April 08, 2014

Themeless C

holdon.jpg

Another grid that's about three or four years old.

ThemelessCgrid.jpg

For the most part, anyway. I did do a little tweaking here and there.

Across Lite:
CLICK to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 25, 2014

Themeless B

LovingCupJagger.jpg


B? Themeless A is coming soon. I just happened to finish cluing this one first. 'Bout time, too, since it's been gathering dust in a desk for about two years.


ThemelessBgrid.jpg

Across Lite:
CLICK to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

WOOHOO!

homer_woohoo.jpg

The blog breathes!

woohoogrid.jpg

Across Lite:
CLICK for .puz file

Just because it's that time again, here's the link to the Across Lite download page. If y'ain't got it yet, it just takes a minute to download, after which puzzles aplenty will be yours for the solving, on screen or printed out.
Download Across Lite

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 26, 2013

A couple more themelesseses

FrankNFurter.JPG

I'm not sure how far apart I made these two grids. But they have an answer in common so I figure that I should either post them together or post them far, far apart. I'll just get it overwith.

Gallimaufry3grid.JPG

Across Lite puz:
Click to solve.

The next one sat around for a while because it repeated a word in two different answers and I couldn't find a way to fix it without re-doing half the grid, until yesterday.

gallimaufry4grid.JPG

Across Lite puz:
Click to solve.

For any uninitiated droppers-by who don't yet have, or don't know what is, Across Lite, it's a program that let's you solve crossword puzzles right here on your computer screen. The download page is HERE. It takes merely a minute or less to install, so get crackin', by cracky.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 22, 2013

Splitsville

RogerDeanLogo.jpg

I made this one about two years ago and didn't care for the excessive number of abbreviations and such. But I wanna post a themed puzzle, so here 'tis.

Splitsville.JPG

UPDATE: The answer at 37-Across has one too many circled squares. But, rather than type the whole shebang over from scratch, I'll just warn you about it.

"Real high-end operation we got going here, eh, Bob?"


Across Lite puzzle:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 19, 2013

Gallimaufry 2

Another mish-mosh.

gallimaufry2grid.JPG

Across Lite puzzle:
Click away.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Aliens on the Border

aotb.jpg


Thought of this one that day the New York Times clued ILLEGAL as a noun. When was that, anyway?

AliensOnTheBorderGrid.JPG

Across Lite:
Clicky.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gallimaufry 1

And, we're back.

G1.jpg

Now that hurricane and blizzard seasons are officially overwith I feel like getting back to normal.

Most of what I'll be posting in the coming weeks will be crossword puzzles that I've made over the past four years but never posted due some fatal flaw I thought they had at the time. I've been able to re-do an area here and a corner there to fix old wrongs. For the most part.

First up, a themeless freestyle gallimaufry.

gallimaufry1grid.JPG

A coupla years ago, I was interested in coming up with grids that were asymetrical yet aesthetically pleasing. This one worked much better when I tried it as a 19x19, but I never completed the fill in that one. Ah, well.

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2012

Untitled Themeful

fathertime1.jpg

Long time, no see.

I was about to clue and post two or three of the many puzzles I have laying around. But, the reason they're laying around is that I don't think they're very good. Even by my journeyman-level criteria.

But then I was lying awake a couple of nights ago and thought of this one. It's a slight variant on a widely used theme. But it's something. So I finally made a new puzzle. Woo hoo!

notitle.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

For anyone stopping by who doesn't know what Across Lite is, it's a crossword solving program that allows you to solve puzzles on your computer. It's easy to use and takes just 1.3 jiffies to install. Download it HERE.

Also, if you're interested in what the New York Times crosswords were like in the decades before Will Shortz took over the editing reigns, check out the Pre-Shortzian Puzzle Project.

The goal is make every New York Times crossword puzzle from 1942-1993 available for reviewing and for solving. Currently, there are four years (1990-1993) of pre-Shortzian puzzles available for on-screen solving from the Eugene Maleska era (1977-1993), with more being added all the time.

Solve pre-Shortzian puzzles.

August 09, 2012

It Could be worse...

A crossword puzzle inspired by the fleetest of thoughts by our dear Amy Reynaldo.

Fear not. This one's easy peasy.

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:36 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 04, 2012

Today

Holy moly, I haven't posted a crossword puzzle in over a month?!

Alas, yes. So I speed-created this one. And then speed-clued it. (Though, I must say, cluing the puzzle takes a helluva lot longer than creating the grid. At least, in this case.)

today.JPG

The four 15-letter answers came rapid fire, and the rest is what is it. But, just solve it before midnight, so all will be right with the world.

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

I didn't proofread it before posting. Hopefully, everything's in order. :-)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 24, 2012

Freestyle 15

freestyle15.JPG

Across Lite puzzle:
Click to solve.

And, on the off chance that some visitor has no idea what AcrossLite is, or hasn't yet downloaded it, here is the place to get it ---> Download AcrossLite software. Just takes a few seconds. Real easy-peasy like.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 13, 2012

Good Clean Fun

carwash2.jpg

goodcleanfun.JPG

Across Lite file:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 03, 2012

Thin Themes

As an autodidactic apprentice, I'm a little self-conscious about what I post. Since I have no "mentors" or "test solvers", I'm left to judge for myself what's postworthy or not.

Since I haven't made a brand spanking new crossword puzzle in a while, I've decided to make it up you with a three-in-one post, made up of puzzles from the pile of thin-themed crap.

First up: A weak theme if there ever was one. I'm pretty sure that this dates back to my "make a real puzzle no matter how boring" days. Nine months ago, I think.

thintheme2.JPG

Newly clued, of course.

Across Lite:
Ye must clicketh.

Of today's three, this next one is the most recent. I had big dreams for it, at the time. But I just couldn't hit on that bigger idea that would've made it more than it is:

thintheme1.JPG

Mozel tov!

Across Lite:
Click to solve.


Third up: I don't even remember making this one. I think it's one of my better early puzzles, but it contained too much garbage even for my standards at the time. Imagine that.

thintheme3.JPG

I just finished cluing it so at at least it has that going for it. :-D

An Across Lite file follows almost immediately:
Clicky doodle.


My next post will consist of either a new puzzle or more old crap. Time will tell.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 16, 2012

Themeless 14

WhoopiG.JPG

Themeless. No point. Just a puzzle.

themeless14.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 02, 2012

A Long Way From Home


alongwayfromhome.JPG


Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 19, 2012

Turning Up the Pressure

lincolncannon2.JPG

I've made several versions of this puzzle over the past four weeks. The sad thing is, I don't know if this version is much better than the first incarnation. Hah!

The above picture has nothing to do with the puzzle. I made it in PhotoShop and don't expect to find any use for it, so there it is.

turningupthepressure.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 06, 2012

A Cheerful Puzzle

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I've been working on one particular puzzle for over two weeks now and am still not happy with it. But, rather than go another week without posting, I grabbed one from the old pile of unposted grids.

This is probably about a year-and-a-half old.

cheerfulpuzzle.JPG

:-)

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 20, 2012

Freestyle 13

magnanikournikova4.JPG

So anyway, I was over at BEQ central on Friday solving the Friday Bonus Puzzle and reading the interview with guest constructor Tim Croce. Tim wrote:

But quad stacks? That's where I draw the line. Soon as I saw the partial "O' TEA" in a quad stack I solved, that was it for me. Don't wanna even try anymore.

So, of course, I figured I'd try a quint stack, placed in the center of the grid.

After about an hour of entertaining that silly idea I decided, instead, to pick three 15-letter answers that were on my list of words and phrases that aren't in Matt Ginsberg's clue database, and to see if I can make them work. The only non-random criteria was that the first three letters had to allow a coherent Down answer.

My first three choices didn't pan out. But I replaced one of them with another and I was off and running. The result of that Friday afternoon grid-building is, for the most part, this puzzle. (I tweaked a few areas on Saturday, and clued it on Sunday.)

freestyle13.JPG

There are two entries in here that are not only fresh, but that I've never heard nor seen before. One is one word, the other is two words. But they're legit. And they're not Latin or otherwise foreign. I tried to make the clues mediumishly challenging, but even one of the 15s might be a tough nut to crack for latter-day Xers and millenials (and maybe even some geezers).

Across Lite:
Click to solve.


Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 12, 2012

Crossover Artists

crossoverartists2.JPG

Two puzzles this week, since I missed last week.

The first one should be an easy solve. It's a theme that we've all seen a hundred times. It's okay to fall back on an old staple, now and then.

53across.JPG

UPDATE: And I just realized that there's a slight "problem" with the third theme entry. You may see it right away. But, I think I'll just leave it as is as a reminder of what happens when one constructs and clues a crossword puzzle on very little sleep. :-)

"53 Across"
Across Lite:
Click to solve.

---------

This second one should be more of a challenge. I don't want to say too much and reveal spoilers, but this is a theme that you may have seen before.

It went through a couple of re-dos, complete with different theme entries and, of course, entirely different grids and fill. I'm still not satisfied with the way it turned out, but not so much that I want to try building another version from scratch. (Hopefully, I'm just being overly self-critical.)

crossoverartists.JPG

"Crossover Artists"
Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 30, 2012

Spare Change

Here's one inspired by Chris Handman's New York Times crossword from Wednesday, January 18th.

sparechange.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 16, 2012

Caveat Emptor

bananaman.jpg

The good thing about making up your own quote is that you can tailor it to split evenly for the grid.

caveatemptor.JPG

And, being a quote puzzle, I made this one nice n' easy. I think.

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:51 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 08, 2012

Freestyle 12

Feelin' hungry?

soup1.jpg

Feelin' happy?

freestyle12.JPG

Feelin' brave?

sibbysisti.jpg

Across Lite puzzle:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 01, 2012

Progress

astronomer.jpg

I made two puzzles with this theme sometime in this past spring or summer. I posted one then and saved one for now, just to put some space between them. It's a standard theme idea, taken one step further.

progress.JPG

Happy New Year!

Across Lite puzzle:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 20, 2011

Ginger Snaps

gingersnap2.JPG

Actually, it's "Freestyle 11". But who's counting.

freestyle11.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Just in case anyone gives a rat's patootie, here's the original photo of Ginger holding a very fake-looking gun.

ginger1.jpg

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 11, 2011

Sweet Sixteen

tripledoubleDONE3.JPG

I made the above PhotoShopTM when this puzzle had the wrong title. Oops. Took too long to make it to let it go to waste, though.

tripledoubles.JPG

Anywho, it's just for fun, and should be an easy peasy solve.

Across Lite puzzle:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:09 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 03, 2011

Bones of Contention

kelleyeomer.jpg

This one's for the Trekkers out there, past and present.

BonesofContention1.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 14, 2011

Freestyle 10

firesly.JPG

I really gotta start coming up with titles for these themeless puzzles.

freestyle10.JPG

I had eight different southeast corners for this one. The cleanest ones were the dullest, of course, so I went with one of the dirtier ones. I opted for this one in particular once I found a clue for 55-Down that was more "user-friendly" than what I thought I'd have to use. (Something to do with politics in the Great White North.)

Across Lite puzzle:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 05, 2011

The Grid With Something Extra

noltesexiestmanalive.JPG

Here's my first attempt at a "meta puzzle".

Seeing as it's my first idea that's come to fruition, it wouldn't surprise me one bit to learn that Matt Gaffney hasn't already done it as part of his weekly crossword contest. But I'll just assume not and press on.

This isn't a contest, though, so no prizes will be awarded. It's just for fun.

The challenge is simple. Fill the grid as usual. Then, to complete the puzzle, answer these two questions:
1. What three-word phrase does the puzzle suggest?
2. Where in the grid is that phrase located?

I, of course, have no idea if solving it is a piece of cake, a fun workout, or a soul-killing exercise in Everest-climbing-like futility. But I expect that it's pretty solvable if you trust your instincts (read: nagging feelings).

The photo above, by the way, has nothing to do with the final answer.

somethingextra.JPG

Across Lite puzzle:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:26 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 30, 2011

Hell Night

hellnightlego1.JPG

This one ended up chockful of initialisms. I tried to keep them to a minimum, but the constraints on the grid proved too overwhelming. It's a small miracle that I was finally able to fill it, even removing a few obscure entries during the cluing.

There are still a couple of obcurities left, so I went ahead and made it an easy-peasy solve. Nothing too spooky. I hope.

hellnightgrid.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 25, 2011

Freestyle 9

yoma1.JPG

I finished this one a couple of weeks ago and set it aside because I really liked a lot of it, and really hated some of it.

It started off well-enough in the northwest, building on the freshness of the three long answers. But, as I moved through the middle and into the southeast, it got trickier and trickier to make connections.

