04.01.07 -- April Fools' Day

As all in Christendom know, Palm Sunday marks the day of a famous ride through town on an ass -- not to distract from this Holy Day, I worked this puzzle (titled “Fools Rush In”) the day before -- one up on the jester! Paula Gamache’s construction is clever for the seven “theme” entries ALLBASSETSAREOFF, SHUTTLECASSOCKS, SASSINGTHEBLUES, BAREFACEDLASSIE, CULTURALMORASSES, SOCIETYPASSAGE, and WASSAILINGWALL -- thereafter it’s business as usual sans all humor or ingenuity, which is fine -- it’s like a Sunday sermon held up by a repeated joke! I did like seeing OOOLA and OBAMA, LINOS and LENO, LIMOS and LIMA, UKASE and KASHA, ADASTRA and LASTRADA in the same grid. Also ANGST instead of the revolting “acne” for “teen problem”. Don’t understand CHICK “lit”. CANTAB is an iffy answer to “Harvard student”. Answers SPOTTY and MESS stick in my mind -- a lot of fill! I was expecting more, I guess the joke’s on me!
Images: Above - Wailing Wall (51D) and Tarot card. Below - Ass; Oop, Ooola, etc.; Shuttlecock; Policeman (66A); and Sydney Opera House (112A). Left click to enlarge any image or the puzzle.

03.31.07 -- SLAS / HERS

John Duschatko’s puzzle utilizes a familiar gimmick (broken words continued on unnumbered lines) in a fresh way. The continuing series of eight Freddie Krueger “A Nightmare on Elm Street” films is a good CONTINUEDONNEXT / LINE clue, coupled with SLAS / HERS -- kind of sweet. Also slashed are AIRP / ORTS, UNDE / RESTIMATE, GLENNM / ILLER, UPRI / SING, SEAS / ONER, PREDE / STINED, INCAPACIT / ATES, RUMI / NANT, and CRINK / KLES -- for a total of eleven “slashed” entries, twelve if IPSO / FACTO is included. More gore in this puzzle PRE / DESTINED groom Oedipus Rex (gouged out his own eyes), jacquerie (UPRI / SING) Canada’s Battle of Fort ERIE, 1866, and brutal villain IVAN Drago, “Rocky IV” who killed Apollo Creed. Lurking cautiously in the corners of this violent construction are PATSY, ANTSY, SPANK, PSST, OKS, LINEN, IRENE, Godfrey’s woman in “My Man Godfrey”, and Mary ARDEN, Shakespeare’s mother, and SPERM.
Below: A Nightmare on Elm Street, Oedipus Rex, Glenn Miller, Rocky IV, William Shakespeare, Carole Lombard as Irene, Sperm.


Rex Parker’s five-part report on the ACPT at Stamford CT






Bob and Dave Mackey,the Puzzle Brothers report on ACPT http://thepuzzlebrothers.blogspot.com/

ACPT Online - report by C zar http://shakespeareandstuff.blogspot.com/2007/03/well-acpt-online-sucks.html

More on ACPT - report by Orange http://crosswordfiend.blogspot.com/search/label/ACPT

ACPT photos by Nancy Shack http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v107/nancyindg/Crossword%20Tournament%202007/

ACPT photos by Pete Mitchell (neauspam's photos) http://www.flickr.com/photos/neauspam/

03.30.07 -- BUSH MUSH BUSH

David Quarfoot’s construction is a thick meek messy mass of a puzzle bracketed at the top and bottom with George (after the King and Washington) III’s infamous lie READMYLIPS NONEWTAXES. The disparity of clues and answers in between are a farrago of fill with nothing relating to anything else -- RESTDAY, EDMEESE and ADONAIS share a corner; OTHELLO, THERITZ and HOMEBOY another; BATCAVE, ETERNAL and SILENTK occupy a bunker in the lower left, with DEEPSIX, EPISODE and SALINES finishing off the mishmash. The closest the puzzle comes to symmetry is the asymmetrical placement of two screechers whose names begin with the letter Y.
Is the BATCAVE really “Robin’s place”? -- I had the impression he just hung out there! Hey, OTHELLO is a leftover from yesterday’s puzzle, and HOLYPERSON is clued as “Cardinal, e.g.", oh come on! Such uninspired standard entries as DEAD, TENET, IRIS, STUD, ALTO, ROAM, TEL, CREE, ANNA, VATS, PEW, EPA, ACTI, RAT, ORO, SERB, MERE, MEET, AHEM, OTHO crowd together, while BESTBUY, DENTYNE and PEPSI get free commercials and crusty Republicans LOTT, EDMEESE, Dole, Nixon and Reagan dance in the same maze as LOLITAS, a VEIL and a TEACOZY -- where was George the IV? -- TGIF!

03.29.07 -- Dian, Dyan, Diane, Dianne, etc

Today's puzzle has the spectacle of DIANNE FEINSTEIN running across the middle of the grid and intersecting three shorter down entries, DYAN CANNON, DIANE LANE, and DIAN FOSSEY comprising the theme of four first-name homonyms, but the quartet are just the main celebrities of this construction which also include JUDE LAW, ANNETTE Funicello, Jennifer ANISTON, RIN Tin Tin as answers; Gene Hackman, Walter Matthau, Errol Flynn and Andy Warhol as clues -- and if that ukulele master TINY TIM ever uttered ""God bless us every one!" he could be included. Animals, mythical and real, abound -- UNICORN, PIG IN A POKE, Gorillas, A DEER and an ELF. That trio of architects, Gehry, Meier and PEI (lots of pi, pie, Pei this month) make an appearance, photographer NAN Goldin, author R. L. STINE, along with rulers OLAF I, NERO, MAO, Marc Anthony (think Egypt) -- and finally, a quote from Judas Iscariot "Is IT I, Lord?" -- Jeez!

Illustrated: 36A crossed with 20D, 15D and 22D; and then 16A, 41A, 57D & 63A, 28D, 32D, 14D and 21A. (Left click to enlarge any image.)

03.28.07 -- Scrambled Gags

Triple anagrams -- five fifteen-letter lines using the letters AEPRS, AERST, AEGLR, EIMST, AELSTS, which when unscrambled to form three different words on a line also form five mildly amusing remarks, a puzzle in a puzzle in a puzzle so to speak. Slow starting, what with clues like “harvests more anjous than needed?” etc., but once the shtick emerges, solves quickly. People in the puzzle today (some living, most dead) -- W. C. Fields, Ava Gardner, Ann Meara, James Spader, Marvin Gaye, Mao Tse-tung, Ashton Kutcher (left click to enlarge any image).

03.27.07 -- Tuesday Traffic

16A, etc.
(Left click to enlarge.)

Shortz on Sudoku

A Rush of Excitement, From Filling in Empty Spaces to Completing a Large Loop By WILL SHORTZ Published: March 21, 2007 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/21/business/21puzzle.html
(Full reprint below, left click to enlarge.)
After Sudoku, What’s Next?
By Martin Fickler, 3/21/07