Crossword 095: Anntheme

 
James Sant, Caroline, 3rd Countess of Mount Edgcumbe with Her Two Youngest Children, Charles and Ernestine

James Sant, Caroline, 3rd Countess of Mount Edgcumbe with Her Two Youngest Children, Charles and Ernestine

 

Today is my beloved mother's birthday.  Alert solvers might be able, on the basis of this puzzle's title and theme answers, to guess her name. 


Download this week’s crossword:

095-Anntheme.puz

095-Anntheme.pdf

Solve this week's crossword online:

095 Anntheme


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A crossword of mine will appear Thursday, September 19, in the Wall Street Journal


Crossword 094: Ear Tags

 
William Powell Frith, The New Earrings

William Powell Frith, The New Earrings

 

Poking holes in our ears so as to dangle ornamental objects from them—isn't it a little ugly and foolish, when you come to think about it?  Attaching metal things that emit radio frequencies to the ears of livestock so as to keep track of them is at least practical.  Has anyone thought of combining these in a movie, involving a creepy stalker and a gift of earrings? "The Piercing," it might be called.  If you’re a movie producer and you'd like to buy an option on the idea, let me know.


Download this week’s crossword:

094-Ear-Tags.puz

094-Ear-Tags.pdf

Solve this week's crossword online:

094 Ear Tags

Crossword 091: Lost Arts

 
John Evans Hodgson, Holbein's Studio

John Evans Hodgson, Holbein's Studio

 

I once thought to use this puzzle's title (in the singular) as a theme answer.  The clue would have been about Paul Simon, who "lost Art"—Garfunkel, that is—in 1970. And the Wilson brothers "found Love," their cousin Mike, to form the Beach Boys.  But then what?  Did any group throw "Iris Out"?  or decide to "Keep Faith" after all? or to "Kill Joy"?  I couldn't make it work.  So I invite all you aspiring crossword constructors in need of a theme to apply to me for permission to adopt it, which I will grant free of charge if I find you worthy of my benevolence. Just email me a statement of financial need and an autobiographical essay on how you overcame an obstacle.


Download this week’s crossword:

091-Lost-Arts.puz

091-Lost-Arts.pdf

Solve this week's crossword online:

091 Lost Arts

Crossword 086: A Few Extracts

 
James Sant, George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon

James Sant, George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon

 

Here I sit, comfortably ensconced in my book-lined study, a snifter of cognac in my hand, a knowing glint in my eye, and . . . I can't think of a thing to say.


Download this week’s crossword:

086-A-Few-Extracts.puz

086-A-Few-Extracts.pdf

Solve this week's crossword online:

086 A Few Extracts


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A puzzle of mine appears today in Universal Crosswords, and another will appear Thursday, July 18, in the Wall Street Journal


Crossword 081: Prepositional Profusion, Part 1

 
Edward John Poynter, Diana and Endymion

Edward John Poynter, Diana and Endymion

 

We approach another summer solstice, and so it’s time for another series.  Last year, as you may fondly recall, I gave you six puzzles called "It's Magic," six recommendations of novels by the Trollope family, and six Victorian fairy paintings.  This year (having learned moderation in the meantime), I'll give you four puzzles called "Prepositional Profusion," four novels with titles that include the name "Cynthia," and four paintings featuring the goddess of the moon, alternating with four paintings of women by Sir Francis Grant, President of the Royal Academy, 1866-1878.  Why?  Because I happen to have made four puzzles called "Prepositional Profusion," and because my beloved wife's name is Cynthia, and because I like paintings of women by Sir Francis Grant.


Crossword 078: Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside

 
William Holman Hunt, The Awakening Conscience

William Holman Hunt, The Awakening Conscience

 

A common motif in theater (the Pierrot of commedia dell'arte and his many literary heirs), in opera ("Vesti la giubba"), in song ("The Tears of a Clown," “I’m a Loser”), in sad clown paintings—a motif that no doubt reflects a universal and enduring human feeling—receives here a moving crossword treatment.



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A puzzle of mine will appear Thursday, May 23, in the Wall Street Journal.

Crossword 076: Hydration

 
Gustave Moreau, Hercules and the Lernaean Hydra.jpg
 

Gustave Moreau, Hercules and the Lernaean Hydra


I was planning a large puzzle based on the twelve labors of Hercules.  I was going to make the labors turn corners so that they’d seem extra laborious (crossword answers that turn corners are really hot these days). I had fit in "Nemean," "Lernaean," "Ceryneian," "Erymanthian," and "Augean," all very neatly—but "Stymphalian" defeated me. Oh well—here’s this instead.


Download this week’s crossword:

076-Hydration.puz

076-Hydration.pdf

Solve this week's crossword online:

076 Hydration


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A puzzle of mine will appear tomorrow, Sunday, May 5, in The Los Angeles Times (and The Chicago Tribune, The Houston Chronicle, The San Francisco Chronicle, etc.)