Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hyannis (Sunday brunch: December 8, 2013)

Not as much time to cook up a fancy brunch this weekend: I had to take an unplanned trip to Cape Cod and back Monday and Tuesday, and I’ve also been spending time on that alphabetical jigsaw I commended to you Thursday.

In the New York Times (behind the paywall) is a Puns and Anagrams by Mel Taub.  I’ll have the solution for you this afternoon.  Blogging at Wordplay, Deb Amlen explains how Puns and Anagrams have grown on her.  I agree that they’re easy for us hard-core puzzle fans, but that makes them a good gateway to the cryptic world.  As I’ve said before, we need to have all the rungs on the ladder: you can’t expect even good straight crossword solvers to jump right into a alphabetical jigsaw or one of Kevin Wald’s brain-busters.  Plus the P&A format lets constructors play with fun anagrams that wouldn’t work so well in a proper Ximenean cluing with definition, wordplay, and nothing else.

Meanwhile, Deb reports that the regular crossword by Patrick Berry has what she calls a “layered theme.”  Just about anything by Berry is worth a go at, so look for the puzzle in the Times this weekend or in syndication next weekend.

The Wall Street Journal weekend puzzle is a Snowflake by Mike Shenk.  A hint is posted if you need it.  Speaking of Mike Shenk, here’s a nice profile from one of the local papers.  Quite a collection of puzzling talent around there: Hex (Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon) also live in the Lancaster-Harrisburg area.

Hex have their regular weekly cryptic in the National Post.  I thought it was more challenging than usual, and there are a pair of 15s in the grid crossed by two 11s.  Falcon guides you through it as he does each week.

For fans of the British style, Liz has a new and possibly fiendish opus posted, including a PDF for those of you who solve on paper.

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