The holiday has worn me out, so it's gonna be short and sweet today, kids. There were a lot of things I liked about this puzzle -- including a time-release "Aha" and there were a couple things I didn't like. We'll get to all of it after this SPOILER WARNING: Don't read any further until you've done today's New York Sun Crossword Puzzle. New York Sun puzzles are every bit as fun and challenging as the more well-known New York Times and they're indisputably better in one way -- they're free. If you'd like to read about an unbiased head-to-head competition between the Sun and the Times puzzles check this out. Or if you're ready to decide for yourself you can download this puzzle and join in on the fun here
"Up to a Point" is by John Farmer, and it's a 15 X 16 with side-by-side symmetry, which is cool. We get several clues to the theme starting with 1D: With 12-Down, what this puzzle's theme points to (THE TOP), continuing with 48A: Number of times this puzzle's theme word appears diagonally in the grid (to complete the puzzle, shade those words plus the down answers that begin where they meet (FOUR) a very long clue for a very short answer and 53A: Number of letters in the theme word (FIVE)
The theme word is ARROW, but by the time I'd tracked them down and highlighted them, I'd forgotten the second part of the clue and I was wondering how 19D: 1925 Sinclair Lewis novel could be ASMITH and how in the heck I'd never heard of the ASHIRT Men's apparel brand since 1851. When I realized later it was ARROWSMITH and ARROW SHIRT I got a delayed Aha, which I kind of enjoy, even though it makes me feel a little stupid. I also liked the edgy (for crosswords anyway) 32A: It might be picked up while hooking up (STD) and 36A: Pollen-bearing parts of stamens (ANTHERS) because it reminds me of one of my favorite Ogden Nash poems:
The panther is like a leopard,
Except that it hasn't been peppered.
Should you see a panther crouch,
Prepare to say ouch,
Better yet, if called by a panther,
40D: Where you might go (PRIVY) had me scratching my head cuz for some reason I had Gene Kelly dancing with a COD instead of CYD Charisse in "Singin' in the Rain," so I was wondering if there was a song or a saying about PROVO being "the place to go" -- I obviously had Ogden Nash on the brain.
My only complaint was that there were a lot of three-letter words in the grids, and a lot of them aren't really words -- EEO, HRH, LGA, BIP, NSA, III, TWP, CPR, ETD, GRE, ATT, KGB, ARI, APR.
That's all for today. See you tomorrow.