Thursday, October 30, 2014

Welcome, Word Salad readers (Puzzle No. 3,343)

Thank you for the plug, Hot and Trazom; and thank you readers, for visiting.  I hope you'll bookmark the page and come back weekly.

What will you find?  On Thursdays, a link to the new The Nation puzzle and to the latest Word Salad post.  Weeks that The Nation doesn’t publish, I usually locate and link to a puzzle from the archive. Over the summer, we went back through the years to solve some Frank Lewis puzzles and see how the American cryptic form has evolved since Puzzle No. 1.  They’ve been alternately frustrating and enjoyable.

Mondays, I post a full solution and annotation of the current week’s puzzle.  Each clue is parsed in depth, showing what words are the indicator and what words are fodder for the wordplay.  This is a lot more complete than the solution you get in the magazine or pretty much any other cryptic blog out there.  The idea is that by breaking each clue down to its component parts, you’ll learn to spot the keys and become a better solver.  That’s then the bridge you need to take on the harder puzzles you see in other places like the National Puzzlers' League, British newspapers, and long-running variety cryptic series.

So you read the blog and get the tools: now where can you find more puzzles to solve?  Right here! On weekends, I post Sunday Brunch, with links to assorted cryptic and variety puzzles.  

It’s Thursday, so here’s this week’s The Nation puzzle:

Link to puzzle

Degree of difficulty (by standards of this weekly puzzle):  Hard.  Many of the fours and fives come along nicely, but they don’t necessarily give you easy partials.

Hozom’s comment: The Iceman Bloggeth, in which Hot and Trazom encounter a zebra with two twists.

Cluing Challenge: HOCKEY

Back with the solution on Monday.  Comment, or ask for help below.

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