Crossword 065: Trial Runs

Herbert Draper, The Lament for Icarus

Herbert Draper, The Lament for Icarus


I have crafted this puzzle specifically for those elite solvers who are able to soar above the petty, earthbound considerations of vulgar linguistic usage that limit the intellects of the common herd.  If you belong to this group, I congratulate you, and invite you to congratulate yourself.  For self-congratulation is a primary—in fact, for many, the only—purpose of cultural experience.  Let us wallow in it together.

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A puzzle of mine will appear next Tuesday, February 19, in the New York Times. Meanwhile, on the very same day, another puzzle of mine will appear in the various newspapers that run the Universal Crossword .

Crossword 058: Accentuate the Positive

Edward Frederick Brewtnall, The Princess and the Frog Prince

Edward Frederick Brewtnall,
The Princess and the Frog Prince


"Oh goodness infinite, goodness immense!,/That all this good of evil shall produce,/And evil turn to good!" you will exclaim, "replete with joy and wonder," after you finish this puzzle.  (See John Milton, Paradise Lost, XII.468-71)

We owe 32 Across to my test-solver, proofreader, and sometime editor “Bob Kerfuffle," who has also spared me the embarrassment and you the annoyance of many errors of all kinds.  He will not permit me to use his real name, preferring to "do good by stealth." (See Alexander Pope, Epilogue to the Satires of Horace, Dialogue I, l.136)

Crossword 056: Di-Graphic Language

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Une Vocation

William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Une Vocation


That's this week's crossword she's got there.  Judging from the position of her pen and the expression on her face, she's at 52 Across, and trying desperately to remember what exactly a "ratite" is.  She's seen the word before, maybe in another crossword—but what does it mean?  It's nothing to do with rodents, or rodent-followers, but it is some kind of animal, isn't it?  A "gnu" maybe?  

If you attended last August’s Lollapuzzoola tournament, you may have picked up a promotional copy of this very puzzle, which was distributed there on my behalf by my test-solver, editor, and promoter, the inexplicably generous “Bob Kerfuffle.” I was not myself in attendance, as I prefer to cultivate an air of reclusive genius—in the hope of being revered as the J.D. Salinger, the Emily Dickinson of crosswords. Do please try to play along with me in this.

Crossword 053: Carved Turkey

Hearty Thanksgiving Greeting.jpg

Hearty Thanksgiving Greeting

Thursday was Thanksgiving.  I was thankful for you; and you, I'm willing to suppose, were thankful for me.  But now we have these turkey parts all over the place. Like so many of my puzzles, this week’s holds a mirror up to nature, showing the very age and body of the time his form and pressure.

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A puzzle of mine will appear next Thursday, November 29, in The Wall Street Journal.