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Adam G. Perl author page

30 puzzles by Adam G. Perl
with constructor comments

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3012/28/19984/25/2018
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Adam G. Perl
Puzzles constructed by Adam G. Perl by year
Wed 4/25/2018
ERGOMRIPARAS
TOREOPENSILICA
NBADRAFTFRIGHT
ATTEAUSPONGES
UNSSMIDGE
GISTEATIDAHO
SETFEEDADNOG
KNOWSEVERYANGLE
ORUREMELOISE
RESINGABIGET
CABANAEOS
BASETENNUNLEX
ACTSASCASEFILE
BUYINSINSEASON
SPENTOARATNO

I woke up one morning one day after a night of heavy partying and just didn't feel RIGHT. I was groggy and feeling OBTUSE with an ACUTE pain in my head. My REFLEX response was to examine every ANGLE and do a 180 to get myself out of this mood. So I decided to create a crossword puzzle — which finally put me STRAIGHT!

Tue 8/29/2017
RICEEFILECROP
OMAREAMESHIHO
THIRTYQUESTIONS
CONROSSONTOE
OURCROUP
FIFTEENFOOTPOLE
ANAISOLMOSLAB
ILLSOBOESNINO
NASAWORDNECCO
TWELVEDAYSAWEEK
HORSYTNT
ECOLILOANHAI
TOOCLEVERBYHALF
ALDAMETALBUFF
LASTSTOLEOLAY

The inspiration for this puzzle came from the phrase TOO CLEVER BY HALF, which I discovered to my delight contained 15 letters and would make a good basis for a fun, early part of the week puzzle. Then the search was on for three well-known numerical phrases that I could add 50% to and "Voila!" — a puzzle is born.

I like having a gimmick in a Tuesday puzzle with no hint in the clues as to what it may be or even that there is one! The fill contains a few nods to the modern era, namely IMHO and LOLCAT, EFILE and EBOOK and, new to the NY Times, RIOT POLICE.

I am very pleased to have had two crosswords in the Times in the same month!

POW Wed 8/9/2017
ANTESIDOLGLAD
MOOLAPONEEASE
CHESSMATCHEMIL
ISRHEAREMU
EDGEICEREDBOX
LEOABECARVE
FETAAMESIOWA
DOUBLESTENNIS
TRIBUTESSNOB
BEHANPYEEDU
OMELETOMGPDAS
PEDTABUEEL
EROSSOCKDRAWER
EGGOESAIINANE
PESTSENDCARDS

It is rare nowadays to see a crossword puzzle in the NY Times with only three themes, and not very long ones at that. In fact, only 33 squares in this puzzle are devoted to thematic material. Still, I like this puzzle for its simplicity — three poker hands reversed. (ANTES and CARDS in the upper and lower corners are Poker related, but not really thematic.)

In the original version I submitted, the two long down entries were also poker terms, namely CHECK RAISES and SMOOTH CALLS, both of which were clued as "devious bets." Will didn't like them because he had never heard of SMOOTH CALLS (he's obviously not watching enough poker tournaments) and strictly speaking they weren't thematic since they lacked the twists of the three Across entries. So, at his request, I repealed and replaced them with LAMEBRAINED and GO TO THE DOGS (not meant to be a comment on either this constructor or the puzzle).

I also like the two crosses in the grid — hinting at a double-cross theme. I'm not crazy about the grid-spanning 7-Down DO THE BEST YOU CAN because it is not thematic and is the longest word in the puzzle, but I needed it to keep the word count down to the maximum of 78.

This was one of the times when I wish the daily puzzles had titles. This one I called "Bad Beat." (In poker, a bad beat is a term for a hand in which a player with what appear to be strong cards nevertheless loses.)

Thu 7/28/2016
CHIEFPEATPIES
YANNIIDLEOSLO
CLEFTSAARLALO
LORIPAMSTAYAT
ESTEFANDEAR
LETSGOKIOWA
BENDERENMESHES
EVELOSTARTHTS
AEROFLOTTHEIST
KNORRBYROAD
VETSEATWELL
COPIERLSDAVIA
ORALATITTRIPS
MEWLMAMEADAPT
PONEPRODMINIS

Like most crossword constructors, I am always looking for a way to break a word in two or add or subtract one or more letters from a word or phrase to get something new. I started with the idea of "LOST ART" and had a great time searching for words that could be altered by the removal of the letters ART.

