Thursday, April 12, 2007
Happy Friday the 13th everyone! Evad here, the last in a string of excellent guests to sit in for Rex Parker while he's soaking up the rays in Cancun.
Let me first say I'm a big fan of Patrick Berry, both as a constructor and as an author of the handbook (IMOO, as Rex would say) for aspiring constructors, Crossword Puzzle Challenges for Dummies. Not only does he lead you by the hand through the puzzle construction process, he includes 70 of his own creations to see the master in action.
So let's see what editor Will Shortz and constructor Patrick Berry have up their sleeves to scare us on this day of paraskavedekatriaphobia.
Difficulty: Creamy with a scrabbly finish
Patrick's grids are always a very smooth solve for me--very little in the way of schlock and great long intersecting entries. My only complaint (and it's a small one), is that he seems to shy away from those "high-value Scrabble letters" (Z, J, Q, X)...but I'm getting ahead of myself mentioning Scrabble.
I've gone ahead and posted my solution (in pen, so you can see where I initially went astray). As you can see, I went for ROSEY instead of ROSIE...probably thinking of:
And then some deeper trouble in the Northwest of the grid....
You gotta love those long 15's: IT TAKES ALL KINDS (ain't that the truth?) and TRIPLE WORD SCORE. I got the lower one pretty quickly, but with the CORE of the upper 15, I was thinking of some type of candy that might have a red square in the center. Little did I realize that what lurked was:
(trust me, there's a [Red square] under that "X"!)
Then, given it's Friday the 13th, Patrick tries to scare us off with PERIL, CUR, MAD, and MAN O' WAR. But we've seen worse, haven't we solvers? "Bring it on!" we boldly reply.
Well, I fell for the "If-there's-a-six-letter-person-you-are-
looking-for,-and-the-clue-mentions-something-vaguely-Asian, -go-for-LAO TSE" trap. Of course, as you can see, I finally came around to BUDDHA, getting USERIDS and ALDER to help out.
This appropriately crossed ISRAEL at the R in common.
Gently move your hand up and down if you've heard of DANDLES...I hadn't. Nor AERONAUT (the ASTRO- and JUGGER- versions, sure, but AERO-? Uh uh.). TANTARA I've learned only from other puzzles.
Patrick has a "double header" today with the "Weekend Warrior" over at the New York Sun. Check it out, and then go visit fellow Rex-wannabe norrin2's blog for some excellent commentary (and spoilers, if you need 'em!).
And now we return you to your regularly scheduled programming... Welcome home, Rex!