Friday, November 28, 2014

Vowels to Bosnia (Puzzle No. 3,346)

Tom Magliozzi (1937-2014)
With the passing of Tom Magliozzi, one half of Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, Ray and the producers of Car Talk put together a memorial program.  One of the pieces in it was “Vowels to Bosnia,” which originally appeared in The Onion. in 1995  It was perfect for Car Talk because of Tom and Ray’s penchant for skewering their NPR News compatriots and the wall to wall coverage of the Balkan wars going on on the network at the time.

So did you donate vowels to Bosnia?  Have no fear, you can still solve crosswords.  The vowelless is a well-known form of variety puzzles, which add an additional challenge because the answers aren’t enumerated.  Solving them requires a good eye for spotting letter patterns.  Crossnerd has created a bunch, Trip Payne has one, Neville Fogarty has one, Andy Kravis has one, and Arthur Schulman has done four for the New York Times.  The kng f th gnr is Frnk Lng.  The constructors all seem to have fun with them.

Now, back to regular cryptics: here’s this week’s The Nation puzzle.

Link to puzzle

Degree of difficulty (by standards of this weekly puzzle):  Somewhat hard.  A few of the answers escaped me on the first go, even after I got the theme.

Hozom’s comment: “A Grat √Čtude,” in which Hot and Trazom give thanks for their test solvers, and introduce the two newest members of the team.  They also give us a few before and after examples of clues the test solvers helped improve.  

Weekly cluing challenge:  GRATEFUL

See you this weekend for Sunday Brunch, and don’t solve like my brother.

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