Saturday, October 4, 2014

Junior high (puzzle no. 3,339)

Let’s try and get back towards something resembling a normal schedule.  Hot and Trazom are up to puzzle no. 3,339.  I liked this one: a couple of twists made it harder than usual, but nothing unfair.  If you’ve been doing these for a while, you won’t be too surprised.

Meanwhile, Bangle’s junior high open house was Monday  I had not met her English teacher before, though he taught Sabers when Sabers was in eighth grade.  This particular teacher likes to teach vocabulary by playing with words, especially their roots, so of course I passed along a link to Kegler’s page and the puzzles there that were constructed by and/or for middle-schoolers.

One unexpected way that I think cryptics benefit your brain (and your writing) is the variety of indicators you’ll see.  Constructors love to hide the ball, so variety in indicators is a must.  Seeing more of them will expand your options, particularly for action words, when writing.

Difficulty (by standards of this weekly puzzle):  Hard.  I got off to a good start top left, but hit a bit of a roadblock, exacerbated by the relatively low interconnectedness of the grid this week.  But on my second pass through, I got a couple of the answers that had been vexing me

Hozom’s comment: “A League of Our Own,” in which Hot and Trazom introduce us to the National Puzzlers’ League, and to The Enigma, their magazine, which includes cryptics from a variety of interesting constructors as well as other puzzles that may catch your interest.  One more thing about the NPL site, is that it includes a comprehensive list of members and their noms, frequently with explanations of their derivation.  So you can see what makes Hot Hot and makes Trazom Trazom (the Word Salad post tells you the noms of a few other prominent constructors).  

Weekly cluing challenge:  ENGIMA

Back with the solution Monday, and yes, there will be Sunday brunch this weekend!   

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