05.02.10 — On the Loose — the Diagramless


Sunday, May 2, 2010

DIAGRAMLESS, Puzzle by Brendan Emmett Quigley, edited by Will Shortz

One square in across, OTTAWA (1A. Canada’s capital) kicks off this diagramless crossword sending the solver snaking through half a dozen culs-de-sac mini-puzzles joined with just a few letter-squares here and there. The second T of OTTAWA takes one down through the left side of the crossword with TOMMY GIRL (2D. Women’s fragrance from Hilfiger) and the W yields WICKED GAME (5D. 1991 top 10 hit for Chris Isaak) leading to the remainder of the crossword. Pulling toward the right on WICKED’s D with DEAREST (27A. Quaint opening to a love letter) will likely not do much at all toward entering the upper right, but that’s the nature of a diagramless. Get out the butterfly net, there’s a GYPSY MOTH (61A. Its larva is a leaf-eating pest) on the loose, fluttering about and looking for a landing spot!

Where to place one’s answers is, of course, a chore beyond the normal crossword, but the diagramless is not meant for speed-solver angst and is always a highly welcome variety of crossword. Have fun!

Click on image to enlarge.

Puzzle available on the internet at

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