Monday, January 27, 2014

Puzzle #2 Solution

2014.2 Harder -- Solution

2014.2 Easier -- Solution

Hope you liked last week's offering. Not surprisingly, B1 was the seed entry. And there was a bit of a rock-and-roll mini-theme to boot. I just saw Inside Llewyn Davis last week and enjoyed it, as I do most of the Coens' oeuvre. Fellow Minnesotans represent!

Important topic: I'm thinking of offering each week's puzzle with two additional degrees of difficulty. Currently the difference between the "Easier" and "Harder" versions is merely the ordering of the blooms clues. I'm considering offering the puzzle in four levels of difficulty. Level 1 (Easiest) would list enumerations with the clues, instead of mere (2 words) and such notations. For example, if WHITE HOUSE were the entry, it would be enumerated [5, 5], as each word in the entry is five letters long. BEN-HUR, for example, would be enumerated [3-3].

Levels 2 and 3 would be the same format as the current Easier and Harder formats, respectively.

Level 4 would do away with all post-clue notations. No (2 words) or (Hyph.) or (Abbr.) notations to help you along.

So to recap: Level 1 (enumerations, ordered blooms), Level 2 (notations, ordered blooms); Level 3 (notations, alphabetically-listed blooms); Level 4 (no notations, alphabetically-listed blooms).

Please let me know if this would be a welcome change. Of course, you'd always have the choice of which level to choose, but I do have a worry that too many options may lead to solver confusion.

Finally, I would be remiss not to plug Patrick Blindauer's upcoming puzzle suite, a college-themed puzzlefest. Such puzzle suites offer various crosswords that can each connect in some thematic way to come up with an overall meta answer. I offered such a project last year. I've done each of Patrick's first four inter-related meta projects and they are supremely top-notch, so you won't be disappointed.  Get it here.

Next puzzle drops next Tuesday. I bumped the next puzzle up from the rotation because I think it's that strong. As always, any feedback is welcomed!


  1. The current hard difficulty is just right for me, but might be interested in occasionally trying the new super-hard (Level 4) difficulty. This got me thinking about possible intermediate difficulty levels, though (between levels 2 and 3, or the current easier and harder). What if the bloom clues were ordered alphabetically by answer? It wouldn't help with bloom location in the grid, but it would help narrow things down in situations where there are several possible answers to a bloom clue and might help with an initial letter if you have no idea on the clue.

  2. I always welcome a greater challenge, within reason.

  3. The current Easier version is perfect for me, so if you changed things up it wouldn't make any difference to me.

  4. Puzzle #2 was very enjoyable. Thank you.

  5. Hey, great job on #3. I enjoy all your RG puzzles, and the new one sparkles. Love the timeliness and topicality of both answers on Row B, and got a kick out of the clue for A. Lively stuff!