It's particularly satisfying — and hopefully fun for the solver — when the altered words bear so little resemblance to the originals, e.g. CAR THIEF becomes CHIEF, MARTINIS becomes MINIS, THE ARTIST becomes THEIST. Squeezing in eight symmetrical themers plus a reveal without compromising the fill was a challenge. I was happy to get in "TAKE THAT" and "FEEL FREE."

Ideally, the revealing phrase would come at the end of the puzzle, i.e. the Southeast corner, but with a seven-letter reveal, it fit better in the center.

Wed 1/27/2016
SMITEFEDITEMS
MANIATREAWARD
OTTERLIEMITES
OCHSSEEPAST
THETIMESRATIO
MOMAIMMENSE
APOASHESRDAS
LAMTHEYAREIGO
IDESREOILGES
TUNASUBCIAO
ATNOSACHANGIN
CIAGATETILT
EMITSONETHREE
LARUEADAMELDS
ITSMETEMIMSET

The inspiration for this puzzle was Bob Dylan's classic song of 1964, "The Times They Are A-Changin'," and the realization that the title could be split into three seven-letter sections. I knew that there were four common anagrams for TIMES (SMITE, EMITS, MITES and ITEMS), but I set out to find all the possible permutations and discovered the additional pair of two-word phrases, IT'S ME and I'M SET.

So, despite no long themed entries, the puzzle has a total of nine theme-related answers. This makes getting interesting non-thematic words in the grid a larger-than-usual challenge. I was very pleased to have been able to include IN THE MOMENT and INDIGO GIRLS (who appeared as NY Times crossword fans in the wonderful documentary "Wordplay") as the two long down words as well as the secondary entries of SEE PAST, TUNA SUB, CIA GATE, I AM SAM, SO I SEE, and A AND E.

There are a few crosswordese bits in the fill, but on balance, I feel the theme density and the many interesting side entries more than compensate for them.

Wed 12/24/2014
MOSTVANESIQS
APAIRCRANENEE
CRYMEARIVERCIA
RATEDRPARASAIL
OHOHRSLOPE
FOOTSSEARED
GOBETWEENSCOPE
MOORSITONOVER
ALARMGOBITWEEN
TATARSNIKES
RIPESINLAG
PARISALETUPELO
RPICRIMEARIVER
ESTATOMSELEVE
PEZNATALLEES

The inspiration for this puzzle came from the word "mustache" when I discovered it was a perfect homophone for "must dash." I needed two more pairs that were homophones and of the same number of letters. I came up with Cry Me a River/Crimea River and go-between/Gobi tween. Will Shortz liked the concept, but since the latter two pairs included a place name, he asked me to try to come up with a similar third pair. So the "Mustache" reluctantly had to go and Parasail/Paris ale emerged as the final pairing. With six themed entries include two pairs which overlap, it was a challenge to keep up the quality of the fill (non-thematic words).

This is my 25th puzzle in the NY Times and it is still a huge thrill to see it in print.

Tue 10/14/2014
SCABCHESTGIVE
LARALEVERAWAY
OPENOHAREBONE
TRADESECRETS
HASSLEATABAA
TOUGHOCHERS
LAVAPLOTPOINTS
AMANAIRESTJOE
HANDLEBARSTIOS
TINSELSMUSH
INARESBRENDA
COVERSTORIES
ALVAADOPEOTIS
DOWNTELEXORCA
EASTERECTFEED

The inspiration for this crossword came from another puzzle I was working on that had the word "mustache" in it. That led to the word "handlebar" and then to the plural "handlebars" and I thought, "Aha!" (a favorite word with crossword constructors) — broken into two words, it becomes HANDLE BARS and I thought that would be an apt description for what a bouncer does. This led to the other three themed entries: TRADE SECRETS, PLOT POINTS, and COVER STORIES. The key was that the first part of the phrase had to be used as a noun in ordinary usage and a verb in the puzzle. I particularly like the double entries at 10 and 64 Across, even though they are not part of the puzzle's theme, and the clue for 54 down.

This article in Cornell's alumni magazine has a little more information about me.

