Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Puzzle by Ray Fontenot, edited by Will Shortz

GETLOST (22A What you might do while driving to an unfamiliar place); FINDAGASSTATION (39A What you might do next?); BUYAMAP (55A What you might do next?); along with the note: “DIAGONAL (What you might do eventually to make up for lost time)", for which the answer is TAKETHESHORTCUT, are the inter-related entries of this Wednesday back-to-New-York crossword puzzle.

Very appropriate for myself, as the past weekend was a bit like this puzzle for me -- lost and mapless. Thanks for the patience with my errors, omissions, faux pas, typos, etc. It was the first time I blogged on the road. Sometimes wi-fi worked, sometimes not. At times, I photographed the screen to gain an image of the diagram (completed grid) of the puzzle for publication. On occasions with no printer or scanner, hand-wrote from the screen, then typed, then didn’t get a chance to go back to proofread. However, the experience tells me that it is quite do-able, and in the future, with improvements in technological equipment... Yes, that’s right, next time I’ll use
a map!

So, now to the puzzle at hand, from my monster computer center at home -- not taking any shortcuts! Let me start out by saying that the success of this puzzle is that I, whether or not you did or will, got lost! Isn’t that the point? I didn’t notice the direction to “SEE NOTEPAD” and when I did, it didn’t help. Kept thinking that somehow my unfilled squares must be a smattering of asymmetrical glyphs or their relatives.

Had GETLOST; FINDAGASTATION; and BOYAMAP for a good part of the puzzle -- other signs along the road I usually see, just weren’t there, or I was driving too fast to complete the puzzle quickly and missed the turn! I got fixated on what should be that wasn’t, like MEW instead of “meow”, UHOH instead of “oh oh”, etc.; and was amused far too much by ESHARP (28A F equivalent)! I'm blaming it on jet-lag!

Across directions: 1. “Jabberwocky” start; 5. Female W.W. II-era enlistees; 10. Sorento and Sedona; 14. Brewery fixture; 15. Is sporting; 16. Just sitting; 17. Zuider Zee sight; 18. Midway alternative; 19. Legal basis of a repo; 20. Bone-related; 24. Rich dessert; 25. Jumbo and colossal; 26. Words of woe; 32. Ancient theaters; 36. Vintner’s prefix; 38. “I LOVEA Parade”; 42. Water nymph; 43. Garland’s “cowardly” co-star; 44. Manuscript encl.; 45. Seasoned vet; 47. Southwest art center; 49. Hardly garrulous; 51. Ph.D. hurdles; 58. Local lingo; 60. Melville mariner; 61. Leader of the Mel-Tones; 64. Sierra Club concern: Abbr.; 65. Game turn, maybe; 66. Quilt stuffing; 67. Gull-like predator; 68. South Korea’s first president; 69. Some side dishes; 70. Communicate with modern-style

Down directions: 1. List heading; 2. Tailor’s measurement; 3. Request one’s presence at; 4. Be in control; 5. All out; 6. Sighed word; 7. Fat-pig filler?; 8. Welsh breed; 9. Cause for a blessing?; 10. Volleyball spikes, say; 11. Peculiar: Prefix; 12. Publican’s stock; 13. Made rhapsodic; 21. ATO Z; 23. TESLA coil (1891 invention); 25. Able to feel; 27. Prix fixe offering; 29. Adidas alternative; 30. Model T contemporaries; 31. Frame filler; 32. OFNO consequence; 33. Old-fashioned phone feature; 34. Sooner city; 35. Not fixed; 37. Arm of the Dept. of Labor; 40. Relevant, in law; 41. Smokeys; 46. Emulates Daniel Webster; 48. Malaga Mrs.; 50. Be too good to; 52. Bikini event, once; 53. John who wrote “Wherever Law ends, Tyranny begins”; 54. Victors at Little Bighorn; 55. Roseanne, again; 56. “Here comes trouble!”; 57. Where the Clintons met; 59. Blind part; 62. Nutritional abbr.; 63. Catty remark?

In short, there are lots of familiar entries with enough confusion in the cluing to make this a puzzle with a few false starts, detours, and enough confusion to get lost, find a gas station, buy a map, but just take the shortcut in the long run -- isn’t that what makes a puzzle a puzzle?

I wonder?!


For one more cartoon, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.