After lucking into 34-Across (not a seed entry), I didn't want to give it up. There were several ways to go on 41-Across, but none of them allowed a 39-Across that could give me a 27-Down, except the one I ended up with. (I've never heard of him. But, then, I haven't heard of most recording artists who've debuted in the last 20 years.)

Whenever I end up with an obscure proper name (person or place), I like to come up with an anagram to accompany the clue. (A trick I picked up from Merl Reagle.) If I can, I'll choose one that's, in some way, related to the answer and/or clue. I'd tried re-doing the southeast a few times because I absolutely hated 63-Across (and considered it the main puzzle-killer), until I found an anagram that complimented the clue so well that I decided to take it as a sign that it was meant to be. (Edit: An error crept in during the anagraming session. Original has been replaced. Many thanks to 3D for pointing it out!)

Surprisingly, according to Matt Ginsberg's database, 65-Across also turns out to be fresh fill. Woo hoo!

freestyle9.JPG

49-Down, incidentally, found its way into the grid because a search told me that it was part of a game's name. A further search revealed that the "game" in question is just someone's silly page that's been visited less than 10,000 times in I-don't-know-how-many years. So, I was challenged to come up with another clue. The resulting clue may seem forced. Even tragically so. But at least it no longer references something you've never heard of. I hope.

Anywho, it's either go with this version or start from scratch. So I'll just throw this up as a mid-week "bonus". There will be another puzzle on Sunday. How could I miss Hell Night?

yoma2.JPG

Across Lite puzzle:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:55 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 23, 2011

Freestyle 8

morganna.jpg


Are these clues too easy? Since I don't have test solvers, all I can do is guess at how easy/challenging these are. About a year ago, I opened up a puzzle that I'd posted a year before, and I couldn't solve it, so I've been trying to "measy 'em down" a bit.

Anyway, here's one from a couple of weeks ago inspired by an entry in Andrew Ries's rose garden of that week.

themeless8.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:35 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 16, 2011

Freestyle 7

leatherweezer.JPG

Man, it's hard to come up with fresh short entries.

freestyle7.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 09, 2011

Freestyle 6

joonjeopardy.JPG

Once upon a time he was just a crossword geek. Now he's a geek on national television. Joon Pahk has crossed the threshhold and become a five-time winner on Jeopardy!. Woo hoo!

See his games HERE. (Thank you, Nancy Shack, whoever you are, for uploaded each exciting episode!)

And, now that you've watched every episode, on to the next completely unrelated crossword puzzle:

freestyle6.JPG

AcrossLite, of course:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 05, 2011

Down Right Puzzling ...or Not

Impossible Arrow.JPG


downrightpuzzling.JPG

Across Lite file:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 30, 2011

Freestyle 5

freestyle5everlybrady.JPG

Sometimes, when putting together a themeless grid, I think of wacky phrases that'll fit nicely into a long slot. Usually, I dismiss them since it'd be silly to include a few Trip Payne-esque "Something Different"-y answers in an otherwise "normal" grid.

35-Down isn't a "wacky" entry. And it could easily have been something bland, like INCISORS. I opted for a more colorful entry. Thing is, I wonder if solvers might think it's forced and clumsy, and that I went with it simply because there were no other options available without redesigning the grid. So, like Pee-wee Herman upon completing his freestyle bike ride, I just want y'all to know that I meant to do that.

As for 4-Down, however, I had very little choice in the matter. :-)

freestyle5.JPG

Across Lite puzzle:
Click to solve.


UPDATE:

And, just because I couldn't decide which version of the grid I liked better, here's the alternate version. I prefer 10-Down in this one, but much prefer 3- and 4-Down in the above version. The southwest corner is a little cleaner, I think. The center and southeast are identical in both versions.

Across Lite, of course:
Clicky.

UPDATE 2:

And, since I'm posting multiple versions, here's the original grid that I rejected. The main problem is 37-Across, but the rest of it came out all right so I'll post this one, too. There are only four identical answers here (and one of them is not a 15) so it'll be, for the most part, a new solving experience.

Across Lite, as usual:
Click clack.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 25, 2011

Freestyle 4

kuklamikasherl.JPG


freestyle4a.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 20, 2011

Freestyle 3

freestyle3.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 16, 2011

Freestyle 2


freestyle2.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 05, 2011

Labor Day

labordaycartoon.JPG

The quote in this puzzle is from some TV show I caught while flipping channels about 20 years ago. I have no idea what show it was.

A woman was going into labor in the back seat of a police car. (Or, perhaps it was a taxi, and the cop just happened to be passing by.) The officer asked the gentleman who was accompanying her if he was the father. He answered that he was, and the police officer gave him the instructions found in the longest Across answers.

laborday.JPG

Happy Labor Day. :-)

Across Lite puzzle:
Click to solve.

Since I haven't posted the link in quite a while, here is where you may download the Across Lite program that will open the above file. It takes just a few seconds to download and install and will let you either solve on screen or print out the puzzle. Well, both, actually.
----> DOWNLOAD ACROSS LITE

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 31, 2011

Water Under the Bridge

As I've said before, the best way to deal with hurricanes, tornados, flooding and power outages is to think of all as a wonderful camping trip gone horribly, horribly wrong.

waterbridge.JPG

Too many blocks. Too many words. But every other incarnation ended up being nonsymetrical, so I'm just going with this one.

I was going to clue 1-Across as Paris Hilton's U.K. version of her American reality show, but I'm sure not sure very many people would know about that. So I went with a more inferable clue. I think. Tough corner, that one.

More betterly-made puzzle coming Monday.

Across Lite puzzle:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 22, 2011

Boink

dalekrunningshoes.jpg

boink.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:17 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 11, 2011

Good to Go

lohanno.jpg

Does Lindsay Lohan have any friends that she allows to tell her "No"?

It's amazing, the pictures that show up when you type random words into google images.

Anyway, "Good to Go" was the title of this past Sunday's NY Times crossword puzzle. In the comments at the Fiend, Joon Pahk mentioned that, from the title, he'd anticipated a different theme from the one that was used. Well, I liked Joon's anticipated theme idea so much that I had to use it. (That and the fact that I'm always on the lookout for theme ideas.)

So, this one is just some sillyfun easy-ish puzzlin'.

goodtogo.JPG

Whipped up the grid on Sunday, but only now (Thursday) have I finally gotten around to cluing it. (Yes, I will be late for my own funeral. Thanks for asking.)

Across Lite file, of course:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 04, 2011

Going, Going, Gone

mickeymantle1959.jpg

Mickey Mantle once said, "If you're looking for a role model, don't be like me."

Yes, he was living the high life, with the booze and the carousing. But, in 1959, what red-blooded American boy didn't want to be like him? Or his late rival from across the river, Willie Mays, who's traitorous owners had just moved his team to San Francisco? He seemed to survived it, anyway.

Speaking of whom, if you're interested, here's the full-length, inaugural episode of Home Run Derby with none other than Mickey Mantle vs. Willie Mays, originally broadcast January 9th, 1960.

But y'all come back now, y'hear?

goingoinggone.JPG

Across Lite puzzle:
Click to solve.


Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:38 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 21, 2011

Themeless Dumps I & II

moabdump.JPG

Here's a couple of themelesses that've been sitting around for untold months. They're both 74-worders, but I don't think that's the the main reason I never posted them. Actually, I changed the grid design of the first one slightly and made another puzzle that I posted a while back. But I still like this one.

themelessdumpI.JPG

Themeless I (Across Lite):
Click to solve.

...and another:

themelessdumpII.JPG

Themeless II (Across Lite):
Click to solve.


Hope ye enjoy.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 18, 2011

Stay Hungry

Threw this one together the other day. It's got a couple of minor flaws, but I'm certainly not going to point them out. :-)

stayhungry.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 05, 2011

Chillin' an' Fillin'

chillinsquirrel2.JPG


So, anyway, I was finishing up this grid on May 18th, 2011 when I decided to take a break and solve today's New York Times puzzle. Lo and behold, Paula Gamache had constructed a puzzle with an almost identical theme. Almost, but not quite identical.

chillinanfillin.JPG

Ideally, the circled squares should be shaded squares. That can't be done in an Across Lite .puz file, but it can be done in a Crossword Solver .jpz file. Unfortunately, I don't have Crossword Solver, so circles it is. (You can print it out, though, and lightly shade in those three squares with a pencil to get the intended effect.)

Across Lite file:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 04, 2011

Minesweeper

minesweeperpillows.jpg

I haven't made a new puzzle in a few weeks, so what I'm a-gonna do is grab some oldies that I've never posted for various sundry reasons, and post those over the coming week.

The major flaw with this one is that the grid is not symetrical. 25-Down was to be a full proper name running all the way to the block on the bottom row. But, no matter how I tried, I couldn't fill the southeast corner without redoing most of the fill. So I plunked down another block and went from there.

Also, I wasn't thrilled with some of the fill.

There are mines scattered unsymetrically throughout the grid. I wish there was a way to red-flag them but, alas, there isn't. So just treat them like normal. Or not. You'll know what to do.

minesweeper.JPG

Tread carefully. :-)

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 14, 2011

Mid-Week Quickie

mr quickie fireman.jpg


Y'know, it's kind of amusing to think that it could take hours upon hours to construct a crossword puzzle, only to have most solvers tear through it in under ten minutes.

I whipped this 14x13 grid together in about 30 minutes. So I thought that it might be fun to clue it at a level of difficulty so hard that it would actually take longer for, say, a C Division ACPTer to solve than it took to create. (Not counting the cluing, of course, which took considerably longer.)

midweekquickie.JPG

Oh, I could have made the clues so vague that solving it would be virtually impossible. But, as is my wont, I opted for clues that are (hopefully) interesting, fun and, as always, fresh. So I don't think it ended up as being all that difficult.

Across Lite file:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 12, 2011

Untimely Themeless

mcdonaldsburnedout.jpg

This was one of the hardest grids to complete. I worked on finishing up the southeast section of I don't know how many hours last weekend.

Then, on Monday, BEQ posted his puzzle with my 1-Across in his last-Across in the southeast. Oh well.

Put in a couple more hours into the grid and finally discovered that it just wasn't going to work. So I threw in another block and called it done. I'm not thrilled with most of that corner, but I'm burned out on this one. It'll do.

untimelythemeless.JPG

Across Lite file:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:48 PM | Comments (171) | TrackBack

May 31, 2011

Freestyle 1

themelesswhatever.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 14, 2011

A Quick One

This is skimpy on the theme answers, so I went with a skimpy 12x13 grid. (Also, I wasn't to confident that the middle answer was knowable enough for inclusion. But I think it is.)

It's amazing, the synchronicity of puzzle fill sometimes. About two years ago I remember seeing RABBIT EARS in three or four different daily puzzles within the space of one week. Last week, I posted a puzzle with KISS BUTT as an answer. On the very same day, BEQ posted one with KISS ASS.

Before I finally clued this one, I did today's (Saturday's) CrossSynergy puzzle by Gail Grabowski. My entry today at 5-Down appears in her puzzle today at 42-Down. It's an entry that appears only once in Will Johnston's clue database, so it's some pretty darn fresh fill. And, yet, here we are.

aquickone.JPG

And here you go:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:18 PM | Comments (53) | TrackBack

May 10, 2011

Themeless #??

googlesky1.JPG


gooddog.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:31 AM | Comments (340) | TrackBack

May 03, 2011

One for the Road

onefortheroad.JPG

Across Lite puzzle:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:19 AM | Comments (332) | TrackBack

April 26, 2011

Borderline

Essentially a themeless puzzle made manifest by imposing upon myself a silly constraint. (As if there aren't enough contraints as it is.)

I do, willfully, actually put myself in contraints, occasionally. Pandemic gerunds, notwithstanding. Sometime constraints just feel real good.

bigbird.JPG

This one's been languishing in the queue for long enough so, for no particular reason, here i' finally 'tis.

Yes, Across Lite still exists. No matter what CrossSynergy would have us believe.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:27 AM | Comments (307) | TrackBack

April 10, 2011

If you mow your lawn and find a car...

I've always wondered why all those "quote puzzles" over the years have never included the quoted individual as a co-author of the puzzle. That's always struck me as being just a tad rude.

redneck1.JPG

Well, as Jeff Foxworthy says, a "redneck" is someone who embodies and embraces the glorious absence of sophistication. Sorta like cramming seven theme entries into a 15x15 grid and, in order to preserve one rule of construction (that the theme answers are the longest -- in this case -- across answers), breaking another rule of construction (having two 2-letter answers).

And, yes, Across Lite is still alive:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:59 AM | Comments (162) | TrackBack

April 03, 2011

Mini Crosswords

minihat.JPG


Little bit of a change of pace this week. I decided to make a mini crossword puzzle, and then couldn't stop.

