Jul 19, 2011

Curious Conundrums

I'm pleased to introduce a new feature of this blog: Curious Conundrums (to keep with the CC theme).

There is a need for a puzzle outlet that cannot be found in the usual channels of publication. Many constructors, both novice and well-established, have wonderful ideas for puzzles that do not have a market niche. If you'd like to share and get opinions of your puzzles (either new or rejections) and would like to hear feedback on your theme and/or fill and/or clues from our Corner readers, please email me ( your puzzle in Crossword Compiler I'll publish a specific post for the puzzle and start a comment thread.

Today I'd like to share a "Carpe Diem" puzzle Don G. and I made. We thought it's perfect for this hot summer's day. It's Don's original idea, and I brought it to life for his birthday. The theme for this puzzle was rejected on a technicality of geographical consistency, but still has a consistent thematic element that is not seen very often. A special "Thank you" to Marti and Barry G for the early grid review, test solving & valuable suggestions.

Don and I look forward to hearing your comments.


Here is puz file (Across Lite)

Here is PDF.

Spoiler: Here is the answer grid with yellow highlight for the theme gimmick. Here is Argyle's write-up .



Yellowrocks said...

Great puzzle.
Loved the clever theme. Even after filling in everything correctly, I did not see ARBOR, FIELD, LABOR, and CLEAR. How could I have missed them?
This seemed to be about a Wednesday level with no look ups or red letters. There was nothing obscure, except for BORED as BROKE OFF ENGAGEMENT(?). I had it correct but I don't understand it.

HeartRx said...

I really loved this puzzle, C.C. and thought the them was really clever! The central long entry made it almost a "puzzle within a puzzle", as I had to go back and search for the hidden entries in each corner. Fun stuff!

Grumpy 1 said...

Fun puzzle, Don and C.C. I got the unifier before I had the NE corner completed and I saw FIELD from the FI in that corner. It helped complete the puzzle.

I kept looking at 1a and just wasn't sure about BORED, but ARBOR confirmed it. I guess ROAD SIGNS refers to advertising signs or billboards that are 'pitching stuff' for sale... I need to put on my warped thinking cap when I'm doing a Don/C.C. puzzle.

Whatever the 'geographical consistency' problem was, I didn't see it and didn't find anything that detracted from the fun factor of the puzzle.

Don G. said...

Nice to see someone took an interest in this puzzle. I was more excited about this puzzle today than my published one.

This is a new venture, and there are bound to be glitches. I apologize to Yellowrocks. I didn't do a good enough job editing the final copy. I suggested "Not engaged" to C.C. for BORED, but C.C. never got that message. There were some other things. But we'll get better.

This was extremely hard to fill with those words on the corners. It does not lend well to construction to take parts of the same word and split it up like that. Probably the last time I'll try that!

Now c'mon, Marti. Let's see one of yours that got away.

creature said...

IReally liked this puzzle. Loved the theme.
My problem was the same as Yellow's: didn't understand 1A, but filled it.
Thanks for a shot at it.

Argyle said...

Who gets spanked for 34D

Bill G. said...

Actually, I don't get 34D. I didn't see any geographical inconsistency. I liked the puzzle and would have enjoyed seeing it in the LAT.

Argyle said...

I did a quick write-up on it.

Will edit it but still don't get 34D.

Don G. said...

OK. The explanation is, not all geographical areas in the country consider a string of 90 degree plus weather as a heat wave. Maybe southern California and southern Florida regard 90 degrees as normal. Anyway, most of us, including me stuck in Ohio, regard a lengthy session of 90 degree days as an undesirable heat wave.

C.C. Burnikel said...

That'll be me. Just corrected clues for both IES & BORED. Also linked your write-up. Thanks for the time, Santa.

Bill G,
This puzzle has been through a few versions. Don got rid of a few clunky fill in my original grid. At some point 34D is AES, hence my original wrong clue.

Argyle said...

Wait, I get it. If you pluralize a word ending in Y (industry) it changes to IES (industries).

Argyle said...

I gotta go...shut down all my screens; I'm all over the place!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Yes on IES. And a couple comments on your write-up:

1) 5D. Bad ending : DEE. BADDIE ?

D is the last letter of Bad.

2) 60D. Wild hrs. : CST. Central Standard Time but don't get the 'Wild'.

Wild refers to Minnesota Wild the hockey team.

Avg Joe said...

I tried to post earlier on the bonus puzzle, but the dog ate my homework. My biggest issue was the 34D clue/answer. I see that's been cleared up.

Argyle said...

'Fraid to say I never heard of the Minnesota Wild.

Lemonade714 said...

Really fun and games; I like it being in flux.

Bill G. said...

Hey Don G., in my corner of southern California, a 90-degree day is both unusual and unwelcome. Any time it gets over 75 here (near the ocean), I consider it a heat wave. Inland, that's another matter. If Rich is that picky, no wonder the LAT puzzles are so well-respected.

Lucina said...

Hello Don G. and C.C.

I finally had time to do this "Curious Conundrum" and found it fun although no idea about the gimmick.

Thanks for the explanations.

You two are a dynamite couple!

AriadneArts said...

Just found this puzzle and worked my way through it. It was fun, and just difficult enough to be very interesting.
34D I pondered over that one for some time and then the light came on and I "got" it -- plural of y-ending words, Of course "ies". I love that feeling, kind of epiphanous--well, lots of fun, anyway.

Also 8D gave me a run for my dough--"0"-- Tiny clue for for such a long answer. Perps helped with that till it began to emerge and I could fill in the blanks.

I know it's a over a year since this blog began. Hope it's okay to share since the puzzles are still up. Sadly Argyle's adjunct writeup is no longer available.

I'm off to try another of these conundrums. Thanks Don and CC for a most entertaining time this afternoon.