Oct 25, 2011

Oppostion Leaders

#8 of our Curious Conundrums series.

Don & Marti constructed this puzzle. Marti said "Rich liked the idea, but had done a similar one before, so he couldn't take our version".

I don't recall such a gimmick. I found the theme unique and refreshing. Heavy theme content & amazing symmetry. Tricky too. Hope you enjoy the challenge.


Here is PDF (click on File, then Download).

Here is puz file (click on Download).

Spoiler: Here is the answer grid.

Thanks for solving, and we look forward to your comments.



Grumpy 1 said...

Great puzzle, Marti and Don. I tried to solve without getting to the theme clue and kept running into entries that filled with perps but made no sense at all. Of course, once I groked the theme, it all made sense. I don't recall anything similar in the time I've been doing puzzles.

There were several clues that weren't in my immediate store of knowledge, but I managed to tease them out. Last to fall was deciding on an L or W at the cross of S_APS/_ORAX. The L seemed slightly more likely for the down and also seemed slightly familiar for the across.

It took me 42 minutes to get throughthis one. That's getting up to my Saturday/Sunday time, so I felt it was fairly difficult, but definitely doable.

Thanks for sharing it with us.

HeartRx said...

Grumpy 1, you are a trooper!

C.C., Rich had done a "pro and con" puzzle earlier this year (Dave Sarpola, Tues Apr. 26). Although it didn't have the same gimmick, it had the same theme basis.

Yellowrocks said...

Wow!! Fiendishly clever! Unusually fresh cluing!! I loved this puzzle. When I had all but the extreme SE corner and the theme answers completed, I realized I needed the SE to unlock the puzzle. I started looking at the themes for possible opposite prefixes and found CONtour and PROcure. Voila! It took about half and hour all together.

It must be discouraging, Don and Marti, to work so hard on a puzzle and have it rejected. Your gimmick was so fresh, that the pro and con theme shouldn't matter. I'm glsd you sent it to us.

I stil am amazed that the SNAKE IN THE GRASS puzzle we had earlier was rejected, because a rattlesnake is not a snake in the grass. As I discussed before, there are grassland rattlers.

I admire you constructors greatly.

Tinbeni said...

Tough, Friday level, adventure.

Went to the "theme reveal" for the PROS-and-CONS.
But when I finished I kept wondering what the circled letters spelled out. A-E-U-C-T-N-N-N (from top to bottom).
Do they spell-out something I missed?

Oh well, It was a FUN solve.

Yellowrocks said...

I added CON to the vertical words that included the circle, for example. 2D CON +TOUR = CONTOUR for the clue, Outline.
I added PRO to the horizontal words that included the circle, for example, 17A PRO+ CURE = PROCURE, for the clue, Obtain.

Clear Ayes said...

I almost passed this one by, but I'm glad I stuck with it.

Instructions of 63A) clue Crossing of PROS and 59D)CONS


What fun! Did I get them all?

Tinbeni said...

Yeah, I got that part of the theme.
PROs added to the across answers.
CONs added to the down answers.
That's why the circles were where they were.

Otherwise "A step up in the organization" MOTION would make no sense.
Same with "Entrust" is SIGN. At THAT circled "N".
(PROmotion, CONsign).

But when puzzles have "circles" ... the circled letters usually spell out or indicate a secret hint or something.

HeartRx said...

Clear Ayes, yes, that's all of them. It was tough to cram so many theme entries into a grid and still get smooth fill, but I'm glad we persisted with this one.

Tin, no, there was not "secret" word spelled out. The circles only point out the words where pro- and con- need to be added.

MPPuzzler said...

Nice, challenging puzzle. I couldn't make heads or tails of many of the circled crossing answers until I got to the reveal. Then, it all fell into place very nicely. Thanks for the bonus offering.

desper-otto said...

Fiendishly clever! I got the pro/con theme before I got to the southeast, but the meaning of the circles never clicked. And I never realized that all the PROs were horiz and the CONs vert. I wound up trying to put a pro/con prefix on everything that didn't immediately self-fill. Doh!

Almost DNF because I had DOTH protest rather than DOST, and I couldn't figure out what kind of ...BATIN would be in Africa. Finally fixed it when I realized that OCHO mom made no sense. And then I could see that it was NILE.

I still don't understand the clue for LORAX -- that's a Seuss creature isn't it?

Definitely a Saturday level puzzle in my opinion. Don/Marti, thanks for sharing. You picked a good day for it. The regular Tuesday puzzle was just too easy today.

MPPuzzler said...

Desper-otto - the Lorax is the hero in Seuss's environmental story of the same name. Great read for all ages.

desper-otto said...

MPPuzzler, I sort of figured out the Seuss connection, but what the heck is a Once-ler? Perhaps if I'd read the story I'd understand.

Grumpy 1 said...

Desper-otto, I guess to do crosswords these days, we not only have to be familiar with the classics, the Great American Novels, the Sci-Fi books and current literature, we also have to throw kid-lit into the mix.

kazie said...

I'm sorry, I wasn't getting anywhere, not even for the unifier, so I gave up. but the bread is delicious! Too many unknowns to get a foothold on enough perps to suss out the rest of the mystery.

KeaauRich said...

Loved this puzzle (tho I broke my own rule and used Google for a couple of the obscure -- to me anyway -- proper noun answers). Caught on to the gimmick about 20 minutes into the puzzle and then sailed on from there. I didn't find it as hard as most Saturday puzzles, and I really enjoyed the bonus challenge today! Great job - thanks!

Bill G. said...

I was all set to dislike this puzzle (for the first time) but I figured you two must know what you're doing. So I persisted. When I finally sussed out the theme, I thought I was supposed to add PRO and CON at the circle rather than at the beginning of the appropriate word. But I finally made it. Clever idea and great execution.

Why, when a puzzle like this is rejected by Rich, can't you submit it to one of the other high-quality crossword sites? It seems like a lot of work to go to waste (except for our benefit of course).

Dudley said...

Clever indeed! I was slow to catch on, because I was slow to get around to reading the master clue. Bad strategy, that. Once the light came on I fixed all my faulty fill. Glad I stayed with it, this was too good to miss!

Well done, DGMD-C team!

Frank said...

Finally got around to solving this one. Great puzzle! I really appreciate the fact that the partials for the PRO/CON words were complete words in their own right. Clever!

I'm with Bill G - did you submit this puzzle anywhere else? If no, then why not?