Feb 20, 2012


#11 of our Curious Conundrums series.

Marti constructed this puzzle.
She said "Rich liked the long 12 entries, but thought the 9's were a little weak."

I'm eager to see if anyone notices the extra step Marti took to make this puzzle more elegant to a discerning eye.


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

Here is puz file (click on File, then Download).

Spoiler: Here is the answer grid.

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



Tinbeni said...

Nice conundrum.

As for the "extra step Marti took to make this puzzle more elegant to a discerning eye" at 38-A, she used the only acceptable clue, "Slangy diamonds" (IMHO) for the answer ICE.

I thought that was NEAT, just like my Pinch.

Or maybe it was not having an "F" in the grid.

Grumpy 1 said...

Nice puzzle, Marti. POLEAXE needed a lot of perp help, but everything else dropped into place without much trouble.

I remember Clara's "Where's the beef?" commercials for Wendy's, so that was pretty obvious and told me (along with the title) what to look for.

Since Rich rejected this one, should it be retitled as 'Drop the F-bomb'?

I liked your clue for YODEL and your non-DF clue for I CAME.

desper-otto said...

Enjoyed it, Marti.

Liked the Mamas and Papas, Monster Mash (Bobby Boris Pickett), Willie Mays and "Leavin' On A Jet Plane" (Peter Paul and Mary) all bunched in the top center. Very Sixties-ish.

Got the theme at WHERES THE BEE, and penned in the other theme entries as soon as I'd read the clue.

I initially put DEB (Debit) for the ATM transaction and then sat wondering what sort of tree an UBA was. Doh!

Sorry it got rejected. I think it would have made a good Mon/Tues entry.

desper-otto said...

Marti, I forgot to ask. Didn't Nash's llama have only one L?

Middletown Bomber said...

I enjoyed it also marti I did not realize that 33a was a theme entry so i tried many different combos and nothing worked i also for got that Yale's first name was Elihu. It would have been a nice lat puzzle early week. Maybe try one of the other editors I think Tim Parker has a few venues for puzzles.

Avg Joe said...

Fun puzzle Marti. Against popular opinion thus far, I'd say difficulty was Wednesday or Thursday level. I have a strange tendency to avoid theme clues early in the solve, so I didn't get the theme until I got to Please be brie. Even then I had trouble with Hit the roo. This one deserves publication!

Husker Gary said...

What was Rich’s bee(f) again? Maybe you need to put RICH at 1 down as Jerome mentioned about John’s great puzzle yesterday :-).

This would have been a great Wed/Th entry! You gave me a great workout and I echo many of the comments above. HIT THE ROO? Wow! The cluing for YODEL was my fave non-theme entry!

siTed/Tai cross gave me a one cell DNF but who cares.

POLE AXE, ERIQ, AIDAN, TAI and LAIT needed help but as I said in today’s blog, I am trainable.

Yellowrocks said...

Great Mon/Tues puzzle. I can't believe it was rejected. Liked the themes and the the song references.

Great word, inamorata.

Ogden Nash:
The one-l lama,
He's a priest.
The two-l llama,
He's a beast.
And I will bet
A silk pajama
There isn't any
Three-l lllama.*

Some say three l lllama is a three alarmer fire

HeartRx said...

Tinbeni, of course I thought of you when I put in the ICE clue! Thanks for catching the subtlety in the puzzle. I could easily have made this one a pangram, but thought it would be more elegant with only the F missing.

Middletown Bomber, once a puzzle has been "published", even on a web site, it cannot be sent to a different venue. I do these mainly for entertainment, so it makes me just as happy to see you all enjoy it, rather than try for a different publisher. Thanks!

Jayce said...

Late to make a comment here, but I must say I enjoyed this puzzle a lot. Although I didn't catch the omitted "F" I thought it was elegant and very clever. "Brest milk" made me laugh out loud, and I love-love-loved PLEASE BE BRIE. The only one I didn't know was GESSO.

Thanks for allowing us to partake of the pleasure you give.

desper-otto said...

Thanks, YR. That explains it.

Bill G. said...

Marti, I really enjoyed it. As much as I appreciate Rich, sometimes his opinions seem a bit overly rigid (I'm thinking about Snake in the Grass too). There's some fun cluing in this one also.

The grid seems nice with all the one-by-three rectangles. Is that what made the puzzle extra-elegant or was it the lack of Fs or ???

OK, so since this puzzle has been exposed to 50 of your closest friends, now you can't publish it. So before you posed it here as a Curious Conundrum, why not sent it off to CrosSynergy or Will Shortz or ???

Irish Miss said...


I think this is a great puzzle. Cute theme and some clever clues: Brest milk, Ones on staff, Off peak call, etc. Good work.

Steve said...


Beats me what wasn't publishable about this one, but I'm not Rich.

I had one quibble about the clue for TRAPEZE - wouldn't it be a more accurate representation of the song lyric to clue it "Where the daring young man swings?" The "flying" thing didn't feel right to me.

Been said, but loved the clues for YODEL and LAIT, among others.

Lucina said...

Marti, this was rich! Lovely clues and great theme. As others have said, it would have been a good Mon/ Tues or even Wed. solve.

I enjoyed the clues for LAIT, AJAR, YODEL and of course, the themes sans F.

I must confess, though, a DNF at SMOG and HAUL as I failed to notice and had STARE instead of GLARE.

Well done; thank you.

Susan said...

Marti, I loved this cw! Can't believe Rich didn't want to publish it.

I can't believe I didn't get smog right away after we just had the dicussion about smaze. I got messed up by putting loot for booty which gave me stare at. Finally figured it out, though.

For some reason, when I printed it the clues didn't print--just the grid. That made it more of a challenge since I had to read the clues on the computer. Fun puzzle!

JD said...,fun,fun! I think your clues and vocabulary are too rich (portmanteau,hirsute) for a Monday.Loved the theme; it all made me laugh.Thanks for sharing.