Thu 5/22/2014
QUIDHITMEAHAB
ESSOONEALCAGE
ISAWNANNYEDIT
IRONSLAGSHONE
PILLMORNING
PALATEAIG
ANOTHERONETHING
RTEUTETAU
CIBEFOREEEXCEPT
DABATONES
READINGBURN
HORSEOREAGONY
AXONNOIREAREA
WIDEINFERMAIL
NEERBETTEELLE

The initial inspiration for this puzzle came from "See Me After Class," which I transformed into CLASSSEEME, but the 10 letter mate to this themed entry proved much more difficult. Initially I had NOONDOGDAY (Dog Day Afternoon), but Will rejected it on the grounds that AFTER was a part of the larger word, Afternoon, while in all the other themes, AFTER was implied as a single word. I spent weeks and weeks trying to come up with a good 10-letter substitute, all of which fell short(z).

In all of the earlier versions of the puzzle, I had the word AFTER at the bottom as a revealer, but Will thought it was unnecessary. I had one version with ten themes, one that was a pangram, but Will kept encouraging me to keep it simple.

I finally had to reluctantly abandon the two 10-letter entries and went to a pair of 15-letter themes instead. I had ANOTHERONETHING (One Thing After Another) but couldn't find a suitable mate until I came up with CIBEFOREEEXCEPT (I Before E Except After C). By this time I had made 18 different versions of the puzzle! I am particularly pleased that Will kept my clue for this last entry, "Rule contradicted by science?"

So when people ask me how long it takes me to make a crossword puzzle, I answer "Anywhere between 45 minutes and three months."

Mon 2/24/2014
DIDINSPRIGBMW
EZINEORONOYEA
JOKESAROUNDERS
ADETREATOBIT
VIEMEGABYTE
ARSENALAMIE
CHONGADELALIU
LOUISAMAYALCOTT
USNIMAGEGAVIN
DATESCALENE
BETHESDAMME
LARAOLIVADIM
ASAAMYLNITRITE
DECRELICEAVES
ELKELENADEEMS

Whenever I find a new 15 letter phrase, movie or book title, I eagerly add it to my data base. When it's an actual person, I feel as though I am welcoming them into the family. So when I discovered that my daughter's favorite author was indeed a member of this prestigious club, I set out to see how I could memorialize her in a crossword puzzle. It didn't take long to realized that the four March daughters in "Little Women" all had short names that might be used as the start of larger phrases. After an initial rejection (I had used Joblessness for Jo — an awkward word which had the wrong vowel sound), I did a second version which was eventually accepted.

Mon 12/2/2013
WOLFOHAREDAVE
ERIENINERENOS
BELLALINELEGS
LITTLELEAGUE
CCSDESOXYGEN
AREOLAFINES
REDHERRINGSBIG
ADAMUNOCODA
TONRIDINGMOWER
CONESREELED
STROBESEASSE
HOODORNAMENT
ATADTENONARAB
KARLIRATEPAPA
ELSEAFTEREYED

Making a Monday puzzle is harder than it seems. It must be interesting enough to pass the increasingly high standards of the NY Times, but simple enough that a beginning solver can still master it. As a lifelong resident of Ithaca, NY and a graduate of Cornell University, aka "Big Red," I also attended our local high school which is known as "Little Red" and so have long held a certain affection for the "Caped Crusader" of fable. The idea of using a book, song or movie title and breaking it up into pieces is one I have used often. I fact when I am going through a dry period, I can usually count on this technique to generate another puzzle and keep the creative juices flowing. The theme is not terribly original, but the four themed phrases seemed to flow pretty naturally. Throw in a big bad wolf and, well, you're practically out of the woods!

Bio: Adam Perl is a graduate of Cornell University with a BA in music. He has been the owner of Pastimes Antiques in Ithaca NY for 35 years and has constructed well over a thousand crossword puzzles. In addition to making puzzles for the NY Times and various other publications, he loves to make custom crossword puzzles for friends, family or for hire. Last year he created three different difficulty-levels of crosswords for the first ever Finger Lakes Crossword Puzzle Tournament which raised money for the Tompkins Learning Partners, which tutors children and adults in reading and math.

