up with an extra puzzle this month.  The current installment is set in Washington DC.  The variety part?  Some of the clues are in the form of flags.

Of course there's also the weekly variety puzzle by Nathan Curtis: a Rows Garden this week.  Nathan says he's pretty happy with how this turned out.  Agree?  Drop a comment on the post

There's a new issue of Contingencies out: Tom Toce shares his first cryptic acrostic with us there.  Variety squared!  There may be some clues that the actuaries will get first, but I'll bet we cryptic fans will get the last laugh on that one.  There's a neat story about the quote: I'll share it Monday along with the solution to The Nation No. 3,288.

After all that, a straight block cryptic will feel like a change of pace.  Falcon is back and blogging the Hex cryptic in the National Post, with an air show theme this week.

And Xanthippe has her weekly cryptic for those of you who like the British style.  She says she's trying to hew more closely to the rules, so us American solvers might have more of a shot at it.  Unfortunately, there's not a printer-friendly version posted.  I've asked for one and will keep you apprised of progress.

New York Times variety puzzle hint grid

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