Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013, Joe Krozel


An odd puzzle. Twelve 15s and lots and lots of 3s makes for a somewhat disjointed solving experience.  Not bad, exactly, just strange.

I could feel my brain digging through its store of 3-letter crossword rubble for every last NEA, TOR, EKE, and TET. And once you punch enough holes into the 15s, they can usually be guessed. The first of those to go today was THESAHARADESERT (9D: Large portion of Africa), which seemed so straightforward. We much preferred the more clever PETRIFIEDFOREST (11D: Source of hardwood?), GASOLINESTATION (31A: It may help you get from E to F) (!), and CARELESSABANDON (41A: Bad quality for dangerous work) (a hard clue to parse, at first). My own favorite, however, might have been PROCRASTINATING (24A: Off-putting?), both for the nice clue and for the simple fact that it's a 15-letter word. It looks so cool running all the way across the grid on its own.

Surprisingly little junk, and the clues for some of the 3s were especially nice. 21A: Some bulls (ELK), 30A: Pajama-clad exec (HEF), and 46A: Google finding (HIT), for example. We will never, apparently, remember the name of Prince Valiant's son, but, well, it still sounds more familiar to me than 65A: Georges who wrote "Life: A User's Manual" (PEREC). In fact, that ANOLE/PEREC cross was pretty tough, but Frannie had a hunch about the first E in PEREC, and thankfully, she was right. Tater tots all around!

- Horace


  1. 40:43
    Like. I thought the same thing about PROCRASTINATING, and originally had RECKLESSABANDON, which didn't work, of course. I was able to finish this puzzle relatively quickly for a Friday without much trouble. I've recently memorized Prince Valiant's son, but it took many, many times seeing it in crosswords. I'd heard of neither PEREC nor ANOLE before this puzzle. ROSIE was a surprise, in that I wasn't thinking of her at all, and I like the BOSTONSTRANGLER reference. My old boss was a guard when he was brought to Bridgewater and often mentioned the numerous women lined up, many with baby carriages, to catch a glimpse of him.

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  3. Interesting. We did a Krozel puzzle today (June 29), and had a similar reaction. It set a record for fewest words (50), but it was terrible in many ways. Forced, incorrect phrases and comparatives and plurals that are not in common use.

    As for making a puzzle, I'm glad to hear you say that. We bought a professional puzzle compiler software, and I was hoping it would get some use in Maine this summer.

  4. Hey, I seem to have accidentally deleted your last comment. I blame it on trying to navigate with large fingers on a small device. It was not intentional.