Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Brunch (April 19, 2015)

Hex created their best WSJ cryptic ever—it’s called “Minor Adjustments.”  Why am I raving about this one in particular?  Not because they had a nicely polished grid with full symmetry and no weak fill—nearly all their monthly puzzles manage that.  Not because of the cluing, which was solid as always, making you think a little.  I really appreciated this puzzle because it hit the sweet spot of a variety puzzle that applied an alteration to every entry yet still was approachable to the average solver.  Print extra copies to give to friends of yours who haven’t tried cryptics before.  The gimmick is easy to get and to apply, and the answers you get can stand alone, unlike some more complicated puzzles (they have their place too) where you can’t start filling in the grid until you have a fairly large amount done.  

For those of you who are disappointed by easy-to-moderate puzzles, Kevin Wald has a pencil-breaker for you: “World of Graphite.”  I’ve been working on it off and on for a couple of weeks and still am missing part of the theme.  I’ll keep plugging though.

The new Harpers is out, and Richard Maltby’s puzzle is a Theme and Variations–a classic format introduced by The Listener.  Haven’t started on this one yet; share your comments below or over at Erica’s blog, where the tackiness of last month’s puzzle is reviewed at length.  

Hex in the National Post (blogged by Falcon)
Syndicated in the Globe and Mail (I got all of this one on the first try!)
Stickler 79 (your hard puzzle for the week)


  1. Hi Folks: There is a rare error in May's "Theme and Variations" in Harper's. I can't disclose what the error is, but it does interfere somewhat with the solution of the puzzle.

  2. Two errors maybe. Ginsburg vs Ginsberg and 34 across not an anagram?


If you're responding to a hint request, please remember not to give more information than necessary. More direct hints are allowed after Monday.