2014 Hardest/Harder -- Solution
2014 Easier/Easiest -- Solution
Apologies for the delayed post...just returned from a short vacation in Colorado Springs. It was a great reprieve from the hellish winter we've had in Minnesota (70 degrees above zero on Sunday!), plus it was a treat to see my alma mater, the St. Cloud State Huskies, win the inaugural NCHC regular season conference championship with a road sweep of the hometown Colorado College Tigers. I don't think I did one crossword while I was there; -- I did do plenty of old Patrick Berry Rows Gardens on the flight there and back -- though sometimes it's nice to get a break from puzzling, too. So yes, I loved Colorado and I just may move there some day. Just no pot jokes, please.
I really liked this puzzle, and especially the clues that I was able to muster. My test-solver, Doug Peterson, said that the clue for H2 was a "Hall-of-Famer," and a couple other solvers remarked that they especially liked the clue for I2. I do like when I'm able to turn ordinary entries (such as H2) into something special through cluing. Row A was the seed here, though, and I think this puzzle was overall one of the better offerings so far this year.
Next puzzle drops next Tuesday!