This is where we all get a chance to solve puzzles in spacetime-bending Feyer-Hinman-Erdmann time.

First, the first one.

mini1.JPG
All puzzles are in Across Lite format, of course.
Click to solve.


Then I tried a grid pattern that was much easier to fill.

mini2.JPG
Click to solve.


Then I wanted to see if I could make a "pangram" -- using every letter of the alphabet at least once -- with that same grid pattern. Piece of cake.

mini3.JPG
Click to solve.


Then I tackled the single black square challenge.

mini4.JPG
Click to solve.


Then, just to get a different grid pattern, I went ahead and allowed 2-letter entries.

mini5.JPG
Click to solve.


And finally, as the French say, the "piece of resistance":

mini6.JPG
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:04 AM | Comments (136) | TrackBack

March 28, 2011

Half-Seriously

daliswanselephants.jpg


A few weeks ago I was listening to Ryan and Brian's fantastic interview with Andrea Carla Michaels. (Found here at episode 30.)

At one point in the interview she mentioned this particular theme genre. Then, within a week, she had another published crossword puzzle with this same theme.

So, I just figured there was some cross-synergy at work here and decided to take a crack at it myself. And then to turn it up a notch. And by a notch I mean 20%.

halfseriously.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:18 AM | Comments (216) | TrackBack

March 13, 2011

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

James O'Keefe (and friends) seem to have an issue with the school cafeteria.

It only gets funnier:

So, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

stpaddysday.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:31 AM | Comments (333) | TrackBack

March 06, 2011

The Song Remains The Same

songtitleremains.JPG

Across Lite file:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:33 AM | Comments (262) | TrackBack

February 28, 2011

**gulp**

Still love the Roches.

This one's pretty much a themeless. Although some might say this contains a "mini-theme". Which, I guess, is a theme that didn't deserve to be a theme.

gulp.JPG

Recently I've been wondering if I'm making any progress.

I definately think that I'm better at this than I was two years ago. But, am I any better at this than I was one year ago? Have I reached my plateau and should just give it up already? Have I been a slacker in the grid's fill one too many times to adequately compensate for the fun clues? Have I exhausted my potential in this, so-called, "crossword" thing?

Initially, I'd anticipated getting some feedback in the "comments" section. But, alas, with rare exception, that has not happened. So, here we am and so let's take a poll, eh?

Shall I continue to post my crossword puzzles? And by "post" I mean "forever lead you on into thinking that I may, one day, post a puzzle worth solving". Or, shall I just call it a day and a crazy dream that'll never come untrue?

Or, should I seek out a community of well-meaning, encouraging, helpfully critically like-minded puzzle-makers who love to mentor the scalliwags and upstarts among us? Something called "Cruciverb", maybe?

Or, shall I just keep doing whatever I feel like doing?

Here's yet another Across Lite puzzle that awaits your click:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:40 AM | Comments (177) | TrackBack

February 22, 2011

Foggy Memories of Sit-Coms Past

oldshows.JPG

Across Lite file:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:46 AM | Comments (215) | TrackBack

February 13, 2011

Some Guys

someguyscover2.JPG

You do know that the only reason I continue to post crossword puzzles is so that I can exercise my PhotoShop skills, right?

Now you know.

someguys.JPG

Across Lite file:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:50 PM | Comments (261) | TrackBack

February 02, 2011

February 2, 2011

Here's a song from my new favorite band, Summer & Eve with the Freshness. I know of them only because the piano player is crossword constructor Patrick Blindauer. This song is about country stuff.

They have a repertoire of short, funny, folky ditties. The entire show that the above video was recorded is available on line, from a different angle and with better sound and picture quality. Click the link below and scroll down just a bit until you see the post with the video link.

Click and scroll for entire show.

Oh, right. The crossword puzzle.

This is called a "step quote". Danged oddest kind of theme around. I couldn't seem to build a 15x15 grid around it, so I expanded it to 17x17. Pretty ugly, eh? Not the best fill in the world either, but I was in a rush to finish it so I could post it today.

february22011.JPG

Better, cleaner puzzle coming soon. I hope.

Across Lite file again:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:47 AM | Comments (137) | TrackBack

January 24, 2011

The Shorts

I thought of this theme idea many moons ago. It proved impossible for me to make itself at home in a 15x15 grid, so I expanded it to 17x17 and, after many a trial and even more error, this is the best fill I could come up with.

shorts.JPG

Not the snazziest looking grid. Too many three-letter answers for my liking -- including some obscure names and a few even more obscure abbreviations -- so I tried to make the solution completely get-able by aiming for a medium-ish difficulty on the pertinent crossings.

And now I can post it and finally be rid of it. :-)

Across Lite file in 5..4..3..
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:49 PM | Comments (324) | TrackBack

January 15, 2011

Themeless d'Ecouter

themelessdecouter.JPG

Across Lite file:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:52 PM | Comments (346) | TrackBack

January 02, 2011

Broken Bones

brokenbones2.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:45 PM | Comments (246) | TrackBack

December 28, 2010

Globetrotter

I just saw this video for the first time yesterday. That's Amanda Yesnowitz of musical theater fame singing a song that she co-wrote with Brian Cimmet of Ryan and Brian Do Crosswords fame.

:-D

Anywho, the idea for the theme to this puzzle started over at Ryan and Brian's blog. They posted that they'd be taking a week off from their podcast so we had a game in their comments thread.

The theme answers are some of the puzzles I thought of for the game, and three of them made an appearance in the thread. So don't go there yet. There be spoilers.

globetrotter.JPG

Across Lite file follows:
Click to solve.

And perhaps it's a good time to repost the pointer to ---> the Across Lite download page in case you're at a loss. It's quick and easy and let's you do all the major daily crosswords in a very user-friendly program.

Cheerios.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:46 PM | Comments (171) | TrackBack

December 20, 2010

Animal Wrongs

maibabilonia.JPG

Nice leather skates you've got there, Ms. Babilonia. :)

animalwrongs.JPG

Across Lite puzzle:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:26 PM | Comments (220) | TrackBack

December 12, 2010

Wrong Address

Monty Python sketch that has nothing to do with this puzzle.

WRONGADDRESS.JPG

Or does it...?

Boneless Across Lite file:
Click to solve.


Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:49 PM | Comments (321) | TrackBack

December 05, 2010

Snookiyaki

snookiyakirest2.JPG

The above title and picture have absolutely nothing to do with the theme of this crossword. I was just inspired by Merl Reagle's latest Philadelphia Inquirer puzzle to do this. No big whup.

snookiyaki.JPG

This was supposed to be last week's post but I came down with a cold that left me groggy. These things happen.

Across Lite file:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:36 PM | Comments (192) | TrackBack

November 21, 2010

Quote of the Week

Sorry I'm running a little late, but I had a sudden bout of anthrax.

orlyowl.jpg

No. Not really.


quoteoftheweek.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:16 PM | Comments (210) | TrackBack

November 16, 2010

Tuesday Quicky

Special bonus puzzle. Woo hoo! :-D

I read BEQ's latest post Monday night and promptly made this grid.

Fair warning: Even the least tipsy notions may, in this day and age, become reality. Isn't that the very reason they say that you should be very careful what you wish for?

quicky.JPG

Across Lite file:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:33 PM | Comments (195) | TrackBack

November 15, 2010

Another Themeless

shroom.jpg


I thought I might try to tie this all together as a mini-themed puzzle with a war motif. But then I thought "nah".


anotherthemeless.JPG

Across Lite file:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:55 AM | Comments (225) | TrackBack

November 07, 2010

Bullshit Theme

About a year and a half ago BEQ (that's Brendan Emmett Quigley, to you prosecutors out there) posted a poignant thesis on the top 10 bullshit themes used by crossword constructors.

I, being perpetually at a loss for decent theme ideas, have reflected back on BEQ's post and have decided to do a bullshit theme.

Yes.

A bullshit theme it shall be.

bullshitgrid.JPG

Across Lite .puz file:
Click to solve.


And, on a tangentary note (but per 50-Down), here's your Video of the Month courtesy of one of my heroes, James "the Amazing" Randi.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:57 PM | Comments (101) | TrackBack

October 29, 2010

Boo!

great-pumpkin-3.jpg

It just occured to me that the guy who designed the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup wrapper was a marketing genius for using Halloween colors. That and, man, these things are yummy.

boo.JPG

There's a slight gimmick to this puzzle that may cause a snag in completing the puzzle in Across Lite. Hopefully without giving anything away, my one-word clue to successfully getting Mr. Happy Pencil to appear is this: First! I'm sure that the meaning of that clue will be well understood as the solution unfolds.

Some of these clues were really hard to come up with, by the way. You'll know which ones.

And, for those who may be stopping by and who still don't have Across Lite on their computers, you'll need it to open .puz files.
Go hyar: ACROSS LITE

Downloading just takes a few seconds. All ya gotta do is click on that link, follow the ubersimple instructions and keep your snot-nosed kids out of my pumpkin patch.

Spooky Across Lite .puz file:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:42 PM | Comments (118) | TrackBack

October 24, 2010

Why?

Hey, why not? Coming up with titles for themeless puzzles is kinda like coming up with choreography for Beethoven's 9th. Completely unneccessary and ultimately gratuitous. But there it is.

why.JPG

Across Lite puzzle:
Click to solve.

And, per 1-Down,

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:58 AM | Comments (106) | TrackBack

October 16, 2010

Girls, Girls, Girls

ava_gardner-1940s.jpg

I needed a picture for this post. Well, I didn't need one but I wanted one. I gave it a lot of thought. Then I got tired of thinking and just went with a no-brainer: Ava Gardner.

girlsgirlsgirls.JPG

Across Lite file, comin' up:
Click to solve.


And, since we're on the subject, might as well enjoy Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse dancing to Michael Jackson.

That's Leslie Carron at the very beginning. The major part of this is from the film "The Band Wagon". Jackson was a huge fan of Astaire and this -- among other roles -- was the inspiration for his "Smooth Criminal" video.

This video was put together by a YouTuber named CatFromJapan. Excellent work, imho.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:54 PM | Comments (173) | TrackBack

October 11, 2010

Not So Fast

diner.jpg

Not for nothin', but I prefer food that takes more than 120 seconds to prepare.

notsofastgrid.JPG

Seven long theme entries makes for a very boxy grid with lots of three-letter words. But, add some fresh fill and some fresh clues to that fresh food and we've got a tasty snack, I hope.

And, for anyone who doesn't have the Across Lite yet, click HERE to download the program. It just takes a minute, and the best daily and weekly crosswords will forever be just a click away!

Across Lite file, as usual:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:14 AM | Comments (187) | TrackBack

October 05, 2010

Huh?


huhh.jpg

There's really nothing particularly "huh?" about this puzzle. Except that it's a 74-word themeless. Because I still suck at coming up with themes.

huh.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:35 AM | Comments (136) | TrackBack

September 28, 2010

10 Lives

10lives.jpg

tenlives.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:37 AM | Comments (171) | TrackBack

September 19, 2010

Puzzle 51

sue_lyon.jpg

It's always nice when 13-Down makes an appearance, i'n't it?

Just another hokey themeless for your solving pleasure. I hope.

puzzle51.JPG

And it goes without saying.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:10 PM | Comments (168) | TrackBack

September 15, 2010

THE NIGHTLY NEWS: Too Much Information

nightlynews.JPG


Across Lite file is here:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:46 PM | Comments (91) | TrackBack

September 06, 2010

Alien Invasion

Some day I'm gonna make a puzzle containing nothing but abbreviations and acronyms. By accident, of course.

But, not today.

alieninvasion.JPG

Across Lite file, comin' up.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:32 AM | Comments (128) | TrackBack

September 04, 2010

34-Across

Y'know, I really should stop making puzzles and start cluing and posting them.

Let's see. Right now I've got **licks finger** five new ones and two oldies (that I just can't let go of) in the queue. And I intend to post them (somewhat) rapid-fire this holiday weekend, so hold onto your lunch.

Oh, who am I kidding. Considering the time it took to clue this one, I'll be lucky to finish the next one in time for Thanksgiving.

I'm posting this one first to get it out of the way, and for one reason: That fershlugginer northeast corner. Given the theme's necessary, unchangable fill, it was a mutha to find letters that fit together to make actual words. 11-Down could been HAWKEYE, SOCKEYE, DARK AGE, PARK AVE and even FUCK LEE (that d-Ang movie producer!), but none of them worked. Believe me, I tried.

As usual, I don't employ test solvers. So I have no idea whether this is an easy peasy puzzle or the solve from Hell. I just hope it's fun.

