Special Breast Cancer Benefit Puzzle

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Christina Applegate!

A couple of months ago, around the time of Lee Denim Day (a large single-day cancer fundraiser in early October), I started kicking around puzzle ideas. Challenge — how to write a puzzle in support of breast cancer research and care that wasn't a. a downer, and b. too boob-specific (nothing wrong with boobs, they're great, that's the point — just didn't want to be too spot-on). So nothing was clicking for me until ... I lit on the name of Christina Applegate's own Foundation. And then things began falling into place. I had an idea, then hit up Twitter for some suggestions of names that helped me create theme answers, and before I knew it (one afternoon), I had a 17x17 puzzle on my hands (thanks, Twitterverse, btw).

So here's the deal — if you enjoy the puzzle (below), or if you hate it so much that it inspires you to throw rotten tomatoes at me ... if it moves you in any way, please consider making a donation to Ms. Applegate's Foundation. I'm deliberately not telling you its name because its name is in the puzzle (is the basis for the puzzle, actually). So if you want a leg up on the puzzle, click here to go to her Foundation's homepage. Otherwise, do the puzzle first, and then check out her page. Her Foundation is dedicated to helping pay for advanced screening techniques for at-risk women who couldn't otherwise afford it.

So here it is. Please print it out, forward it to friends/family/anyone you know who enjoys crosswords, etc. I hope it brightens an already bright, long holiday weekend.

Just click on "Print" on the puzzle image below, or go here (to Amy Reynaldo's crosswordfiend.com) to get a .puz (AcrossLite) version. To see my write-up of the puzzle and / or comment on it, go here.

Star Turns


Orange 6:54 PM  

I finally understand why you were asking your Twitterverse for theme suggestions. It seemed so arbitrary at the time, but now I see the logic behind the theme. Well played, Rex.

Just made a donation and I'm thankful that Christina Applegate has found a way to make a very real difference for high-risk women who can't afford the MRI screening they need.

Anonymous 7:24 PM  

Well done! You've not only called attention to Christina's foundation, but managed to use your "sheep-eating parrot" clue. Do they talk? Would one introduce itself as "I, Kea"?

Two Ponies 8:03 PM  

Very nice work.
Tough but finally got it.
Fresh clues were reflective of the things you dislike in other puzzles.
Of course the icing on the cake was Keats!!!!
Would say more but pre-feast wine tasting is about to begin.
Hope everyone has a wonderful meal along with a moment of reflection.
@ Rex, If my birthday fell on Thanksgiving I would demand a rain check for a birthday dinner at another time of my choosing.

*David* 9:34 PM  

A decent puzzle with an OK theme. My problem area was RADIAN/RCRUMB?!/DOGEAR. Was 34A trying to set the record for longest clue, wonderful to read in Across Lite. A new ETNA clue, yay. I expected the R to come out on the third letter in the theme that would have been a nice touch.

If I never see STN again I would be an happy camper. Can we say that the initials of RNR and RMN were purposefully put down on the bottom line or was it all that darn three letter fill?

Great cause and that is an unequivocable worthwhile endeavor.

Greene 11:54 PM  

Excellent puzzle, Rex. I thoroughly enjoyed the solve and happily made a donation to Christina's foundation upon completion of the puzzle. I was completely unaware of her efforts on behalf of at-risk women with limited means. I applaud her efforts and fully intend to utilize her web-site in my medical practice. Getting third party payers to pony up for breast MRI scans is a major challenge, even for high risk patients. It's nice to have another resource for assisting my uninsured or underinsured patients.

Thank you Ms. Applegate for your wonderful foundation (loved you in Sweet Charity btw) and thank you Rex Parker for taking the time to create this fine puzzle which is equal parts entertainment and enlightenment. Keep up the good work folks.

Van55 10:13 AM  

If RP constructed this, why does it have Michael Price's byline?

Just wondering. Is that a nom de plume?

Van55 10:14 AM  

I meant Michael Sharp. Sorry.

Rex Parker 10:14 AM  

Michael Sharp. That is my name.

RP (an alias)

Jimmy 10:32 PM  

Thanks for a fun puzzle. Am happy to donate to such a good cause.

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