Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday, June 8, 2014, Patrick Berry


I felt this puzzle was on a Tuesday difficulty level. Nothing too complex in the cluing or the answers, really. The grid is filled with 3-letter answers. And the theme is cute, but nothing too clever. After all, Mr. Berry gets to put in his punny answers with the X but doesn't have to cross the X with any answers containing X! It feels a bit like a cheat.

My favorite of the theme answers were: BEAUTYCONTE[S/X]T, EVERGREENTRE[E/X], and SKIPTOMYLO[U/X]. The very first thing I entered was the theme answer at 29A: Sun Tzu tome Madame Tussaud's specialty? (THEARTOFWA[R/X]). Very shortly thereafter I realized that there would be two letters in the crossed-out squares, and it was off to the races. I barely paused, except when I entered 24D: "Love's ____ Lost" (LABOURS) because I forgot the English added U. I had McAA at 34A (NC-17 assigner: Abbr.) for a while, and in fact that P was the last letter I got in the puzzle.

Other than that, not much to report. I know Huygens will like 123A: You'll see a lot of them (NUDISTS), and I loved the clue. I also enjoyed 82D: Raised on books? (EMBOSSED). And finally, I know 65A: Mohs-scale mineral (TALC) from helping my daughter study for Earth Sciences. I think Horace's father would enjoy that one as well. A very strange hyphen in there. I don't think it's needed.

Once again, Sunday fails to live up to the end of the week themeless puzzles.

- Colum


  1. Turns out that if you read each of the crossed out letters in a row, they spell CROSSED OUT. That's pretty darned cool, and I would never in a million years have thought to look at that.

  2. 41 mins.
    I did, indeed, enjoy 123A You'll see a lot of them (NUDISTS) and had it starred. Oddly, I never check for little things like CROSSEDOUT, but since, as Colum mentions, the letters didn't cross with anything I thought that something must be going on and kept track of the letters in order on the paper. However, I, too, figured out the theme quickly and barely paused filling the puzzle in. I loved the FTROOP/FORT cross, but thought that 98A Give a piece too (ARM) was going to be dirtier. I come down on the side of enjoying the Sunday offerings.