And, since I haven't posted a video in quite some time, here's my new favorite song:



I doubt that they're the actual Shangri-Las, but nevermind.

34across.JPG


Across Lite file:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:53 PM | Comments (69) | TrackBack

August 18, 2010

Bamidbar

Another run o'the mill themeless crossword puzzle. But not really.

It's hard to give a title to a themeless puzzle under normal circumstances. It's impossible to title a themeless puzzle in unusual circumstances.

Oh, wait. No, it isn't.

bamidbar.JPG

For: Anyone wanting to solve this puzzle whom does not, yet, have Across Lite on their computer:

Go HERE. It takes mere minutes to welcome the crossword solvers' software of choice into your world.

And, once you've followed the instructions above,
Click to solve

Good luck. :-)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:10 AM | Comments (160) | TrackBack

August 07, 2010

Just for shiggles

Another un-themeless-grid-like themeless. Might be an easy solve.

I'll be at Lollapuzzoola 3 next Saturday, the 14th. Don't forget to come up and say "Boo!".

justforshigglesgrid.JPG

AcrossLite file:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:40 AM | Comments (176) | TrackBack

July 23, 2010

Hare Brush with Greatness

While researching some specific information, I've just discovered that the theme entry isn't exactly verbatim. There's one letter missing, but it wont adversely effect the solving experience. Unless you're a hopeless nitpicker, that is. :P

harebrushgrid.JPG

Across Lite puzzle is just a click away.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:52 AM | Comments (172) | TrackBack

July 20, 2010

This Is Not A Title

Another oldie I haven't posted yet.


thisisnotatitlegrid.JPG

Across Lite and all that jazz.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:41 AM | Comments (123) | TrackBack

July 19, 2010

36 Across

Okay. That was a refreshing 6-week vacation from posting. But, let's dive right back into now, shall we? Yes, we shall.

I've had this one sitting around for a while and, when I looked over the grid earlier, I wondered why I'd set it aside. Then, just as I'd finished cluing it, I noticed that I had repeated an answer in the grid.

Oh, it's not exact repeat. It's not like I had ARIA in there twice (though I've done that before), but it's close. But "screw it", I'm posting it anyway.

36acrossgrid.JPG


Just a friendly workout. Not too tough, not too tender.

Across Lite file follows.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:13 AM | Comments (199) | TrackBack

June 06, 2010

Themeless 90210

Holy canoli. Has it really been a month already since I gang-posted those last puzzles? Why, yes, it has.

Got some more to post but I gotta clue 'em. THis one isn't the best of the bunch, but I want to get it out of way.

Fair warning: a Crossword Jesus I ain't.

themeless90210.JPG

But I aspire to be. Yes, I hate Abbr. and partials, too. Luckily there are only a few in this offering.

Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:11 PM | Comments (155) | TrackBack

May 05, 2010

Puzzle Dump 3

Not a themeless, but not much of a theme.

I held off on this one mainly because of 28-Down and into the southwest corner. But, after cluing it, I think this is a perfectly fine grid. I've seen plenty worse, anyway.

puzzledump3.JPG

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:35 AM | Comments (670) | TrackBack

May 02, 2010

Puzzle Dump 2

Here's another one I made last year some time and never saw fit to post.

The main issue here is the preponderance of partials, abbreviations and initialisms, not to mention a few obsurities. Two of the 15-letter answers were the seed entries, and I liked a lot of the middle fill. But the puzzle, on the whole, left me cold. Or a little bit chilly, anyway.

Eh. It's not so bad once you know what to expect, I hope.

themelessdump2.JPG

Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:49 PM | Comments (205) | TrackBack

May 01, 2010

Puzzle Dump 1

Time to post a couple of puzzles that have been sitting around for almost a year now.

This one never made the cut for two reasons. First, the answer at 34-Down was a little too forced for my liking. But I actually kinda like it now.

The second reason is that it breaks one of the cardinal rules of crosswords. The same answer appears twice in the grid and there was no way to fix that without redoing about 50% of the fill. So there it stays.

themelessdump1.JPG


Across Lite puzzle:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:04 PM | Comments (210) | TrackBack

April 25, 2010

Three's A Crowd

Okay. Getting back into the swing of things after three weeks of not posting. Here's one I whipped up yesterday and clued today. I guess you can say it has a theme, but just barely. Hope you enjoy it.


threesacrowd.JPG


Opens with Across Lite.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:07 PM | Comments (138) | TrackBack

April 06, 2010

April Themeless

aprilthemeless.JPG

Across Lite file:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:55 AM | Comments (192) | TrackBack

March 28, 2010

Follow The Leader

followtheleader.JPG


Good luck. :-)

Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:28 AM | Comments (140) | TrackBack

March 21, 2010

March Themeless

marchthemelessgrid.JPG

AcrossLite file follows:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:11 AM | Comments (172) | TrackBack

March 14, 2010

Title Shmitle

Now I know why Will Shortz doesn't bother with titles on his New York Times crosswords.

It's not that he wants to make it harder for the solver. It's that he wants to make it easier on himself.

Coming up with a decent title for a puzzle, with a theme like, can be even harder than coming up with a new clue for AREA. Sometimes it's better to forego the exercise entirely.

titleshmitle.JPG

I don't usually aim to break the rules of crossword contructing, but I do like to bend them here and there. I think I pretty much, though, snapped-in-two one of said rules with that clue for 64-Across. But I couldn't resist.

Ye have been warned.

Across Lite file follows.
Download file

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:02 PM | Comments (138) | TrackBack

March 07, 2010

Say What, Beantown?

As I've said many a time before, I suck at coming up with good ideas for themes.

But I like this one.

In fact, I like it so much that I reworked it so many times this week that I finally stopped caring about it.

So, as usual, my theme entries are numerous (six) and lengthy (four of the six are 14 letters long), which makes for a very boxy grid and lotsa short entires. Par meet course.

But I still like it.

Sue me.

saywhat.JPG

Puzzle opens with Across Lite, as usual.

And if you don't have Across Lite yet, it's a small file and you can grab it for free HERE and solve puzzle after puzzle to your hearts content or until you're so sick of looking at grids that you're vomitting sharp corners.

Take your pick. :)

Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:38 PM | Comments (128) | TrackBack

February 28, 2010

Boxing (Mis)Match

boxingmatch.jpg

Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:00 PM | Comments (155) | TrackBack

February 24, 2010

Super Special Bonus Clearinghouse Puzzle

About 10 days ago I posted a crossword over at Amy Reynaldo's Crossword Fiend Forum on the special occasion of her half-birthday (Feb 15th). That puzzle was actually the second version that I made -- the reason being that I wanted to add a sixth theme answer.

That puzzle can be found HERE.

As with any puzzle with six long theme answers, all horizontal, the grid got a little boxy and the word and block counts went way up. This original version is more aesthetically pleasing (to my eye, anyway) so I figured I'd add it here as an added bonus puzzle between my regularly scheduled (yeah, right) posts.


superspecial.jpg

Hope you like it. And I've just completed what I think is a really nifty one that I'll post over the weekend.

Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:05 AM | Comments (228) | TrackBack

February 20, 2010

Yippee!

"Yippee!"?

Actually, the letters in the circled squares -- when read left-to-right and top-to-bottom -- will spell out the real title of this puzzle.

yippee.jpg

And if the placement of the circles looks to be a bit slapdash, that's because I hadn't thought of including them until I'd finished. Oh well.

Have fun. :)

Opens with Across Lite. Duh.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:44 PM | Comments (78) | TrackBack

February 15, 2010

Presidents Day

presidentsday.jpg


Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:50 PM | Comments (122) | TrackBack

January 31, 2010

Artist Confidential

Here's an easyish crossword I whipped up yesterday.

Sirius/XM radio has a regular feature called "Artist Confidential". It's an hour-long program featuring a musical artist, in an intimate setting, playing a few songs with an interview portion between each song. In the past, they've featured such artists as Reba McEntire and Paul McCartney.

On Thursday, January 28th, a friend of mine scored two passes to the latest live broadcast of "Artist Confidential" which just happened to feature one of our all-time favorite bands.

artistconfidential.jpg

Your mission -- should you decide to accept it -- is to solve for the name of the band, it's four members and the venue at which I and about 200 other guests partook of this sonic feast.

Across Lite will do you right.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:41 PM | Comments (736) | TrackBack

January 25, 2010

Free For All

Here's a little themeless I made a few weeks ago and promptly set aside. But, since I haven't made another crossword this week, I looked at again and thought I could make it work with some fun cluing.

freeforallgrid.jpg

Yeah, I know, it's got a lot of three-letter entries for a themeless.

Then again, if we were all Frank Longo, how would we know who the little voices were talking to?

Across Lite:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:44 AM | Comments (223) | TrackBack

January 09, 2010

Pitch Perfect

Hope yer stove is hot. **wink wink**

Pitchperfect.jpg

Opens with Across Lite as if you didn't know.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:42 PM | Comments (165) | TrackBack

January 01, 2010

Why Post This Crossword Puzzle Today?

I mean, it's not like I need to get some sleep or anything.

Aah, but the answer is contained within the circles under my eyes. I mean, the circles in the grid! The grid.

whypostthis.jpg


Happy new year, Puzzleheads!

Opens with Across Lite just because.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:09 AM | Comments (165) | TrackBack

December 20, 2009

Cycle

Anybody into the Hot Stove League?

I made this crossword a few weeks ago and was so disappointed with it that I never bothered to clue it.

Then I realized that I'd forgotten to post last week.

So I looked at it again and, eh, it ain't as bad as I remember. So I just now finished it off and here 'tis.


cycle.jpg


Opens with Across Lite, as if you didn't know.
Click to solve.

And if anybody has any better theme ideas, let me know. I'm always in need of a theme idea.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:24 AM | Comments (160) | TrackBack

December 05, 2009

Triangles are for the riff-raff

Djy'ever notice that you'll occassionally spot the same word in several differant crossword puzzles in the span of a few days? I don't mean words like ARIA and OREO -- words that appear in 300 puzzles a year. I mean coming across, say, SNAPDRAGON on Wednesday and then seeing it again on Thursday and twice on Friday.

I can't say that I like or dislike when that happens. Maybe it's just too weird to have a learned opinion about. But, then there are the times when you've just gotta sit back and enjoy the coincidences.

Last Friday, Matt Gaffney wrote about the amazing synchronicity of one of his crosswords with a previous (by a few months) puzzle by Mike Shenk. (Fascinating read. Check it out.)

On Sunday, we had two crosswords with the same theme (to add "QU" to a phrase); one by Peter Wentz (Los Angeles Times) and the other by Will Nediger (New York Times), and they even had one identical entry: "QUAINT MISBEHAVIN".

On Wednesday, Rex Parker left a comment over at Brendan Emmett Quigley's digs about maybe perhaps working on a crossword puzzle that contained some certain names that are currently the news.
I, being always on the lookout for a theme idea, followed the link and made a puzzle based on those names. Apparently, as evidenced by his Friday post, so did BEQ.

Not only do Brendan's four theme entries match four of mine (I have six theme entries total), but this also happens to happen on the day that he runs the photo (taken Wednesday) of me and my BEQ mug. (See above link.)

I was ready to scrap it and post a different puzzle, but... nah.

trianglesgrid.jpg

One advantage I have with posting mine second is that I have the benefit of reading the comments at BEQ's thread. Amy Reynaldo, in particular, hit the nail on the head when she wrote, "They have weirdly spelled first names and/or uncommon last names... This gives today's puzzle the air of a quote puzzle in which half the quote's in Hungarian." So, for those particular theme entries, I decided to employ one of Merl Reagle's favorite devices.

Enjoy. More original content coming soon, I hope. :)

Opens with Across Lite.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:00 PM | Comments (218) | TrackBack

November 22, 2009

All Out Of Answers

Hell, I'm running low on questions, too.

But here's this week's crossword, inspired by some recently re-discovered theme ideas by Brendan Emmett Quigley as described here on Friday.

Actually, he didn't describe the theme ideas, he merely mentioned what little he'd jotted down on whatever piece of paper was at hand at the time, but couldn't recall what the fark he'd had in mind when he jotted them down.

So, I grabbed one of them (I wont say which one), went with an idea I had for it and voila!, here 'tis.


allout.jpg


And, as usual, I don't have any test solvers for these puzzles so I have no idea if this is going to be a cakewalk or a death march. Have fun. :-)

Opens with Across Lite, of course.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:48 PM | Comments (150) | TrackBack

November 17, 2009

Themeless 6

themeless6grid.jpg

Puzzle opens with Across Lite, as always.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:37 AM | Comments (68) | TrackBack

November 08, 2009

Gamesmanship

Ah, the quote puzzle.

