Tuesday, August 14, 2007






Patrick Blindauer continues to expand the playfulness of crossword puzzles by packing another game into one of them. He's done chess and acrostics and today it's a word search. With an added twist that's even more impressive than the word search itself. Actually, it's kind of a word search crossed with an acrostic.

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.

4D: Discovery within this grid using the 10-Down (WORD SEARCH PUZZLE)

10D: See 4-Down (DOWN CLUE STARTERS)

And the down clue starters (first letter in each down clue) spell out: FIND THESE SIX WORDS TIME STORY TREE HOT FOUL ASSEMBLY. And from there it's up to you to find those words backwards, diagonally, diagonally backwards, however they might be hidden. Hiding ASSEMBLY in this grid was cool enough, but the way he gets the first letters in the down clue to spell out the instructions and the words -- and still have the clues themselves sound completely natural. Now that's impressive.

Usually with one of these Blindauer creations I play the second game after I finish the puzzle, but today I used the hidden words to help me through a couple of rough spots in the puzzle.

Other entries of interest:

1A: Only person to win both an Oscar and a Nobel (SHAW) I did not know that and I never would have guessed it unless you told me it was four letters long, starting with S-H. That's why I love crosswords. They make you look and feel smarter than you really are.

15A: Eton john (LOO) Now, that's funny. I know my sense of humor's not that sophisticated, but tha's funny. And I bet you did the same thing I did, read the clue too fast as Elton John and moved on to another clue -- or maybe you put SIR in there.


17A: Eck, for most of his career (ALER) That's a tough clue for a Tuesday. Those ALER and NLER's (for American and National League baseball players) are kinda tough (and unpopular in some circles). ECK is Dennis Eckersley, a Hall of Fame pitcher with a stupid yucky-sounding nickname.


30A: D and C, in D.C. (STREETS) This one gave me fits, and I used my knowledge of the one word search word (TREE) to figure it out.


36A: It may bring the kid out in you (CESAREAN) I had a hard time with that one too. I had the -REA- and figured it had to be ICE CREAM.


77A: Juice dispensers (TASERS) With all the talk about Barry Bonds and steroids these days, I wanted to put SYRINGES here.


41D: Row of keys under a touch typist's hand (ASDF) Well, this is where people who do the puzzles on the computer have an advantage over us pencil and paper people.


54D: One involved in match play (PYRO)


That's all for today. I have to apologize for the appearance of the completed puzzle. I highlighted the word search words in yellow, but I'm at work and the only scanner I have is the one in my black and white Xerox copier, and it didn't look so good. So I circled them instead -- which I guess is what you're supposed to do with word searches. Call me a traditionalist.








8 comments:

Austin said...

CESAREAN?!? D'oh.

I even had C E _ A _ E A _ and couldn't pull it out of my mind. I had no idea about RSA or NERA, so those weren't any help at all. I was pretty confident about YSER, but the R kept throwing me off so I erased it.

Now that I know the answer, it makes perfect sense.

On to the puzzle in general, I loved loved loved the word search aspect of it. Knowing that there were words to find made things a little easier. Knowing where the Y in assembly helped me get BEADYEYED much quicker than I would have.

There were some good words in today's puzzle that I had never heard of (especially for a Tuesday): VARLET, SEABEE, and ALOHAOE.

STREETS threw me for a loop for a minute, too. I had wanted to put INITIALS, but that didn't fit. Then I remembered that there is a K Street, so I figured that there must be a D and C street, too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comments. I probably put as much time/effort into this one as I do for a typical Sunday puz, but I think it was worth it.

Lord knows I didn't get into this for the money.

Best,
PBlindauer

Norrin2 said...

I think it was too, Patrick. Sorry about the money, but at least you know we appreciate what you do.

Linda G said...

I'm just pleased as punch that I came very close to completing this one. I finished the right half of the puzzle so had that good hint...but I read it wrong. Was looking for THE SE (southeast) SIX WORDS.

Patrick's last few puzzles have just been incredible. I can't wait to meet him at ACPT.

Howard B said...

That was downright amazing. Anyone who doesn't think these puzzles can be an art form, try this one.

By the way, as others have pointed out (and I didn't notice at first), those six hidden words can also be followed by the word LINE, thus completing the theme (and the puzzle's title).

Patrick, the intricacy of this one's just scary (in a good way). Hope to see you again in Brooklyn.

Norrin2 said...

Wow -- I never noticed the LINE connection. That is doubly amazing -- no, we're already past double, that's quadrupally amazing!

Orange said...

Robert, the old ladies in the nursing home like to use highlighters instead of circling their word searches. It's easier for their arthritic hands. You're just heading toward the inevitable...

Norrin2 said...

Wow, do you think they'll have word search tournaments in the nursing home? That might be fun.