Thursday, June 19, 2014

Without a grid (Puzzle No. 3,329)

Link to puzzle:

Degree of difficulty (by standards of this weekly puzzle): moderate

Hozom’s comment:  “The Spice of Life,” in which Hot and Trazom explain the differences between the block cryptics that are the usual fare in The Nation (and other publications we link to in Sunday brunch) and the variety cryptics you see in various other places (which are usually in barred grids).

They also plug Cryptic All-Stars (which is what I’m currently working on in Puzzazz—though I’ll dissent a little bit and say that some of those puzzles are better worked on paper) and their own Enigma cryptic book, available for free (!) in PDF.  I can’t say enough about how good that book is, though it’s definitely aimed at expert solvers. Maybe we need a collection of easy-to-moderate variety cryptics to get more people hooked on the genre.

Cluing challenge:  DEVICE

In the middle of a two-week series of trips (New Jersey, Washington, Nantucket, Columbus), I didn’t have easy access to a printer, so I tried solving this without a grid.  Not so effective.  I got about half the clues the first time through, though I might have gotten a few more that way with some concerted effort.  Lessons learned: crossing letters not only help you with the tricky clues, they make the obvious ones easier to solve, particularly anagrams.


  1. I think 28 across is my favorite clue of all time.

  2. It's one of those where you have to think and think, and then it pops up so obviously!

  3. I love your blog. This is a cool site and I wanted to post a little note to tell you, good job! Best wishes!!!


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