Some people say they hate them because "either you know the quote which makes it no fun, or you don't know the quote which makes it no fun." Some even argue that the quote fill is essentially unchecked, but I disagree. To my mind, solving a quote puzzle is simply a matter of piecing it together with what's gotten from the crossings, and that's really no different than piecing together an entry in, say, a dropped-letter theme.

But people have their favorites and least favorites. So be it. This one's a quote theme. Because I like the quote. I hope you like it, too.

gamesmanship.jpg

Puzzle opens with Across Lite.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:24 PM | Comments (180) | TrackBack

October 30, 2009

Speaking Clearly

speakingclearly.jpg

Across Lite. You know the drill.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:50 PM | Comments (179) | TrackBack

October 13, 2009

Interpretive Song Stylings

Boy, these larger grids take a whole lot longer to clue than the usual 15x15s. Whew!

It started out as a 15x15, but fitting in the theme entries kept making me have to expand the grid until it was 19x19, and symetry went out the window very early on. I like the look of the grid, though, and it kinda fits in well with this puzzle, anyway.

The circles aren't really neccessary, but I thought I'd better include them so as to be certain that the theme fill is differentiated from the non-theme fill.


interpretivesongs.jpg


Puzzle opens with AcrossLite.
Click to solve

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:12 AM | Comments (180) | TrackBack

October 04, 2009

Evans' Question to Rogers Upon Seeing Their Feistiest Feline

A few days ago (with my 19x19 monster still asking me to finally clue it) I decided to take a cue from BEQ and make a crossword puzzle in the style of a distinctive constructor. I decided to emulate Merl Reagle.

I guess that means I'm emulating TWO constructors, though. Whatever.

Anyway, I tried to work in some Reagle-esque fill and some Reagle-esque clues -- which was a lot of fun -- and this is the result.


ERQ.jpg


Puzzle opens with Across Lite.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:38 PM | Comments (116) | TrackBack

September 28, 2009

Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em

Well, it's been two weeks since I last posted a puzzle. I've got one almost ready to go, I just have to finish cluing it.

In the mean time, I'll post one that's been sitting around for a while that I've been saving for just this type of occassion. It's not the best of theme ideas, that's why I've been sitting on it for a couple of months. Well, that and the answer at 37-Down is rediculous. But I actually kinda like it.


smokeem4.jpg


Better puzzle coming reasonably soonly.

File opens with AcrossLite, of course.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:13 AM | Comments (968) | TrackBack

September 08, 2009

Square Deal

This puzzle went through so many re-writes that I can probably post three versions with entirely different grids, save for the seed entries.

Then again, the reason it went through so many revisions is that I wasn't satisfied with elements of each re-write. So, here's the final version, just completed Monday night.

By the way, BEQ is having a contest. Solve his Friday puzzle, send him the answer the question that the solution poses and win a copy of his latest book, Diagramless Crosswords. Woo hoo!


In the meantime...

squaredealgrid.jpg

About that unchecked square in the center: When I was writing the clues, I didn't know whether or not I had to write a clue for it, so I simply clued it as "Crossword puzzle square". Turns out I had one too many clues in the file, so out it went. Don't worry about it though, it'll make sense.

Puzzle opens with AcrossLite, of course.
Click to solve

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:13 AM | Comments (143) | TrackBack

August 27, 2009

Out of Respect for the Deceased

An easy puzzle this week.


respect2jpg.jpg

AcrossLite puzzle:
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:35 PM | Comments (209) | TrackBack

August 22, 2009

Two-fers

Okay, so I missed posting a puzzle last week, but I think this one will make up for it.

I actually put this grid together last Sunday, but held off cluing it until today. Why? Probably because the heat and humidity have been brutal all week and I needed last night's thunderstorm to lighten up the air before mustering the wherewithall to focus on such a demanding task. Mind and body walk together, folks.


Twofergridjpg.jpg


That certainly looks like an awful lot of blocks, doesn't it? Still, there are only 36 so we're good.

The way they're arranged gives a word count of 80, but don't let that lull you into thinking this is going to be a cakewalk, no siree.

Puzzle, as usual, opens with AcrossLite.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:13 PM | Comments (115) | TrackBack

August 11, 2009

Darn, late again

I finished this grid on Saturday but just finished the cluing.

I'm really not happy with 1-Across. It's just as bad as HCGP (Harris County Green Party) that I had in a puzzle a couple of weeks ago. I made the clue as obvious as possible but that probably wont help you. The crossings, however, should make it easy enough to fill.

Other than that, I hope it's a fun one.

inserttitlehereJPG.jpg


Puzzle opens with Across Lite, of course.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:07 AM | Comments (193) | TrackBack

August 02, 2009

News From The Healthcare Presser

You want topical? We got topical.

Since I don't employ test solvers, I just ran through the puzzle again.

It'll probably be a cakewalk in the northwest (18-Across notwithstanding), lulling you into a false sense of finishing in under 10 minutes. It gets a little more challenging toward the lower areas, though, I think.

The southwest, in particular, has a couple of obscure entries. But, hey, it's not like I stuck any airport codes in there or anything.

presserXwordjpg.jpg

Puzzle open with AcrossLite.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:20 PM | Comments (114) | TrackBack

July 31, 2009

Bonus puzzle!

This isn't my regular weekly puzzle (which should be up on Sunday). This is an homage to Ashish Vengsarkar's New York Times puzzle from yesterday (Thursday).

The theme is the same. The grid is the same. The two 15-letter answers are the same for reasons that will be obvious as you solve. But the eight theme answers (and everything else, for that matter) are all new.

So, for those who don't subscribe to the NYT puzzle, this will be your chance to enjoy Ashish's puzzle without actually doing Ashish's puzzle.

Ashish's theme answers seem to have 16 possible entries. (Or 17, depending on how you pronounce the word "ours".) Ashish used eight of them yesterday, and I used the other eight today.

One side note:

I'd completed the grid and began to clue it when I realized I'd used the same entry twice. (Early on, I'd been switching the theme answers around and, well, these things happen.) Rather than begin anew, I changed 63-Across and adapted from there. 41-Down, in particular, ended up being a pretty silly entry.
The original entry could have been clued as, say, "A tasty morsel" and, upon completion of the puzzle, it'll be obvious which entry I mistakenly had in the grid twice.

But enough jibber-jabber. Unto the brink!

Puzzle opens with AcrossLite.
Click to solve.

Regular weekly puzzle on Sunday. I hope. (It's a 21x21. We'll see if I get it's clued by then.)

UPDATE: Second side note:
For "newer Mac users", Alex Boisvert informs us in the previous comments thread that you can download (and finally make use of) AcrossLite by clicking HERE. I hope that works out.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:17 PM | Comments (134) | TrackBack

July 25, 2009

Puzzle 9

Yep. Another themeless. 'Cuz I still suck at coming up with themes.

I actually had four completed puzzles from which to choose to clue and post this week. But the answer at 34-Across was something I'd been trying to work into a crossword for a few weeks, yet with no completed puzzle.

I finally completed one this week so that's this weeks puzzle.

It's not the most consistant effort I've come up with, though. The crosswordese is a little too prevalent in the outer corners for my liking.

Since I began with no theme answers, a lot of the fill was haphazardly pieced together. That being said, I like a lot of the entries. Quirky partials. Gratuitous pop culture references. A nod to Pancho Harrison's Monday NYTimes puzzle.

Speaking of nods to other constructors, did you see Patrick Berry's grid from Friday? Here 'tis:

PatrickBerryCW.jpg


Hmm. I wonder if Mr. Berry swung by this little blog at some point recently because it looks uncannily like my grid from June 8th:

TSCW.jpg

Okay, it's not that close. But, switch a few blocks around (as I just did to create these .jpegs) and there you are. My grid (as Patrick's may have also been) was based on this amazing Trip Payne 21x21 grid:

TPCW.jpg

...which inspired to me to try to fill this grid:

TSTPCW.jpg

...which is what my June 8th grid grew out of. Or, rather, shrank into.

I've attempted 7 or 8 times over the past 6 months to fill that grid. Finding two 15-letter triple-stacks is hard enough. Success in extending those stacks in that grid -- and then contecting them to the center area -- has proved illusive to me.

But I'll bet that there are at least four constructors out there who can do it. Not do it with ease, of course, but do it. They are (the aforementioned) Patrick Berry, Frank Longo, Trip Payne (obviously) and Brendan Emmett Quigley.

Brendan Emmett Quigley? Hey, the guy's a dynamo. He invited his readers to challenge him to create a puzzle in the style of other constructors. He emulated Trip Payne's Something Different **slash** Wacky Weekend Warrior puzzles (which I can't enough of) with impressive aplomb.

Now, I'm not issuing an official challenge here or anything. (Mainly because, based on the comments threads, I have no idea if anyone is actually reading this blog and/or doing these puzzles.) But I would be impressed if the above 15x15 grid (no black squares in the corners, cheaters!) showed up somewhere reasonably soon. :)


Anywho, I hope you enjoy my latest serving of crossword tripe.


Puzzle9grid.jpg

Puzzle opens with Across Lite.
(Sorry "newer Mac" users. Still no more PDFs until, either, I can buy some software that'll turn a .puz file to a .pdf, or someone tells me what my search for a way to do it for free has overlooked.)
Click to solve

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:33 PM | Comments (112) | TrackBack

July 18, 2009

Air On The G String

I couldn't think a title for this puzzle so I decided to steal one from Bach.

AirOnTheGStringGrid.jpg


As usual, puzzle opens with AcrossLite.
Click to solve.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:47 PM | Comments (86) | TrackBack

July 11, 2009

Sounds Right To Me

This one was a lot of fun to create. The grid may not be pretty but, hey, give a little get a little.


SRTMjpg.jpg


As usual, puzzle opens with Across Lite.
Click to solve

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:27 AM | Comments (53) | TrackBack

July 05, 2009

Overdue Themeless

I hope you all had a rip-roarin' 4th of July and no one blew off their fingers.


It's been a while since I last posted a new crossword. It's not that I've gotten behind in creating them, it's that my standards are raising. A puzzle that I might have been eager to post when I first started is just too amateurish for me now.

Over the past few weeks I was working on four different puzzles simultaneously and couldn't get any of them to gel to my liking. One of them I even finished clueing two weeks ago, yet still didn't post because I didn't like the northeast corner and I couldn't hold the symmetry throughout.

This is that puzzle.

In the mean time, I've just finished a new puzzle that I will post as soon I've clued it. But, I figured I'd put this one up anyway just because I don't want all that work to go to waste.

I didn't try to make this a stumper by any stretch, mainly because I don't think it deserves the effort. But I did try to make it somewhat interesting.

Of course, most people who solve several puzzles a day will probably say, "Bleh, ordinary. Wouldn't have run in any decent newspaper." But I think it has it's moments, so here 'tis.

A much better, more interesting themed puzzle is coming shortly. But, for now...

OverdueGrid.jpg


Puzzle opens with AcrossLite.
Click to solve

P.S. Sorry, newer Mac user(s), but the trial software I was using to convert AcrossLite to PDF has expired. Unless someone can tell me how to do the conversion F.O.C., that's it for the PDF versions for now.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:02 PM | Comments (77) | TrackBack

June 14, 2009

Puzzle 5

Another week, another crossword.

Ah, my first triple stacks. I'm getting better at this but there's still a little fudging. Namely, the lack of perfect symetry in the grid.


Puzzle5grid.jpg

Feh. Rules are made to be broken. :)

You know the drill.
Click to solve with AcrossLite.

Or, Download PDF file

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:52 AM | Comments (81) | TrackBack

June 08, 2009

Themeless, Too

Well, it's early Monday morning and I've finally finished this week's Saturday puzzle.

(Yes, I do need to work on this more during the week. Why do you ask?)

I re-wrote this grid as I clued it, which should give you fair warning.

It's hard to clue a toughie because I, as a newbie constructor, never know what is "tough but fair" for my target audience.

For instance, I could give the clue [Opening track to Iggy Pop's "Party"] which maybe three people would immediately recall was the song PLEASURE. Or I could agonize over whether the clue [Beatles song originally adressed to John Lennon's first born] might be too cryptic a clue for HEYJUDE. You just don't know.

Anyway, here is my latest effort, completed just in time for the Monday blahs. I hope this gives you a worthy respite from the early week dailies.

Amy, of course, would have nothing good to say about it, so I wont even ask. (She'd tear me to shreds while we're just lookin' to have some fun.) Here it is anyway:

stupid1a.jpg


Puzzle opens with Across Lite.
Click to solve. file

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:46 AM | Comments (118) | TrackBack

June 03, 2009

More random thoughts of a newbie crossword constructor

I've always made my puzzles the old fashioned way. With pencil and paper.

