A Foolproof April

Flyover at Nats Park, Mar. 30, 2023 (see 58 Across)

Words:  76

Average Length:  5.00

Here’s a gently springy puzzle for early April, as well as a poem that I wrote after walking around the neighborhood.

online | puz | pdf | solution

Spring in My Feet

Einstein-haired forsythias wave

To daffodils who bow and brave

The bagpipe drone and wheeze of blowers

Lofting leaves among the flowers

Callow cherries blush with pride,

Their elders slumber on and bide

The time til arthritic limbs

Break out in pinkly glorious hymns

Zoysia steals more Zs before

It grudgingly comes green once more,

For now the onion grass stands guard

While squirrels scrabble ‘cross the yard

Weekday children walk to school

In shorts though temps be cold not cool,

Weekend farmers make their beds

With shredded hardwood, blacks and reds.

I’m glad my verse you did indulge;

My friends I thank you very mulch.


Rock and Rolls

Sculpture, The Beatles Returning from America, taken in Liverpool June 2019 (see 38 and 65 Across)

Words:  74

Average Length:  5.05

Well here’s a surprise:  a puzzle combining music and food.  Whatever conclusions you might draw from my proclivity for this combination likely are correct.  (For another example, see Meals in Motown.)

online | puz | pdf | online


Din-din’s Ready

Speaking of noise … the roaring Godafoss waterfall, Iceland (July 2010)

Words:  70

Average Length:  5.11

Here’s a grid filled with sound and fury signifying nothing; you’ll have to decide if it’s a tale told by an idiot. 

online | puz | pdf | solution


Mardi Grid

Words: 73

Average Length: 5.04

See 15 Across

Here’s a mouth-watering yet calorie-free puzzle honoring New Orleans cuisine, with a side of some delicious puns.  Laissez les bon temps rouler!

online | puz | pdf | solution


Pleased to Meat You

Fall (see 20 Down)

Words:  72

Average Length:  5.25


This is a pretty straightforward themed puzzle, other than the fact that you have to solve an algebraic equation to get 27 and 28 Down – and then translate the numbers into German.  Have fun, share, and I hope you stayed awake back in 7th grade math class.

online | puz | pdf | solution


A Fab Feb

“Like draft beer” (7 Down) (Enjoyed after a long hike on a warm day in Wales)

Words: 76

Average Length: 4.97

My Fab Feb started on the evening of the 1st with the birth of our granddaughter. (See the To My New Granddaughter post from Feb. 3.) Of course, there’s much more to celebrate in February, and this grid does its best to cover the highlights. Enjoy and share!

online | puz | pdf | solution

Midi Themed

To My New Granddaughter

Words: 40 (11×11)

Average Length: 4.65

I interrupt my regular Wednesday and Sunday posting schedule with a special announcement (and crossword): Wednesday night (Feb. 1) at 10:57 pm, Sandy and I welcomed our first grandchild, Eleanor Mikayla Fuhrman. Ella and her Mom are doing great.

I had to mark the occasion with a puzzle, of course. It’s sappy, but you can’t blame me for that. After each clue there’s a bracketed comment (for Ella’s eventual benefit) relating the answer to something in our family.

I hope you enjoy it!

online | puz | pdf | solution

Midi Themed Travel Midi

Travel Midi 5 – Singapore

Words:  46 (15×9)

Average Length:  4.87

Marina Bay Towers seen from the Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

My day in Singapore was a blur of phenomenal architecture, gorgeous gardens, and delicious food.  Capturing all that in a grid is difficult, so take a look at my PuffinlessTravel write-up for some photos and sightseeing tips.  This is the last Travel Midi, at least for a while – come back next Wednesday for what I think is a brand-new concept in Minis.

online | puz | pdf | solution


For Latin Lovers

Words:  72

Average Length:  5.19

Sometimes you just have to go with silly.  Take common Latin expressions, “pun-ify” them, add some hopefully decent (and gently-clued) fill, and unleash goofiness upon the world (or at least the 150 or so Terrans who usually solve my puzzles). Explanations of the original expressions and alterations (spoiler alert) follow the photo.

online | puz | pdf | solution

Another 54 Across, St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City

17 Across:  CARPE DIEM – “seize the day”

24 Across:  ET CETERA – “and so forth” (ETA is common dreck fill, a/k/a crosswordese)

36 Across:  ALEA IACTA EST – “the die is cast” – supposedly said by Julius Caesar upon crossing the Rubicon to invade Italy and begin a civil war.  Kirstie Alley played Rebecca Howe, hence upon being cast in the part, 36 Across.

46 Across:  SINE QUA NON – a necessary condition: “without which, no”.  I realize that the universe of “classically-educated far-right conspiracy mongers” likely is a null set.

57 Across:  NE PLUS ULTRA – “there is no better” – the beauty store in the answer currently is US-only, so hopefully non-US solvers can get this from the crosses.

Midi Themed Travel Midi

Travel Midi 3 – India

Words:  42 (11×11)

Average Length:  4.71

PuffinlessTravel link: Here

I loved the tiny bit of India I saw – everything from the frenetic, polyglot bustle of Mumbai to the sun and sights of Goa to the lost-in-time charm of Kerala.  The people are unfailingly friendly, the food is delicious, the energy is high, and despite the Raj, the beer is ice cold.  Today’s puzzle crams in eleven India-related answers (twelve if you count 11 Down), so grab a mango lassi, fire up your pencil/laptop/tablet, and solve away! And be sure to check out the link to my travel blog for some photos and observations.

online | puz | pdf | solution