Sunday, September 14, 2014

Heads (Sunday brunch: Sept. 14, 2014)

While I was in Princeton last weekend for my pre-season referee seminar, I came across a sidewalk sale from some of the shops on Nassau Street.  There I finally found a sun hat in my size that didn’t cost 80 dollars.  I’d been looking for one for a while but was unsuccessful because there aren’t many hatmakers who make sizes up to a 7 7/8 (XXXL).  Tilley makes huge hats, but they never go on sale.  This Dorfman Pacific outback-style hat was a pretty good alternative though.

My head’s been like this a long time—it didn’t just swell because I managed to finish two of the tougher puzzles in the regular menu this week.  Usually I get about half to three quarters through the Globe and Mail cryptic and LizR’s puzzle, both of which are more or less in the British style.  How did you do?

A fine variety of puzzles from American constructors this week.  Included in the lot was Thursday’s NYT puzzle (link to Wordplay: spoilers) by Patrick Blindauer.  It was used in Lollapuzzoola 7, and Willz warns solvers to expect something unusual by noting that it was the subject of a lot of talk there.  Obviously there’s a twist to it, but you’ve got to find it, and it’s still challenging once you get the theme.  If your newspaper runs the NYT puzzle in syndication, look for it on October 2.  Patrick also did the Sunday Times puzzle this weekend, which is a straight puzzle, but with a fun theme.

The weekend Times has a diagramless by Fred Piscop (another Wordplay link: more spoilers).  The solution is posted elsewhere.  Having an Excel template for working diagramless is a real help.  I had to pick up and move puzzle sections two or three times during the solve.  This one was harder than most recent NYT diagramless.  The Hex cryptic in the National Post also wasn’t as easy as usual.

The Wall Street Journal ran a Spell Weaving by Mike Shenk this weekend.  I was amused to see it since I had just finished another Spell Weaving in Puzzazz (in the Puzzability’s Variety Show e-book).

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