There are some constructors who still do it the old fashioned way. In fact -- based on my experience with crossword puzzle-making software -- I don't know how a successful constructor can create a puzzle utilizing crossword puzzle-making software.

Oh, sure, the software can help you find words to fill in some gaps. But the software can never come up with a theme and it can never provide phrases that are the parlance of the day -- the ones that inspire grids and create those gaps in the first place.

Is it any wonder that Brendan Quigley included the name "Susan Boyle" in one his puzzles three days later than I expected him to? No, it isn't. Even crosswords take time.

So anyway, I wont pronmise to be another Quigley. But I do promise to try.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:01 PM | Comments (212) | TrackBack

May 23, 2009

Oh, no! Another crossword!

Here's a little themeless puzzle for a lazy Saturday evening. Or Sunday morning. Or whenever.


TParkPuz.jpg


Puzzle opens with AcrossLite:
CLICK TO SOLVE

PDF version here:
UPDATE: Thanks to Stephen Macklin, here's a PDF without the obstructive text across the grid:
CLICK FOR PDF.

Fair warning. The PDF prints out on three pages. Page one is the grid. That's good to have. Page two is the clues. You'll need that. Page three is the solution. Don't look at that.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:19 PM | Comments (173) | TrackBack

May 16, 2009

new Crossword puzzle

Here is the first in what I intend to be a somewhat regular posting of my own crossword puzzles. We'll see how that goes.

This is an homage to David J. Kahn's New York Times crossword puzzle of Thursday, May 14, 2008 which generated quite some discussion at a couple of crossword blogs.

Those who solved it and discussed it in the comments thread HERE will, I hope, appreciate the emulation of Kahn's clues and answers, spiffy and iffy alike.

I don't think it's a difficult solve. It's certainly not an impressive grid.

But I do hope that it's a fun solve. (Except for those two airport codes that I had to include just because including them was the only way to complete the @#$% thing).


GridAd.jpg


Puzzle opens with AcrossLite.
CLICK TO SOLVE

Don't have AcrossLite? What are you, nuts? Download it FREE. All the cool kids have it.


UPDATE: Per request, here's a PDF version:
Download file
I converted the .puz file to .pdf using the demo version of a crossword-making program, so it has some text running through the center of the grid and the grid and clues are on individual pages. Oh well.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:44 PM | Comments (889) | TrackBack

June 07, 2008

Saturday

Newsday 40:01
New York Times 32:51
TEMPO 17:09
Premier 17:04
Universal 11:22
CrosSynergy 8:07
Naples News 7:12
Boatload 2:48

Lee Glickstein 29:35

Click here for Lee Glickstein's puzzle "What's The Difference". One of the funnest puzzles to solve in quite a while. But be careful, it gets a little blue. Great job, Lee. And thanks to Amy for posting it.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:59 AM | Comments (349) | TrackBack

June 06, 2008

Friday

New York Times 41:37
Wall Street Journal 32:42
New York Sun 27:24
Los Angeles Times 23:42
USA Today 17:30
Village Voice 15:37
Universal 14:27
I SWEAR 13:13
Chronical of Higher Education 11:49
Newsday 8:46
TEMPO 7:24
Naples News 7:19
CrosSynergy 5:05
Boatload 3:15

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:22 PM | Comments (462) | TrackBack

Thursday

New York Sun 33:20
Los Angeles Times 25:20
USA Today 10:25
New York Times 10:16
Jonesin' 10:13
Newsday 9:56
Universal 7:50
Naples News 7:01
CrosSynergy 6:34
TEMPO 6:05
Boatload 2:45

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:08 PM | Comments (719) | TrackBack

June 04, 2008

Wednesday

Onion 9:47
New York Sun 9:10
New York Times 8:22
CrosSynergy 8:20
Naples News 7:59
TEMPO 6:48
USA Today 6:46
Los Angeles Times 5:40
Newsday 5:38
Universal 4:58
Boatload 2:44

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:12 PM | Comments (924) | TrackBack

June 03, 2008

Tuesday

New York Sun 9:40
New York Times 7:52
CrosSynergy 7:47
Beekeeper Labs 7:25
Naples News 7:05
Universal 6:27
USA Today 6:01
Los Angeles Times 5:51
TEMPO 5:16
Newsday 4:39
Boatload 3:09

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:05 PM | Comments (1020) | TrackBack

June 02, 2008

Monday

TEMPO 10:27
Naples News 7:31
CrosSynergy 6:58
NYT Classic (M) 5:56
Los Angeles Times 5:34
New York Sun 5:33
Universal 5:19
USA Today 5:14
Fred Piscop 5:03
New York Times 4:55
Newsday 4:04
Boatload 3:11

Monthlies:
Spirit 32:33
Hemispheres 26:37
American Way 25:02

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:49 PM | Comments (469) | TrackBack

June 01, 2008

Sunday crosswords

Los Angeles Times 42:36
New York Times 38:34
Merl Reagle 32:51
Boston Globe 22:48
Newsday 19:18
Universal 11:47
Naples News 10:02
CrosSynergy 9:47
Boatload 2:51

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:16 PM | Comments (620) | TrackBack

May 31, 2008

Saturday

Newsday 1:10:56
New York Times 41:56
Los Angeles Times 20:08
Premier 17:10
TEMPO 16:02
Universal 10:37
Naples News 7:21
CrosSynergy 5:33
Boatload 3:12

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:30 PM | Comments (1002) | TrackBack

May 30, 2008

Friday

New York Times 36:42
Wall Street Journal 29:12
Chronical of Higher Education 24:31
New York Sun 23:25
Village Voice 20:16
Los Angeles Times 20:02
Newsday 15:41
I SWEAR 8:28
USA Today 8:18
Naples News 8:02
CrosSynergy 7:05
TEMPO 5:43
Universal 5:42
Boatload 2:52

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:09 PM | Comments (973) | TrackBack

Thursday

New York Times 25:32
New York Sun 20:08
TEMPO 14:33
Universal 12:33
Jonesin' 9:40
Los Angeles Times 9:16
CrosSynergy 7:14
Naples News 6:12
USA Today 5:47
Newsday 5:44
Boatload 2:58

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:00 PM | Comments (796) | TrackBack

May 28, 2008

Wednesday

Onion 20:32
Los Angeles Times 14:58
New York Sun 13:01
CrosSynergy 12:55
New York Times 12:04
Universal 7:51
TEMPO 7:36
Naples News 7:27
USA Today 7:10
Newsday 6:47
Boatload 2:34

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:28 PM | Comments (41) | TrackBack

May 27, 2008

Tuesday

Beekeeper Labs 13:10
USA Today 12:44
Universal 12:06
New York Sun 10:03
CrosSynergy 8:52
New York Times 7:48
TEMPO 7:12
Naples News 6:02
Los Angeles Times 4:54
Newsday 4:05
Boatload 2:51

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:15 AM | Comments (1007) | TrackBack

May 26, 2008

Monday crosswords

TEMPO 9:38
Universal 8:23
CrosSynergy 6:54
Naples News 6:50
Fred Piscop 6:16
USA Today 5:36
New York Times 5:04
Newsday 4:53
Los Angeles Times 4:33
Boatload 3:09

NYT classic (Sa) 27:10

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:05 AM | Comments (197) | TrackBack

May 24, 2008

Sunday

Los Angeles Times 32:02
New York Times 23:27
CrosSynergy 22:22
Merl Reagle 21:36
Boston Globe 17:46
Newsday 16:36
Naples News 11:51
Universal 6:04
Boatload 2:42

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:04 PM | Comments (702) | TrackBack

Saturday

New York Times 55:23
Newsday 35:06
Los Angeles Times 27:11
Premier 15:46
TEMPO 11:31
Naples News 8:29
Universal 8:14
CrosSynergy 5:44
Boatload 2:35

Clue of the day, from Newsday's Saturday Stumper:

[Chasers served at saloons]

Answer:
POSSES

It was one of the last words I filled in and finally allowed me to finish the southeast corner and the puzzle.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:04 PM | Comments (76) | TrackBack

May 23, 2008

Friday

Wall Street Journal 45:33
Los Angeles Times 23:23
Village Voice 22:03
New York Times 20:23
New York Sun 18:08
Newsday 17:56
Chronical of Higher Education 14:53
I SWEAR 10:34
USA Today 8:57
Universal 7:47
TEMPO 7:46
CrosSynergy 6:45
NaplesNews (FCP) 6:40
Boatload 3:13

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:24 AM | Comments (975) | TrackBack

May 22, 2008

Thursday

New York Sun 33:08
USA Today 13:51
Los Angeles Times 12:24
Jonesin' 11:28
New York Times 10:39
Naples News (FCP) 10:37
CrosSynergy 7:46
Universal 6:34
TEMPO 6:20
Newsday 5:15
Boatload 3:09

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:25 AM | Comments (39) | TrackBack

May 21, 2008

Wednesday

USA Today 14:24
Onion 13:04
Universal 12:30
New York Sun 12:17
Naples News (FCP) 12:17
New York Times 10:23
Los Angeles Times 8:22
CrosSynergy 7:05
Newsday 6:02
TEMPO 5:37
Boatload 3:39

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:02 AM | Comments (1183) | TrackBack

May 20, 2008

Tuesday

Beekeeper Labs 15:02
New York Sun 13:10
Universal 12:17
New York Times 10:12
Naples News 9:25
CrosSynergy 9:03
TEMPO 8:07
USA Today 7:17
Los Angeles Times 5:40
Newsday 4:58

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:06 PM | Comments (148) | TrackBack

May 19, 2008

Monday

USA Today 9:07
New York Sun 6:46
Universal 6:42
New York Times 5:55
CrosSynergy 5:39
Fred Piscop 5:34
TEMPO 5:29
Los Angeles Times 4:47
Newsday 4:41

NYT classic (Th) 14:49

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:59 AM | Comments (776) | TrackBack

May 18, 2008

Sunday Crosswords

New York Times 44:38
Merl Reagle 30:37
Los Angeles Times 25:08
Boston Globe 20:28
CrosSynergy 13:32
Newsday 13:25
Universal 7:17

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:16 AM | Comments (1149) | TrackBack

May 17, 2008

Saturday

New York Times 31:41
Newsday 25:33
Los Angeles Times 18:13
Premier 15:02
CrosSynergy 13:08
TEMPO 8:28
Universal 6:13

What a fun bunch of crosswords! The Universal puzzle was pretty typical but, other than that, I highly recommend this entire batch.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:34 PM | Comments (1014) | TrackBack

May 16, 2008

Friday

New York Times 32:09
Wall Street Journal 26:56
New York Sun 18:50
Los Angeles Times 14:47
Village Voice 12:17
Chronical of Higher Education 11:53
Newsday 9:21
TEMPO 8:58
USA Today 8:57
CrosSynergy 7:26
Universal 5:30
I SWEAR 5:16

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:52 PM | Comments (1047) | TrackBack

May 15, 2008

Thursday

New York Times 25:13
New York Sun 19:58
Los Angeles Times 9:13
Jonesin' 9:10
Newsday 7:37
CrosSynergy 7:35
USA Today 7:32
TEMPO 7:11
Universal 6:31

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:08 PM | Comments (41) | TrackBack

May 14, 2008

Wednesday crosswords

Onion 25:01
USA Today 15:26
New York Sun 12:38
New York Times 11:37
Los Angeles Times 9:09
TEMPO 7:19
Universal 7:10
Newsday 5:33
CrosSynergy 5:31

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:17 AM | Comments (730) | TrackBack

May 13, 2008

Tuesday

New York Sun 13:56
Universal 12:54
Beekeeper Labs 12:05
TEMPO 8:58
USA Today 8:21
CrosSynergy 7:43
Los Angeles Times 7:28
New York Times 6:45
Newsday 5:16

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:23 PM | Comments (844) | TrackBack

May 12, 2008

Monday

USA Today 11:57
Universal 8:28
New York Sun 7:26
TEMPO 6:49
CrosSynergy 6:26
Los Angeles Times 6:06
Fred Piscop 5:21
New York Times 4:51
Newsday 4:24

NYT Classic (Th) 14:42

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:40 AM | Comments (456) | TrackBack

Sunday

Boston Globe 45:44
New York Times 45:04
Los Angeles Times 41:48
Merl Reagle 18:31
Newsday 17:23
CrosSynergy 14:08
Universal 12:57

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:03 AM | Comments (84) | TrackBack

May 10, 2008

Saturday

New York Times 39:08
Newsday 23:01
Los Angeles Times 18:46
Premier 16:56
CrosSynergy 10:09
TEMPO 9:18
Universal 7:23

My time on the NYT puzzle suffered greatly because of the southwest corner. The clue for 40-D is [It's just north of Nauru]. I had to google for it and came up with MAKATEA, which fit with two of the three crossing answers I had. (I erased SINEX).

