Categories
Holiday Themed

Why Don’t July Around and Solve This?

Words:  74

Average Length:  5.11

Difficulty:  More moderate than the temperature outside, that’s for sure

Street art – East Side Gallery, Berlin (see 19 Across)

July 4 was a big deal to some of our Founding Fathers, just not in the way you think.  Solve and find out what I mean. 

I’m taking a short break from posting while I spend a few days hiking in Wales and then exploring the Isle of Man. I’ll have a new puzzle up on July 13. Stay cool!

online | puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Mostly Musical Mini

Mostly Musical Mini 13

Words: 16

Average Length: 5.25

Difficulty:  A smidge tougher than average maybe?

Mix one cup of rock, a couple of tablespoons of pop, indie, and rap, and a dash of other music stuff, pour the mixture over 7 artfully arranged squares of very dark chocolate, marinate for a few weeks in your “Upcoming Puzzles” folder, and voila – Mostly Musical Mini 13, where, fittingly, 13 of the 16 clues are legitimately music-related.  I hope you find it tasty!

online | puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Themeless

Initial Impressions

Words:  70

Average Length:  5.23

Difficulty:  With due respect to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the impression that I get is that it’s not too tough

Rainbow near Isafjordur, Iceland (see 44 Across)

What would you call the author of Game of Thrones if he decided to write educational primers instead of finishing “Winds of Winter”?  What about the author of “The Time Machine” after his disqualification for using PEDs?  Solve and find out …

online | puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Mostly Musical Mini

Mostly Musical Mini 11

Words:  16

Average Length:  5.00

Difficulty:  Listening-habits specific – this one leans heavily jazz and rock

I started with the cold/hot pair at 4D and 12A and ended up with a bit of R&B, jazz, disco, and classic rock.  Which is an indirect way of saying that none of the theme entries is more recent than around 1976.  I’ll try to be more chronologically inclusive (i.e., less fusty) in future offerings, I promise.

online | puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Themed

June Know?

Words:  76

Average Length:  4.87

Difficulty:  Gently moderate

Our much-missed 47 Across, Mickey, along with your humble constructor

Ah, June in DC:  The gnats are swarming, the Nats are in last place, and natch, I’ve got a June-themed puzzle for you.  Please enjoy and share!

online | puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Mostly Musical Mini

Mostly Musical Mini 9

Words:  16

Average Length:  5.25

Difficulty:  Moderato

Yesterday’s LA Times/Wash. Post puzzle, 23 Across:  Clue – *Tunes for fogies.  Answer – Classic Rock.  The clue was asterisked to indicate an answer fitting the “sugar coat” theme, or as the clue for the “sugar coat” answer put it, “make sweeter, in the way the theme answers do to their starred clues.”  As an old college friend of mine used to say, “I resemble that remark.”  (I graduated college in 1980, so any college friend of mine is an old friend.)

Having said that, note that out of 12 music-related clues in this week’s mini, only one answer (11 Across), a mere 8.3%, is arguably classic rock-related.  Don’t claim that 4 Down were classic rock.  They were a classic band, but a decade too late.

online | puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Set List

Set List 4: Raitt/Brubeck/Hall & Oates/Grateful Dead

Words:  76

Average Length:  4.87

Difficulty:  Easier than finding four less similar acts to perform in the same concert

Florence’s river (63 Across)

Persuading smushed-together song titles to divide symmetrically is a non-trivial undertaking.  My other Set List puzzles had symmetrical theme answers spanning three long entries.  For this puzzle, try as I might, I could only create a set list spanning two long, symmetrical entries.  I’d been thinking of using the made-up rumored collaboration at 38 Across in a different puzzle, but I decided a shorter set list would be fine provided that the collaboration had a central spot in this grid.

online | puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Midi Themed

Listen to Z Music

Delos, since I had no pictures of the mythical 10 Across

I saw 16 Down on SNL last month and was blown away by her talent.  Of course, I’ve heard her on the radio many times, but seeing her live underscored how amazing she is.  Then it occurred to me that a seemingly inordinate number of musicians/compositions have “Zs” in their names, ranging from pop to rock to opera to jazz to conductors, and that there ought to be a grid acknowledging that observation.  Et voila! 

Online | puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Themed

What “Pro-Life” Should Mean …

Words: 74

Average Length:  5.16

Difficulty:  I tried to make this easier than usual.  That effort may have met with “incomplete success,” as President Carter once said.

A crossword puzzle is an ineffective means of getting a message across, but I’m a Democrat, so I come by that naturally. Here’s the point:

  • The Democrats need to coopt and repurpose “pro-life” to make clear that YOU CAN’T BE “PRO-LIFE” WHILE SABOTAGING THE HEALTH AND WELFARE OF THE LIVING   

For years, Republicans have used the “pro-life” label to oppose abortion, with mounting success at the state and federal levels.  Yet the Republicans’ conception of life is that it begins at fertilization and apparently ends at birth.  As rabidly as the Rs yell that abortion is murder, they reflexively oppose laws that would curb gun violence, promote breathable air and drinkable water, guarantee affordable health care, housing, and education, ensure security from hunger, etc., etc., etc.

The Democrats must pound this message home:  You can’t be “pro-life” while sabotaging the health and welfare of the living.  Put that on billboards, TV ads, t-shirts, whatever … just get the point across!

Solve online | puz | pdf | solution

Categories
Mostly Musical Mini

Mostly Musical Mini 6

Words:  16

Average Length:  5.5

Difficulty:  A gentle May breeze with one or two gusts

The seed for this one was 13 Across – to me, one of the greatest songs ever written.  It’s a Leonard Cohen classic, and it was covered (gorgeously of course) by Judy Collins.  You can listen to his version here, and hers here.

Check back on Sunday for a special Mothers’ Day Puzzle.

puz | pdf | solution