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!

Categories
Holiday Themed

My New Year’s Wish for You

Words:  78

Average Length:  4.74

Difficulty:  In inverse proportion to 2021 …

Here’s to you!

… that is, assuming your 2021 was as challenging as most people’s.  This grid shouldn’t put up too much of a battle:  I didn’t want to make it difficult to uncover my New Year’s wish for y’all.  So solve the puzzle, share it, enjoy your New Year’s celebration if that’s your thing, and come back next week (Jan. 2!) for the inaugural puzzle of 2022 (a “Set List” puzzle where you have to figure out the song titles in a concert of musicians who might not ordinarily play together). 

puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Midi Themed

Who Rocks the Alex Trebek Stage?

Words:  45 (12×11 grid)

Average Length:  4.80

Difficulty:  Like a $600 question in the Shakespeare category

Serene, just like the subject of this puzzle

While the Professors’ Tournament gives her a two-week break, I thought I’d drop a tribute puzzle focusing on 21 Across, who is brilliant, accomplished, serene, and truly inspirational.  May her reign continue!

puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Themed

Historical Grocery Shopping

Words:  76

Average Length:  4.87

Difficulty:  Harder than the average themed puzzle, though you’re probably smarter than the average bear, so maybe not so hard?

Stroopwafels, Amsterdam. They’re way more addicting than what’s sold at 45 Acrosses.

puz | pdf | solution

While wandering the aisles in Safeway a few weeks ago – pretty much the extent of my travels for the past too many months – 10 Down occurred to me.  By the time I checked out I had 25 Down.  Two more theme answers (17 Across and 61 Across) and voila, the bones of a puzzle.  In the fill, I was happy to work in one of my favorite musical groups (30 Across), favorite soft drinks (47 Down; it may be an acquired taste), and favorite noshes (48 Across).  I’m also particularly pleased with the clue for 1 Down.  The clue on 57 Down is a nod to Mike Graczyk, whose Pun of a Kind puzzles are always fresh and entertaining.

If you enjoy the puzzle please share it.  Comments, reactions, and suggestions (within reason) welcomed!

Categories
Holiday Themed

I’ll Never Be Your Feast of Burden

Words:  76

Average Length:  4.82

Difficulty:  2.5 out of 5

puz | pdf | solution

Here’s a gentle, Thanksgiving-themed puzzle.  Best wishes for a scrumptious, safe, and stress-resistant holiday.  Enjoy!

From the Nov. 20 Washington Post. I saw the final band in Junior High School. They played in the cafeteria. This has nothing to do with the puzzle, unless your Thanksgiving dinner turns dramatic.

Two solving notes: (1) the song at 9/25 Down is from the 1969 movie of the same name.  The movie has aged poorly, but I still love the song – all 18 minutes of it.

(2) In researching a clue for 61 Across – I ended up going with the obvious – I came across some fascinating background:  In 1939, Federated Department Stores (61A’s parent) prevailed on FDR to move Thanksgiving up a week so there’d be more time after the holiday for Christmas shopping.  The Republicans objected (shocking!), and for a couple of years there was basically a Democratic Thanksgiving and a Republican Thanksgiving.   In 1941 Congress passed a law fixing Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November. 

Categories
Themed

Symbolic Expressions

Words:  77 (16×15 grid)

Average Length:  5.14

Difficulty:  2-4 out of 5

The difficulty range depends on whether certain mathematical/physical symbols are all Greek to you.  Helpful hints/spoilers for the theme answers are below the photo.   I hope you enjoy the puzzle.  Next week (11/14) brings a challenging Themeless.

puz | pdf | solution

Ruins of the Library at 38 Down

HINTS/SPOILERS:

19A:  Psi is the symbol for the wave function.

26A:  Lambda is the symbol for wavelength

57A:  Rho is the symbol for density

60A:  Nu is the symbol for degrees of freedom