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.


Themeless 24

Words:  66

Average Length:  5.42

Difficulty:  Surmountable with a stepladder

Bridge, Kinderijk, Netherlands (see 20A)

puz | pdf | solution

After last week’s end-of-the-civilized-world vibe, this week’s grid is kinder, gentler, and a comparative ray of sunshine.  Please enjoy!

I figure crossword solvers generally like to read, so I’m linking below to lists of the best fiction and non-fiction books I read in 2021. I’m always happy to get book recommendations, so let me know if you’ve got any, particularly if they’re not well-known.

Fiction | Non-fiction


Themeless 22

Words:  70

Average Length:  5.54

Difficulty:  Quartzish on the Mohs scale?

They’re sheep! (see 12 Down) (taken in Northern Ireland, 2019)

I hope you all had a wonderful time last week with friends and family. The seed for this grid was 14 Across, where my brother and I will be going in February!   (Oh, the difficulty rating thing:  numbers are falsely precise, I think.  Henceforth I will come up with other ways of estimating the sweat of your collective brows.)  Please enjoy, pass along a link to the puzzle or my site, and be well!

puz | pdf | solution