I must have stared at that corner for 15 to 20 minutes without any progress. Then I thought of SEAQUAKE for 43-A and realized I'd misspelled YAHTZEE as YAHTZIE. Then the answer for 40-D was obviously, ta-duh, EQUATOR.

I put SINEX back in and finshed the remainder of the grid in about 90 seconds. Yay for me. :)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:48 PM | Comments (1006) | TrackBack

May 09, 2008

Friday crosswords

Wall Street Journal 39:41
New York Times 32:22
New York Sun 24:11
Chronical of Higher Education 23:34
Los Angeles Times 20:24
USA Today 13:15
Universal 11:48
Village Voice 11:30
Newsday 9:58
TEMPO 9:22
I SWEAR 8:03
CrosSynergy 7:37

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:57 AM | Comments (67) | TrackBack

May 08, 2008

Thursday

New York Sun 26:01
Los Angeles Times 14:25
TEMPO 11:47
Jonesin' 11:18
CrosSynergy 9:46
New York Times 8:40
Newsday 7:44
USA Today 7:31
Universal 6:24

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:38 PM | Comments (1108) | TrackBack

May 07, 2008

Wednesday Crosswords

Onion 19:38
New York Sun 16:47
New York Times 9:13
USA Today 8:43
Universal 7:29
CrosSynergy 6:53
Newsday 6:34
Los Angeles Times 6:11
TEMPO 5:55

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:01 AM | Comments (811) | TrackBack

May 06, 2008

Tuesday

Los Angeles Times 13:34
USA Today 12:28
New York Times 11:23
Beekeeper Labs 7:59
CrosSynergy 7:54
Universal 7:29
New York Sun 6:23
Newsday 5:32
TEMPO 5:28

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:52 PM | Comments (38) | TrackBack

May 05, 2008

Monday

USA Today 7:39
TEMPO 6:48
New York Sun 6:09
Fred Piscop 5:56
Universal 5:36
New York Times 5:29
CrosSynergy 5:16
Los Angeles Times 5:13
Newsday 4:37

NTY Classic (F) 29:20

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:59 AM | Comments (1057) | TrackBack

May 04, 2008

Sunday crosswords

New York Times 41:21
Merl Reagle 24:26
Boston Globe 20:19
Los Angeles Times 19:54
Newsday 19:36
CrosSynergy 17:55
Universal 10:47

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:17 PM | Comments (1144) | TrackBack

Saturday

Newsday 1:42:05
New York Times 26:27
Los Angeles Times 21:09
Premier 19:11
TEMPO 13:09
Universal 8:43
CrosSynergy 7:28


Monthly puzzles:

American Way 32:50
Hemispheres 17:44
Spirit 13:32
New York Times 9:51

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:15 PM | Comments (75) | TrackBack

May 02, 2008

Friday

New York Sun 44:20
Wall Street Journal 24:42
Los Angeles Times 20:58
New York Times 19:02
Village Voice 13:05
Universal 11:43
Chronical of Higher Education 11:05
TEMPO 9:26
USA Today 9:09
I SWEAR 9:00
Newsday 7:11
CrosSynergy 5:52

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:27 PM | Comments (733) | TrackBack

May 01, 2008

Thursday Crosswords

New York Times 42:05
New York Sun 20:55
Los Angeles Times 18:55
Jonesin' 13:28
Universal 9:44
USA Today 8:26
TEMPO 8:04
CrosSynergy 7:06
Newsday 5:21

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:17 AM | Comments (1194) | TrackBack

April 30, 2008

Wednesday

New York Sun 20:00
TEMPO 17:04
CrosSynergy 13:35
Universal 12:18
Onion 10:49
Los Angeles Times 9:19
USA Today 9:09
New York Times 8:14
Newsday 5:49

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:28 PM | Comments (902) | TrackBack

April 29, 2008

Tuesday

USA Today 13:33
New York Sun 9:33
Beekeeper Labs 8:56
New York Times 8:19
Los Angeles Times 6:24
TEMPO 5:58
Universal 5:55
CrosSynergy 5:38
Newsday 4:27

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:07 PM | Comments (1011) | TrackBack

April 28, 2008

Monday

CrosSynergy 13:41
USA Today 10:22
Universal 9:34
TEMPO 7:29
Fred Piscop 6:26
Los Angeles Times 6:23
New York Times 6:16
New York Sun 5:13
Newsday 4:58

NYT Classic (T) 8:46

Clue of the day, from the New York Sun puzzle, 7D:

457-55-5462, for LifeLock CEO Todd Davis

When I first heard the LifeLock commercial on the radio about a month and a half ago, I thought it HAD to fake. Now I just think the guy's nuts.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:37 PM | Comments (1026) | TrackBack

April 27, 2008

Sunday

Boston Globe 39:39
New York Times 28:27
Los Angeles Times 23:22
Merl Reagle 21:27
CrosSynergy 15:26
Newsday 14:12
Universal 12:05

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:34 PM | Comments (2318) | TrackBack

Saturday

Newsday 52:09
New York Times 52:00
Premier 23:53
Los Angeles Times 22:50
TEMPO 13:03
Universal 6:04
CrosSynergy 5:26

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:56 AM | Comments (669) | TrackBack

April 25, 2008

Friday

Wall Street Journal 36:05
New York Times 31:23
New York Sun 25:16
Newsday 23:10
Los Angeles Times 21:40
Village Voice 15:32
Chronical of Higher Education 14:50
USA Today 12:01
Universal 10:11
I SWEAR 6:24
TEMPO 6:16
CrosSynergy 5:45

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:57 PM | Comments (119) | TrackBack

April 23, 2008

Wednesday Crosswords

Onion 19:28
New York Times 15:37
USA Today 15:23
New York Sun 11:14
TEMPO 9:49
CrosSynergy 9:39
Universal 9:03
Los Angeles Times 8:52
Newsday 4:52

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:02 PM | Comments (676) | TrackBack

April 22, 2008

Tuesday

Beekeeper Labs 13:36
USA Today 12:20
Universal 8:27
Los Angeles Times 7:58
CrosSynergy 6:46
New York Sun 6:36
New York Times 6:35
TEMPO 5:31
Newsday 4:43

NYT classic (W) 15:40

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:22 AM | Comments (852) | TrackBack

April 21, 2008

Monday

USA Today 13:46
New York Sun 9:13
Universal 8:56
CrosSynergy 8:19
TEMPO 7:41
New York Times 6:38
Los Angeles Times 5:16
Fred Piscop 5:12
Newsday 4:06

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:38 AM | Comments (968) | TrackBack

April 20, 2008

Sunday

New York Times 44:23
Merl Reagle 36:38
Los Angeles Times 31:56
Boston Globe 24:01
CrosSynergy 23:50
Newsday 19:13
Universal 9:38

Cool theme on the NYTimes puzzle. I didn't pay any attention to it until I finished the puzzle, though. It would helped save some time in figuring out the alleged Nilsson "hit" of 1972. Never heard of it.

The upper-left and lower-right corners of the CrosSynergy had me stumped for a while. I've never heard of Ilka Chase (or is it Chase Ilka?), and I always assumed that the French term for "good luck" was "bon chance", not "BONNE chance". And "North side" cluing UNION sounds like something out of the '30s.
And what's up with the Indonesians naming something as powerful as a "gong" a TAMTAM? Sounds like a child's bongo drum, not a frickin' gong!

I've been doing so many crossword puzzles lately that I actually got ZATOPEK on the first try. Can carpul tunnel syndrome be far behind? :)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:17 AM | Comments (87) | TrackBack

April 19, 2008

Saturday

New York Times 1:04:32
Newsday 1:01:54
Los Angeles Times 28:40
TEMPO 17:20
Premier 17:08
Universal 10:55
CrosSynergy 7:41

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:20 AM | Comments (57) | TrackBack

April 18, 2008

Friday

New York Times 43:29
Wall Street Journal 35:24
New York Sun 27:36
Los Angeles Times 18:31
Village Voice 17:48
Chronical of Higher Education 13:56
Newsday 10:45
TEMPO 8:31
USA Today 8:04
CrosSynergy 7:42
Universal 7:11
I SWEAR 5:40

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:43 AM | Comments (996) | TrackBack

April 17, 2008

Thursday

Los Angeles Times 25:36
Jonesin' 17:19
New York Times 14:26
TEMPO 10:06
USA Today 10:00
Universal 9:52
Newsday 9:47
New York Sun 8:45
CrosSynergy 6:55

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:32 AM | Comments (734) | TrackBack

April 16, 2008

Wednesday

Onion 14:23
New York Sun 13:39
Universal 13:38
TEMPO 10:24
New York Times 10:07
USA Today 8:45
Los Angeles Times 7:34
Beekeeper Labs 7:17
Newsday 5:31
CrosSynergy 5:29

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:26 PM | Comments (51) | TrackBack

April 15, 2008

Tuesday

USA Today 19:46
CrosSynergy 14:23
TEMPO 7:11
Universal 6:48
New York Times 6:17
New York Sun 5:36
Los Angeles Times 5:33
Newsday 3:57

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:39 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

April 14, 2008

Monday

USA Today 11:18
CrosSynergy 10:53
TEMPO 9:35
Universal 8:53
New York Sun 6:53
NYT Classic (M) 6:21
Los Angeles Times 5:27
Fred Piscop 5:21
New York Times 5:21
Newsday 4:07

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:26 AM | Comments (778) | TrackBack

April 13, 2008

Sunday

CrosSynergy 34:51
Boston Globe 33:12
Los Angeles Times 28:58
New York Times 27:11
Newsday 24:09
Merl Reagle 23:55
Universal 8:41

Wow. The CrosSynergy Sunday Challenge lives up to it's name. It was right there on a par with Newsday's Saturday Stumper. Rare, indeed, and great to see. :)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:48 AM | Comments (756) | TrackBack

April 12, 2008

Saturday

New York Times 59:15
Los Angeles Times 40:14
Newsday 33:23
Universal 9:57
TEMPO 6:31
CrosSynergy 5:22

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:20 PM | Comments (65) | TrackBack

April 11, 2008

Friday

New York Times 42:45
Wall Street Journal 35:05
Los Angeles Times 20:17
Chronical of Higher Education 18:41
New York Sun 15:52
Village Voice 15:19
Universal 15:16
I SWEAR 13:59
TEMPO 10:20
CrosSynergy 9:15
Newsday 8:22
USA Today 7:51

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:20 AM | Comments (26) | TrackBack

April 09, 2008

Thursday

New York Times 23:47
New York Sun 22:04
Jonesin' 12:52
Los Angeles Times 10:39
USA Today 10:25
CrosSynergy 8:31
TEMPO 7:50
Newsday 7:42
Universal 7:36

Ugh. Too many proper names of people I've never heard of in the NY Sun puzzle. I had to google a few of 'em. And I ran through every Loony Toons character I could think of before I finally realized what the answer was.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:16 PM | Comments (62) | TrackBack

Wednesday

New York Sun 24:42
Beekeeper 15:33
CrosSynergy 13:50
Universal 9:05
New York Times 8:25
USA Today 8:13
Los Angeles Times 7:15
TEMPO 5:45
Newsday 5:23

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:21 AM | Comments (1031) | TrackBack

April 08, 2008

Tuesday crosswords

Onion 17:31
New York Sun 14:32
CrosSynergy 11:46
USA Today 10:52
New York Times 8:27
Universal 8:14
TEMPO 5:45
Los Angeles Times 5:42
Newsday 4:15

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:21 PM | Comments (36) | TrackBack

April 06, 2008

Monday

USA Today 14:21
TEMPO 11:46
CrosSynergy 10:03
Universal 7:28
New York Sun 6:37
Fred Piscop 6:01
New York Times 5:58
Los Angeles Times 5:35
Newsday 5:13

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:37 PM | Comments (427) | TrackBack

Sunday

Merl Reagle 45:09
New York Times 42:12
Los Angeles Times 28:18
Newsday 26:27
Boston Globe 19:07
CrosSynergy 17:07
Universal 9:08

NYT 2nd Sunday (Diagramless) 28:35
NYT Monthly Bonus puzzle 7:54

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:04 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

April 05, 2008

Saturday

Newsday 50:03
New York Times 34:06
Hemispheres 31:22
Los Angeles Times 28:09
American Way 24:41*
Universal 11:56
Spirit 9:30*
Premier 9:29*
TEMPO 7:46
CrosSynergy 6:20


*These puzzles were done by hand. I'm not sure how much that slows the solving pace versus solving online but, when racing against the clock, it definately tires your eyes out.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:40 AM | Comments (65) | TrackBack

April 03, 2008

Friday

New York Times 55:03
New York Sun 33:03
Chronical of Higher Education 30:15
Los Angeles Times 26:36
Wall Street Journal 24:31
Universal 21:31
Jonesin' 16:32
Newsday 12:28
I SWEAR 11:11
Village Voice 9:24
TEMPO 9:12
CrosSynergy 8:53
USA Today 8:31


I seem to have a "typo" somewhere in the NYT puzzle. But, after checking some answers through google, I'm convinced that there must be two correct solutions 'cuz all my answers fit, dag nab it.

