Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Wednesday, October 31, 2018, Bruce Haight


I love this puzzle. I'm just going to come right out and say it. Outstanding work. The amusing thing is when you know the shaded squares spell letters out phonetically, and yet when you go to enter the answer at 67A, you try to spell it using just the first letters of the shaded squares. S-A-W-P-T? Doesn't make any sense!

No, of course, it's actually CRYPT. We've seen this sort of thing done before, but in this instance it is elevated (not the most apt descriptor for the theme) by the grid artwork. Not only is the aforementioned tomb separated in the bottom of the puzzle with what looks like one of those stone coffins with an effigy on the top (represented with the answer THEME), but there's a perfect cross in the middle of the puzzle above it. Nicely done!

In addition, we get BURY and ARAMAIC (which brings that cross back to mind). AGASP and CUJO make the chilling nature of the puzzle and day more acute.

It's nice having the additional spice of GOMORRAH and KGBMOLE, along with the lengthy if not brilliant ROTARYCLUBS (you can't have everything). I very much liked the clue at 19A: It's not a good look (OGLE), which redeems the unpleasantness (and crossword ubiquity) of the word with appropriate disdain.

Nicely done, Dr. Haight.

- Colum


  1. Heh. Before I had the circled squares I was thinking gRave, but then the answer emerged from the CRYPT as I filled in more of the downs.

    I've always liked the word DOWEL, nice to see it in a puzzle. And nice clue for OBIT.

  2. Thanks Colum! I never even considered it a Halloween puzzle, but Will Shortz did- the cross in the middle was happenstance, but it does add to the whole mystique.