Thursday, September 5, 2013

Renoir vs. Dali (Puzzle No. 3,293)

The Persistence of Memory
Summer is over, the campus is busy again, and we’re back to weekly puzzles from Hot and Trazom.  It was a nice day for a walk this morning, and I managed to get all of this puzzle done by the time I got to the coffee shop except for 21d, which I solved about ten paces out the door on the way back.

That’s not to say this was an especially easy puzzle.  The thing that struck me about this one was how consistent it was.  No crosswordese or bits of dodgy last-quadrant fill you need to check on Google, no tritely obvious clues, and just enough challenge in most of to make you tick through the definition and intersecting letters to make sure you have the right answer.

Madame Renoir
That’s an art in itself.  Most of the time, cryptic fans talk about the brain-bustingly difficult puzzles they’ve solved (such as works by Henry Hook or Richard Maltby to name a few), or a brilliantly-executed theme from Hex or Kevin Wald.  They can be mind-bending like a Dali painting, but a good easy puzzle like this one is like a Renoir: finding and expressing the beauty in an everyday person.  Something you never get tired of looking at.

Link to puzzle

Degree of difficulty (by standards of this weekly puzzle): easy to moderate, the whole way through.  Worked it right from top to bottom.

Hozom’s comment: “Grammatical Strictures,” in which Hot and Trazom teach us how the rules of grammar both govern the construction of clues and provide opportunities to introduce some misdirection.  Solvers, especially those who are fairly new to cryptics, should pay considerable attention to this post; it is worth its pixels’ weight in gold.  Keep those points in mind, completely parse out all the answers of a few well-constructed puzzles (like we do with the solutions here), and pretty soon you’ll find your solving skills improving.

Back Monday with the solution.  Join us as always this weekend for Sunday brunch, and l’shana tova to all our Jewish readers.

No comments:

Post a 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.