Tue 12/18/2012
AMANATSARAXES
LETONACNELEAH
FAIRGROUNDINTO
ATTILADOWNTIME
ESPYOUAES
ONTOTANOTT
ROOMMATEDMITRI
BLINIHENETAIL
SOLIDSDOUGHBOY
ARTYESESTA
AHSIONLUC
DATEBOOKAROUSE
LIARDOUBLEPLAY
IFSOINRESEEME
BAHSNETSTREES
Wed 11/28/2012
BAGELURSAOTIS
IRAQINOELAHME
XPLUSYISSIXTEEN
ALEATEEGAS
TRITESTENDORSE
SOMEYEATSNAYS
OUITOSSETD
XMINUSYISFOUR
POTETATAOL
DARTMETALSTDS
IDEAMENSAUTEED
OMSRARERNA
XISTENANDYISSIX
IREDEGOSTIETO
NEDSRESTESSEX
Mon 9/17/2012
METAPASSEMAMA
AAHSAREASRTES
TRESREELSPETS
ASPARTAMEMEARA
LIELEMMEATEM
SCALESURN
SOYSYNODSUGLI
THERESNOIINTEAM
SORETENACETWA
DIEAARONS
CHECKMATELAV
LORREMINCEMEAT
ANNOCALLAARTI
ROISONEALDION
ARESBASILATME
Tue 4/24/2012
GIRLRELICWITH
AREAETUDEINRE
LISBETHSALANDER
ESTSOOTGOOSE
GTOSARON
SHRIEKOPERATOR
TOERRGUNGATWO
AMIDASSETTOES
LENGUPTASEPIA
LOSALTOSNTESTS
RIOTSUES
STAIDATTAWAS
MIKAELBLOMKVIST
ODINBLAKEERIE
GENESTIEGTEAM
Mon 10/4/2010
SETUPSAPORETE
ADORENURSECOL
FIRSTLADIESONO
ETNAEPICFLIP
STATEPOLICE
ELDESTTARO
SLOOPHANGOVER
HEROMOOGSRAVE
OVERHANGSINEW
DICELETTER
POLICESTATE
ERIEIRMALOIS
TANLADIESFIRST
ATEABETSESTEE
LESCADETUPSET
Tue 9/21/2010
BILBOBMOCSAMA
ASIANEARTHNIP
BUTTERFLYSHRIMP
AZTSOOTEMIL
RULECRAWLSPACE
ERASEEATA
OMENSDECAYING
REVSTROKESDIE
IRANIANSIRENE
OSSARESIN
BACKISSUESATON
AGRINATOIPO
BREASTOFCHICKEN
YETAWAITLOIRE
SEEPARTSSETAT
Tue 5/27/2008
ADAMCROWDTOTE
SIDELEMONAVIS
SCENEOFANACCENT
TENUSERAORTA
BRERPERM
REPROSSALTAWAY
ARIAMERLEALI
CONTINENTALDIVE
EDUNEEDYEVIL
DEPOSITSDEFEND
BANSRELY
PREENNINETHE
RAPRESPONSETEAM
OREOARISEALII
PEENSEDERPERL
Tue 1/22/2008
SEEPOKLACHASE
HULANAILLOGIN
OBITERNEERODE
WIZLANECHANGES
SEAALAONE
BETKENTSTATE
CREPESLODEDAB
RATACHINODATA
ASHRHOSGERMAN
WHITELIESREA
UTEERANAP
DAILYPLANETDIE
ASCAPALASMEMO
STONEDOTEOVEN
HONEDSTETWEDS
Tue 1/1/2008
ABBADRIVELOAN
COENEATENOPIE
HEADINTHECLOUDS
ERNRISERASSET
TARONE
HEARTOFDARKNESS
ALBEELAITYNAT
REOSFOURHANTI
SNOTOWNEBRUIN
HANDSONTRAINING
OLDTKO
CARGOSUITEASK
HEALTHINSURANCE
ERIEADDONSTAG
WONGLEONEHERS
Sun 12/23/2007 YULE OUTSOURCING
ERRATAMISLAIDIQTEST
REEFERINTEGRALUELLA
SANTASHADANEASYSEASON
TRESSESTITHEULEES
ENTOBESEABE
SARTREANENTARMREST
ISEEASANITNODEET
LYINGINHISBIGRECLINER
LENUNDERALOUDATONE
STSIRESSPIREPERSE
RTESPITASPLOD
ALBEEPANICSEAREFT
BIOTAIOTASTACITPIE
IFYOUASKHIMFORAREASON
TELLMAESIRANTONO
REDCAPSCAJUNICEMAN