UPDATE: Nevermind, I found the error thanks to Amy. I googled "erere reunion", saw the first link and assumed it was right. Beethoven's Pastoral thus is keyed a half-step higher than I guessed.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:51 PM | Comments (779) | TrackBack

Thursday crosswords

New York Times 38:48
Universal 20:26
Onion 13:28
New York Sun 11:25
Newsday 11:23
Los Angeles Times 11:19
USA Today 9:25
CrosSynergy 6:39
TEMPO 6:17

Jonesin' tba

I was about half-an-hour into the NYT puzzle before I caught on to the theme. I had plenty of the grid filled, but there were certain answers that seemed obvious but didn't fit. One of the first answers I filled was the "'80s slogan", but I didn't catch the significance until I realized what the "surfer's exclamation" must be. Then the rest of the puzzle fell into place in a hurry.

By the way, if and when I ever comment on these puzzles, I'm gonna try not to give any spoilers. I'd rather encourage others to enjoy crosswords as much as I do. So my only revelations will be that ye shall click on the puzzle links in my sidebar and get solving!

The Onion puzzle's theme is unique and special for a certain reason. It's occassionally accomplished at ballparks, but I've never heard of it even being attempted in a crossword.

One note on the Onion puzzle that might help you solve it: Your first inclination for 53-Down -- clued as [Advice to 25-Across] -- might be RUNAWAY. That wont fit, though.

It's unusual that the Universal puzzle took me nearly twice as long to solve than the New York Sun puzzle since it is a Thursday. The Universal puzzles don't usually get tougher as the week progresses, so they're often some of the tougher Monday and Tuesday puzzles.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:22 AM | Comments (127) | TrackBack

April 02, 2008

Wednesday

CrosSynergy 17:19
Universal 16:03
Los Angeles Times 15:10
USA Today 14:52
New York Times 11:21
TEMPO 10:31
Beekeeper 9:58
New York Sun 9:24
Newsday 5:49

Onion tba

Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:46 AM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

April 01, 2008

Tuesday

New York Sun 16:45
New York Times 10:22
USA Today 10:08
Universal 9:42
Los Angeles Times 7:42
CrosSynergy 6:56
Newsday 5:51
TEMPO 5:23

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:25 PM | Comments (1101) | TrackBack

March 31, 2008

Monday

Universal 8:01
Fred Piscop 7:33
USA Today 7:12
TEMPO 6:33
CrosSynergy 6:29
Los Angeles Times 5:47
New York Sun 5:08
New York Times 5:03
Newsday 3:56


Posted by Tuning Spork at 02:31 AM | Comments (539) | TrackBack

March 30, 2008

Sunday crosswords

Los Angeles Times 53:57
New York Times 45:36
Boston Globe 39:30
Merl Reagle 28:52
Washington Post 26:19
Newsday 16:34
Universal 16:16
CrosSynergy 11:53


Unfortunately this is the last Washington Post Sunday puzzle. Booooo!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:54 PM | Comments (999) | TrackBack

March 29, 2008

Saturday

Newsday 38:46
Los Angeles Times 36:30
New York Times 24:18
Universal 15:44
TEMPO 13:49
CrosSynergy 9:32

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:14 PM | Comments (137) | TrackBack

March 28, 2008

Friday

New York Times 43:44
Los Angeles Times 36:17
New York Sun 27:31
Wall Street Journal 25:54
Newsday 15:44
TEMPO 14:59
Chronical of Higher Education 13:33
Village Voice 12:54
Universal 10:10
CrosSynergy 8:03
USA Today 7:02
I SWEAR 5:50

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:12 PM | Comments (474) | TrackBack

March 27, 2008

Thursday

New York Sun 36:26
Jonesin' 21:37
New York Times 19:57
Los Angeles Times 18:46
Universal 13:23
CrosSynergy 10:36
TEMPO 9:00
Newsday 8:25
USA Today 8:09

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:08 PM | Comments (859) | TrackBack

March 26, 2008

Wednesday crosswords

Onion 16:26
Universal 15:51
Los Angeles Times 13:51
USA Today 12:19
TEMPO 12:07
New York Times 10:57
New York Sun 10:36
Beekeeper 10:11
CrosSynergy 8:15
Newsday 5:13

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:05 PM | Comments (66) | TrackBack

March 25, 2008

Tuesday

New York Sun 18:43
CrosSynergy 14:38
Universal 14:10
TEMPO 10:11
USA Today 7:56
New York Times 7:34
Los Angeles Times 6:22
Newsday 4:11

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:02 PM | Comments (837) | TrackBack

March 24, 2008

Monday

Universal 10:16
New York Sun 9:44
USA Today 9:40
CrosSynergy 7:47
New York Times 6:30
Fred Piscop 6:24
Los Angeles Times 6:01
TEMPO 5:08
Newsday 3:58

NYT Classic (F) 40:31

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:59 PM | Comments (1058) | TrackBack

March 23, 2008

Sunday

New York Times 1:03:20
Washington Post 36:16
Merl Reagle 34:24
Los Angeles Times 28:17
Newsday 26:52
Boston Globe 19:47
Universal 18:30
CrosSynergy 15:15

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:56 PM | Comments (29) | TrackBack

March 22, 2008

Saturday crosswords

New York Times 1:12:46
Newsday 1:08:46
Los Angeles Times 24:12
TEMPO 15:57
Universal 10:24
CrosSynergy 5:39

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:54 PM | Comments (107) | TrackBack

March 21, 2008

Friday

New York Times 47:46
New York Sun 46:44
Wall Street Journal 37:48
Los Angeles Times 27:30
CrosSynergy 27:25
Chronical of Higher Education 21:22
Universal 17:02
I SWEAR 12:29
USA Today 12:03
Newsday 10:44
Village Voice 9:00
TEMPO 8:27

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:52 PM | Comments (552) | TrackBack

March 20, 2008

Thursday

New York Times 18:47
Newsday 5:28
Los Angeles Times 27:27
CrosSynergy 7:25
Universal 9:55
TEMPO 10:52
New York Sun 16:15
USA Today 10:52
Jonesin' 10:03

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:46 PM | Comments (557) | TrackBack

March 19, 2008

Wednesday

New York Times 10:59
Newsday 6:27
Los Angeles Times 8:47
CrosSynergy 8:32
Universal 18:57
TEMPO 7:08
New York Sun 24:29
USA Today 10:10
Onion 15:28

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:43 PM | Comments (1021) | TrackBack

March 18, 2008

Tuesday crosswords

New York Times 7:16
Newsday 4:17
Los Angeles Times 8:48
CrosSynergy 6:19
Universal 11:56
TEMPO 7:44
New York Sun 10:14
USA Today 7:33
Beekeeper 13:58
Whopping Weekend Warrior 1:40:56

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:41 PM | Comments (966) | TrackBack

March 17, 2008

Monday

New York Times 8:54
Newsday 5:10
Los Angeles Times 7:58
CrosSynergy 10:54
Universal 10:34
TEMPO 16:28
New York Sun 6:48
USA Today 9:07
Fred Piscop 5:25
NYT Classic (W) 13:39

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:38 PM | Comments (767) | TrackBack

March 16, 2008

Sunday

New York Times 1:08:25
Newsday 12:22
Los Angeles Times 32:15
CrosSynergy 11:06
Universal 8:29
Boston Globe 27:14
Washington Post 33:22
Merl Reagle 49:41

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:35 PM | Comments (967) | TrackBack

March 15, 2008

Saturday

New York Times 1:06:26
Newsday 44:28
Los Angeles Times 39:38
CrosSynergy 10:31
Universal 8:40
TEMPO 7:26

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:32 PM | Comments (137) | TrackBack

March 14, 2008

Friday crosswords

New York Times 38:45
Newsday 13:28
Los Angeles Times 37:44
CrosSynergy 7:33
Universal 7:53
TEMPO 5:44
New York Sun 37:23
USA Today 10:26
Wall Street Journal 26:44
Village Voice 25:38
Chronical of Higher Education 8:41
I SWEAR 10:38
Beekeeper 12:38

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:30 PM | Comments (81) | TrackBack

March 13, 2008

Thursday

New York Times 1:30:23
Newsday 11:30
Los Angeles Times 13:57
CrosSynergy 7:57
Universal 7:59
TEMPO 8:14
New York Sun 18:15
USA Today 14:04

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:27 PM | Comments (808) | TrackBack

March 12, 2008

Wednesday

New York Times 19:55
Newsday 8:12
Los Angeles Times 8:21
CrosSynergy 23:17
Universal 14:02
TEMPO 9:07
New York Sun 28:18
USA Today 14:14
Onion 26:32

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:25 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

March 11, 2008

Tuesday

New York Times 7:59
Newsday 4:23
Los Angeles Times 9:19
CrosSynergy 9:16
Universal 14:03
TEMPO 11:48
New York Sun 18:51
USA Today 13:50

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:22 PM | Comments (736) | TrackBack

March 10, 2008

Monday

New York Times 6:17
Newsday 4:52
Los Angeles Times 5:29
CrosSynergy 6:16
Universal 10:33
TEMPO 8:29
New York Sun 8:08
USA Today 8:59
Fred Piscop 6:07
NYT Classic (F) 43:19

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:20 PM | Comments (182) | TrackBack

March 08, 2008

Saturday

New York Times 51:23
Newsday 22:10
Los Angeles Times 31:38
CrosSynergy 5:49
Universal 7:37
TEMPO 12:00

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:15 PM | Comments (123) | TrackBack

March 07, 2008

Friday

New York Times 47:38
Newsday 14:18
Los Angeles Times 16:25
CrosSynergy 8:04
Universal 10:06
TEMPO 12:29
New York Sun 30:53
USA Today 21:17
Wall Street Journal 28:16
Village Voice 29:30
Chronicle of Higher Education 39:09
I SWEAR 8:27

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:13 PM | Comments (1456) | TrackBack

March 06, 2008

Thursday

New York Times 16:44
Newsday 6:08
Los Angeles Times 21:57
CrosSynergy 10:32
TEMPO 12:07
New York Sun 35:00
USA Today 8:26

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:10 PM | Comments (894) | TrackBack

March 05, 2008

Wednesday crosswords

New York Times 4:32
Newsday 7:18
Los Angeles Times 12:15
CrosSynergy 7:02
Universal 11:59
TEMPO 6:39
New York Sun 28:40
USA Today 15:44
Onion 16:00
Beekeeper 13:46

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:08 PM | Comments (48) | TrackBack

March 03, 2008

Monday

New York Times 5:19
Newsday 4:49
Los Angeles Times 7:56
CrosSynergy 12:30
Universal 5:13
TEMPO 8:18
New York Sun 10:40
USA Today 7:15
Fred Piscop 10:56
NYT Classic (M) 6:41

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:03 PM | Comments (628) | TrackBack

March 02, 2008

Sunday Crosswords

New York Times 35:21
Newsday 28:27
Los Angeles Times 1:00:34
CrosSynergy 14:52
Universal 10:59
Boston Globe 20:17
Washington Post 27:34
Merl Reagle 20:25

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:00 PM | Comments (53) | TrackBack

March 01, 2008

Saturday

New York Times 50:38
Newsday 45:51
Los ANgeles Times 10:03
CrosSynergy 11:27
Universal 12:31
TEMPO 17:03

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:58 PM | Comments (83) | TrackBack

February 25, 2008

Monday

New York Times 5:22
Los Angeles Times 6:52
CrosSynergy 15:33
Universal 7:38
New York Sun 7:16
Fred Piscop 7:29

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:44 PM | Comments (680) | TrackBack

February 24, 2008

Sunday

New York Times 47:52
Los Angeles Times 30:15
CrosSynergy 10:54
Boston Globe 16:13
Washington Post 32:04
Merl Reagle 18:22

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:41 PM | Comments (146) | TrackBack

February 22, 2008

Friday crosswords

New York Times 28:11
New York Sun 50:12
Wall Street Journal 50:45
Village Voice 12:18
Chronical of Higher Education 7:49
I Swear 11:28

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:39 PM | Comments (887) | TrackBack
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