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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looking beyond the esthetics – this is by far the least attractive grid I’ve ever designed – I hope you enjoy today’s tribute to two fascinating spots in south and southeast Asia. I’d love to return to both countries at some point, having barely sampled their visual, historical, and spiritual charms. Click here to see some photos and my write-up.
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.
In January 2020 – at the tail end of the Before Times – I went on a cruise from Dubai to Singapore with my extended family. I was disappointed with Dubai (too many people and cars, too much pollution and ostentation) but really enjoyed our second stop, Oman. You can read more details (and see some pix) on my travel blog. Meanwhile, enjoy the puzzle!
This is the first in what I hope will be a slew of posts marrying three things I love: crosswords, travel, and photography. Every Wednesday, I will post a travel-themed midi here, inspired by a photo I’ve taken on my travels. I’ll include a link to a write-up about the place and photo on my travel blog, PuffinlessTravel.wordpress.com.
My brother and I traveled to Antarctica in February 2022. I wrote about the trip extensively at that time — see here and surrounding posts — and even constructed a penguin-themed crossword in celebration of the trip.
I’m revisiting Antarctica now because it was visually the most evocative place I’ve ever been. (Plus, I owe it a crossword that recognizes the continent’s many attractions other than penguins!)
Thank you all! I’m grateful to everyone who takes the time to solve my puzzles – the site received 10,000 views in 2022, up 60% from 2021, and solvers in 45 countries tackled my grids this year.
This puzzle contains my New Year’s wish for you. I hope you enjoy it. Keep solving, please share my puzzles with abandon (I’d love to double my views this coming year), and most of all, have a healthy, happy, fun and fulfilling 2023!!!