ANTARKINURI
RADONTORIIPORTHOS
EVERYTOYISMADEINCHINA
LEMMONEDIBLESELATES
ORIENTRESOLESDETERS
Mon 12/25/2006
ABLELATHECRAM
RAINACRESLANE
ABCDAYTIMEHOSTS
BEENMEXOSHEA
MIAMARE
FILMNOMINATION
LADLEDOLESLBO
ERLEGETITVOID
AGEDONEEZESTS
FORMERSTUDENTS
ALEEOLD
BEASTBANDSHA
ALPHABETQUARTET
ELEEALEUTEURO
REDSTINASADAM
Wed 10/25/2006
MOSHJAILSZETA
ASTOADDUPICON
THETOWELSINTHAT
TAPIRSETTOODS
TAIELI
HOTELWERESOBIGI
ATOMOLAVSOSAD
REYSNIVELSTVS
DROMEHEROPLEA
COULDJUSTBARELY
BAAEPA
SETTIMESANWAR
CLOSEMYSUITCASE
ABLEESTEREDEN
MALESTARESEAT
Wed 5/24/2006
ADAMCHILLASTI
SEGOHOSEASTAR
ALARENLAIOATS
PIRATEEARRINGS
LOSSSEE
ABSRETREATCAP
COHOSERSSODA
TWODOLLARSAPAIR
ALPSOERRACES
SSWMAESTROHUE
ISAYAMS
ONLYABUCKANEAR
ANDICANOEANTE
LEONARDORRIAL
GAWKNEONSEDDY
Mon 1/30/2006
SIRLIDOMOJOS
ODEOVENPATENT
NAHCABCALLOWAY
AHAANTEDATE
ROBOTSVIAATM
CRIBRANAROO
CREDORUNSIAGO
HUNANABCURBAN
ALTIOKIEPACES
SEENBENDPRO
ERRTEMLEMURS
CARESFORNET
GRABCONTROLTAR
TAKEINDESIRTE
OPARTSEEPYAP
Wed 10/26/2005
NAPAAPSESOFF
ICESBOONSAPIE
CHESTSOFDRAWERS
EELHORASFACET
TARAOL
LIGHTBULBJOKE
IDLESRURALFRO
SEEMSILEXBRAM
TEASEALSSIEGE
MATCHSTICKMEN
GATGRE
SCANTDRANOUSA
THREEPRESIDENTS
EATSSADATRIOT
MRSSTONEEXPO
Tue 4/15/2003
SNOWSNIPSACED
REDOHOMEONAME
SEEMREELSANIL
BUILTTOSCALE
ABARVSRAILED
SUNDAEAARON
HOTELLOBBYCUB
EYESJOEVOTE
SSSPAIDAVISIT
BASILDIABLO
SHEILARODYEN
HIDDENOPERAS
INGEDRAPELADY
NEARQATARARIA
SSRSSLEDSTEEM
Tue 1/14/2003
ERATBELIEAMEN
LASHARENTNONE
BITETINKERTOYS
ANIMATEDDETAT
AREHAN
TAILORMADENASA
ATOLLAFARACTI
SATLECARREEEL
SLAMSALELORNE
ELSASOLDIERBOY
LAORCA
AUDITEMITTING
SPYGLASSESOVAL
STENPASTERATE
NODSBLESSSNEE
Mon 12/25/2000
ADAMHATCHSLID
COLAOPERATONE
MODELTRAINGAUGE
ERAADOSOPTED
LIONFOIL
AWNINGBANNERS
CHEZMANETETA
HAWAIIANCROONER
ETECANDYTEEM
ALLEGESALTERS
AMOSOREO
YALTAMADEPRO
VIETNAMESERULER
ERIEBASINSANE
SEARCOASTENDS
Thu 6/10/1999
AMEBAIBOSMOG
PUPALIAGOTOME
ACERBICERATAN
THEIIJAKESLENO
NOMSOMALIA
SLAVONICNAG
CANIEGALEXACT
ANTISONICVIER
RESINSTIRIDLE
MIDSPECIALS
FIDELIOIMA
ORANXVICANDLES
CAROIASKARENA
ATTUETTUDAVID
LESTESPABIDE
Mon 12/28/1998
RAREBALKUSES
ORALOBIEANKLE
BEGINNINGOFTIME
SASINRERAINS
AIDDARE
BADGEEENDRAT
SEPIAOMEGAEWE
CENTRALAMERICAN
ABEADDISADORN
TEASVALTBONE
ILESTAI
SWEARGAGAVIA
STORYBOOKENDING
PURRSWRENANTE
ANNALENDMOOD
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