07.11.10 — Marching Bands

Daydreaming Bookkeeper, 1924, Norman Rockwell


July 11, 2010

Puzzle by Brendan Emmett Quigley

Any puzzle that has more instruction than puzzle teeters on tiresome — double so when the grid smacks of op art, demanding constant visual relocation of the entry areas for the answers, along with a clue arrangement that is just as confusing, producing a joyless and complex bookkeeping chore that overshadows the solution.

Well, puzzles are puzzles, so fair is fair — not complaining, just observing, being disinclined to self-elevation via criticism, and more to take the puzzle de jour at face value. However, that lengthy instruction declares the subject guilty beyond a reasonable doubt:

The words in this puzzle march around the grid in two ways. In one formation (“Rows”), words march across — two words for each numbered line, reading consecutively, from left to right. The dividing point between these answers is for you to determine, except in row 7, where the words are separated by a black square. In the second formation (“Bands”), words march around each of the six shaded and unshaded bands, starting at the lettered squares (A, B, C, D., E and F) and proceeding in a clockwise direction, one word after another. For example, Band “A” will consist of six consecutive words (a through f) starting in square A and reading around the perimeter of the grid. Again, the dividing point between these answers is for you to determine. All clues are given in order. When the puzzle is completed, each square in the grid will have been used once in a Row word and once in a Band word.

Got it?


1. a. Kneecap, PATELLA; b. Classic sandwich, for short (4 wds.), PB AND J;
2. a. Nissan sedan, SENTRA; b. Wield the gavel, PRESIDE;
3. a. Skin pigment, MELANIN; b. Cumulate, as interest, ACCRUE;
4. a. “Jeopardy!” clue, ANSWER; b. More bookish, say, NERDIER;
5. a. Subway pitchman Fogle, JARED; b. Self-destructs, IMPLODES;
6. a. The Tigers of the Atlantic Coast Conference, CLEMSON; b. Orlando in the Baseball Hall of Fame, CEPEDA;
7. a. Apple product that debuted in 2007, IPHONE; b. Lively intelligence, ESPRIT;
8. a. June honoree, FATHER; b. Oft-filled breakfast orders, OMELETS;
9. a. Plume, FEATHER; b. Extremely (2 wds.), EVER SO;
10. a. Eritrea’s capital, ASMARA; b. 1989 Daytona 500 winner Waltrip, DARRELL;
11. . Longtime baseball manager Tony La RUSSA; b. Mississippi, the MAGNOLIA State;
12. a. Gas transport on a train (2 wds.), TANK CAR; b. Typical Elvis fan, in the ’50s, TEENER;
13. a. Insisted on, DEMANDED; b. Arab emirate, DUBAI.


A. a. Actor Dev of “Slumdog Millionaire”, PATEL; b. Device fitted around the stomach to fight obesity (2 wds.), LAP BAND; c. Ridicules (2 wds.), JEERS AT; d. Sunrooms, SOLARIA; e. Like trees in the early spring, BUDDED; f. Having a handle, NAMED; g. Rush-hour phenomena (2 wds.), TRAFFIC JAM;

B. a. Catch in a sting, ENTRAP; b. What’s left over, RESIDUE; c. Reduces a sentence?, EDITS; d. Mortgage holder, e.g., LIENEE; e. Cut on an LP, TRACK; f. Mal de mer, e.g., NAUSEA; g. Shaving tool, PLANE;

C. a. Irregular Pacific cooling that affects the weather (2 wds.), LA NINA, b. 1950s-’60s hit with the lyric “Well, you made me love you woman / Now your man is gone (3 wds.), C C RIDER; c. Soon, poetically, ERE LONG; d. Cumulate, AMASS; e. Eminem’s real last name, MATHERS;

D. a. Filmmaker Herzog, WERNER; b. Meteorology device (2 wds.), DOPPLER RADAR; c. Not out (2 wds.), AT HOME;

E. a. Baby face feature, DIMPLES; b. Harsh, SEVERE; c. Mothers with broods, HENS;

F. a. “Again!” (2 wds.), ONCE MORE.

Impressive for ingenuity of construction and clever though confusing, it is comforting to imagine that the amount of work to put such a puzzle together will not yield a profusive proliferation of the genre!

And now, back to normal!


Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

If you subscribe to home delivery of The New York Times you are eligible to access the daily crossword via The New York Times - Times Reader, without additional charge, as part of your home delivery.


Joe in Montreal said...

yes, apart from LESSEE for LIENEE, the only mistakes I made were confusing myself as to where to put letters. It did seem a bit complicated for something so simple (to do, not to put together, which was perhaps clever).

Anonymous said...

confounding instructions left me cold. wordsmithing on hold.