Categories
Themed

Pieces of April

Words:  76

Average Length:  4.84

Difficulty:  Way easier than doing your taxes

Happy (hoppy?) Spring!

Here’s a gentle April-themed puzzle.  It’s named after a gorgeous song written by Dave Loggins and performed by Three Dog Night, which you can listen to here.

11 Across:  I’ve been to the Blarney Stone and, in pre-COVID days, kissed it.  It was an unpleasant experience, what with the rain and the need to lie on your back on hard, wet stone, scoot backwards so you’re dangling many feet above the ground (they’ve since installed guard rails) and then crunch up to reach the B.S. 

39 Down:  I was thrilled to be able to fit her into the grid – this is perhaps my all-time favorite GEICO commercial, out of so many great ones.

puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Themed

Musicians’ Side Hustles

Words:  74 (17×13)

Average Length:  4.95

Difficulty:  Somewhere between yacht rock and pop punk

Another Antarctica picture: crabeater seal with our non-yacht ship in the background

Surely, you thought (hoped), Jeff has run out of musical puns.  Um, no. This one bears some thematic resemblance to Rock of Aging (available here), but is less focused on decrepitude and more on just plain brand extension. Enjoy, share, and come back next Sunday!

puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Themed

Beware! The Ides March

Words:  78

Average:  4.78

Difficulty:  “All difficulties are easy when they are known”  (W. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure)

A bunch of 40 Across, out the window of a plane en route from Malta to Gatwick

Yesterday was 62 and sunny; now it’s 26 and snowing.  Such is mid-March in the DC area.  Mid-March on JeffsPuzzles features a climate-independent, Ides-themed puzzle, so lend me your ears, or at least your pencils/pens/phones/laptops/whatever, and let the Ides march.

puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Themed

The Low Road

Words:  73

Average Length:  4.88

Difficulty:  Not quite treacherous enough for the Ninth Circle

Sund, Norway, July 2017. Not Charon’s boat and not the Styx, but bleak nonetheless.

Somehow a underworld-themed puzzle seems particularly apt these days.

puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Themed

A Profusion of Penguins

Words: 78

Average Length: 4.79

Difficulty: For those with naturally gray/silver/white/nonexistent hair, like sliding down a snowy hill. For those without such badges of maturity, like trying to escape a leopard seal.

Adelie Penguin, Pleneau Island, Antarctica

Having just returned from Antarctica, I am compelled to post a penguin-related puzzle. This one definitely and unapologetically skews (Skuas?) old, but I come by that naturally. Antarctica was spectacular, at least until I and around 30 other passengers and crew on our expedition ship tested positive for COVID and spent a week quarantined in remotest Tierra Del Fuego. I’m happy to say I’m now home and healthy.

puz | pdf | solution

Apologies for the technical glitch with last Sunday’s puzzle (“Cupid Is As Cupid Does”) – there was only the most tenuous Internet service in the Drake Passage, and apparently the Dropbox links didn’t copy, which is why I reposted it from dry land on Tuesday.

Categories
Holiday Themed

Cupid Is as Cupid Does

Words:  79 (16×15 grid)

Average Length:  4.96

Difficulty:  Like a fine romance – mostly easy with a few bumps along the way

Me and my valentine, Amsterdam (2019)

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’ll let Ella Fitzgerald (1 Across) take it from here with her fantastic version of “My Funny Valentine,” available here.

puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Themed

Rock of Aging

Words:  78

Average Length:  4.92

Difficulty:  Like aging gracefully – it can be done but takes some commitment

Aging rocks, Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

puz | pdf | solution

There’s been a lot of news recently about musicians selling their catalogs for hundreds of millions of dollars.  But there’s another way for chronologically advanced rockers to monetize their hits – adapt them to tout cures for various afflictions of the aging.  Such as, you may ask? Solve and find out!

Categories
Themed

Sartorial Tall Tales

Words:  74

Average Length:  4.89

Difficulty:   Like deciding what to wear to a dinner with friends who always get spiffed up when they go out, even though you prefer jeans and a sweatshirt

My Mia (28 Across). By the way, if you’re a baseball fan (Mia obviously isn’t) I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

puz | pdf | solution

Disclaimer 1:  I had never heard of 17 Across until I saw a news story about his passing, yet he was someone whom style mavens consider a giant in the field.  I’d been mulling over possible theme entries for a puzzle with 57 Across as a revealer but tabled the idea because I couldn’t come up with a decent grid-spanner to place symmetrically to the revealer.  I watched the news story with interest and then realized that not only is the subject’s full name 15 letters long, but he was a towering 6’6” tall.  Problem solved, puzzle created!

Disclaimer 2:  I have no business constructing a crossword about style.  Buried deep in my files, securely under lock and key, is a photo of me in 1976 conducting our high school wind ensemble.  I had near-shoulder length bushy hair and was wearing a very loud plaid sports jacket, a tie that must have been 5 inches wide, and orangy-reddish platform shoes.  Yes, it was the ‘70s, but still …. 

Coming up next (Jan. 29), a moderately challenging themeless.

Categories
Themed

Meals in Motown

Words:  72

Average Length:  4.97

Difficulty:  Easy like Sunday morning … if you’re a Motown fan

Eat, drink, and be merry!

Smokey, the Temptations, Stevie, Marvin, and the Supremes have restaurants named (with a twist) after some of their most famous songs.  Let’s eat!

puz | pdf | solution

Please enjoy, share, and comment if you like.

Categories
Themed

Down Under (Guest Puzzle)

Words: 78

Average Length: 4.82

Difficulty: Like a Drake Passage crossing?

My brother Eric, Nanortalik, Greenland, 2010

puz | pdf | solution

Here’s a mid-week bonus: a themed puzzle crafted by my brother Eric, celebrating a certain land mass where he and I will be traveling in February (assuming Omicron and all other Greek letters cooperate).

Eric is an astrophysicist, world traveler (>110 countries visited), multi-linguist, and avid consumer of films, books, and spicy vegetarian food. I learn something from all of his puzzles – including at least four new words/terms in this one – so prepare yourself for a challenge and emerge enlightened!