Saturday, March 15, 2014

What are you waiting for? (Sunday brunch: March 16, 2014)

The calendar says spring is supposed to begin next weekend, but I’ve still got snow in the yard and there’s another four inches predicted for tomorrow. Normally I like winter, but I think we’ve had enough already.  Worse still, there’s all the cleanup to do from the ice storm to do before I can get on with starting the garden for spring.  Maybe time to go back in where it’s warm and there are puzzles waiting.

The new Harper’s is out, and the latest Richard Maltby variety cryptic is a “Twofers” with two grids and run-together double clues.  You may have seen this kind of puzzle before (the inaugural issue of Wordplay had a triple version), but it’s a good concept worth doing again.  Interestingly, the April issue went online Wednesday March 12, but the deadline for solvers to submit for the prize (and the coveted note from Maltby) was the 14th, so you could have gotten away with copying the answer from the magazine.  Stay tuned for the next edition of Tacky Harpers Cryptic Clues (or maybe not, if the army of Chicago bedbugs has carried off Erica).

Like Mark Halpin, Tom Toce doesn’t do anything twice, but he bowed to popular demand and made another cryptic acrostic.  Short and sweet, though the people who typeset it forgot to put in the letters that tell what answer the letter in each box is from, so you have to scan through the puzzle to find the number when you work back from the grid.  Fortunately, I got a lot of the clues right off the bat, so I didn’t need to work backwards much.

Also in twos, block cryptics in major Canadian newspapers: Hex in the National Post (blogged by Falcon) and Fraser Simpson in the Globe and Mail (blogger wanted)

The Wall Street Journal weekend puzzle is a Rows Garden by Patrick Berry.  For once I got this one in a single sitting.  It was very gratifying to have one answer lead to another that led to the next on up the grid until the puzzle was finished.  For those of you who couldn’t make that nice chain, I have some hints posted.  And if you love Rows Gardens, Andrew Ries has a bi-weekly series available by subscription.

Also in the variety crossword department, BEQ’s puzzle no. 622 is a Marching Bands.  It was not easy, and it’s intended to whet your appetite for his upcoming book of Marching Bands.  Brendan’s post also includes a recap from the ACPT.

In the Times (behind the paywall) is a Will Shortz word puzzle called Two For One.

Finally, Foggy Brume has posted issue 48 of PandA magazine as a free sampler.  Register to see and download the issue.  PandA is a subscription e-mag that contains a new extravaganza each issue (six times a year).  Not for the faint of heart or mind, but if you think you’re up for the challenge, give it a try.

1 comment:

  1. I think the cryptic crossword in triplicate (referred to after Maltby's "Twofers") was from Cryptic All-Stars, not Wordplay.


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