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Allan E. Parrish author page

39 puzzles by Allan E. Parrish
with Jeff Chen comments

TotalDebutLatest
397/1/20025/19/2015
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
014147211
CircleScrabble
31.65
Allan E. Parrish
Tue 5/19/2015
SLOBSBRIEFAZT
AEIOURIATAGEO
FALLENANGELGRR
EVESENDOAPRON
REDHEADSLOE
OBLIQUEANGLE
ADLIBUGGYAYA
MOESOMEHOWTNT
ASTINILAMENS
JESSICALANGE
DACENESTEGG
KHAKIACNEHALO
NANCONRADNAGEL
OTCLOYALONEAL
WEEEXAMSGERMY

Anagrams today, ANGEL to ANGLE to LANGE to NAGEL. I didn't know that last one, but some research shows that he's gridworthy, what with his giant filmography as well as his hosting of two Academy Award ceremonies. I might have preferred to have him as a piece of fill rather than a themer, but I couldn't think of another ANGEL anagram to take his place.

Billy Crystal ain't got nothing on Conrad Nagel

Two nice pieces of long fill today, AGGREGATE and LETS DANCE. See how both of these run through only one themer? And how they (more or less) sit in their own corner? This grid design gives high flexibility to make those long entry sing. With very few constraints, there should be many possibilities that are both colorful and allow the surrounding area to be filled cleanly.

LETS DANCE works great for me. My pop music knowledge is abysmal, but I know David Bowie. And I even (sorta kinda) could hum the tune before looking it up! Catchy bugger; I'd count that as an asset to the puzzle.

AGGREGATE isn't as strong to me. Yes, it's a fine word, but I'd count it as a neutral entry rather than chalking one up in the assets column. Not only is a common, not-super-colorful word, but the clue is definitional. Perhaps if it had a clever wordplay element, I would think of it differently. But why not choose something as strong as LETS DANCE in the first place?

I did appreciate the effort to work in good mid-length entries: BOLSHOI, REDHEAD and NEST EGG. Even ICICLE added to my experience, with its nice [Emotionally distant person, metaphorically] clue. Anything that points out the beauty and zest woven into the English language is a positive in my book.

For a puzzle with average theme density (four medium length entries), I expect a nearly clean grid. Not enough constraints to justify more than three or four bits like ENDO, ETE, and the partialish FA LA LA. I'd have loved to see OOX worked out of the grid, maybe changing ANNALS to the spicy ANDALE!

Tue 3/10/2015
KEAJABSCOBALT
ILLEPICACACIA
SPEEDIERREBELS
MARTINLANDAU
ESTAMAINSTAY
TOSTADATOSHIBA
GINSUKNEW
PAPERCARRIAGE
MAMAIPADS
GRASSLELAPDOGS
MISSPENTCROC
BATTINGCOACH
RESORTPARENTAL
EXPOSEIZODERE
SOAKERNIKESTP

Generally I like a revealer; an entry that ties the puzzle nicely together. But for themes like today's, I really appreciate having to go back after finishing to figure out what was going on. Nice little moment when I pulled out the LANDAU from memory as a type of transport. CARRIAGE and COACH are also nicely disguised.

Martin Landau can really CARRY a picture (ba dum boom!)

Going down to 72 words allows Allan to give us many long pieces of fill. So much potential when you have six 8-letter slots — and six 7-letter ones to boot! Some of them hit the bulls-eye for me, BABUSHKA, TOSHIBA, LAPDOGS all bringing me a smile.

I did like the challenge presented by a more wide-open grid, although entries like the outdated-sounding PASSBOOK (note: Jim points out that Apple announced today that their new watch supports its Passbook feature, so maybe this term is making a comeback?), and the neutral SPEEDIER and PARENTAL felt a bit like missed opportunity. Often I'll start my own grids with six 8-letter slots but eventually break up a set so that I can get four stellar ones instead of two stars plus four placeholders. It's a tough call, because some people may really love PASSBOOK or even GRASSLE, for example. Trying to guess what a majority of solvers is going to enjoy is a tough business, indeed.

Nice integration of the J and K up in the NW corner. I like the Scrabbliness there, and if the minor price is a KEA and A PIN, I think that's a reasonable trade-off.

The Z down south though … NAZI? Yes, it's clueable to a modern movie, but my guess is that many solvers really don't want to see NAZI as they're enjoying their crossword over a coffee break.

Finally, GROK may be out of many people's wheelhouse, but I think it's a really useful word. If you haven't read Stranger in a Strange Land (where the term "grok" originated), it's well worth it.

Mon 9/1/2014
GIZAJAPESEGAD
ACEDIWONTMALI
PERLEMESTAMSGS
COALSHIPMATES
SUSIEQTHEARE
ABUMUSTYRUNIC
MEMOAKAPICKAT
DELIMEATS
NAPALMERRBASE
ETHYLSSGTSPEW
TRAIANYUPPIE
LOSESTEAMILES
OPELLEGALTEAMS
SHIMAZUREASIA
SYNSSEATSDECO

Anagramming theme today, the letters in TAMES rearranged at the end of five themers. This one took me much longer than an average Monday, as I got held up at PERLE MESTA, needing every cross to figure out this baffling entry. I enjoyed looking her up though — someone nicknamed "the hostess with the mostest" is bound to be interesting.

I liked how Allan worked in his Scrabbly letters today. Too often a J or a Q feels shoehorned in, with compromises galore. But not only is SUSIE Q a really fun entry with an unusual Q ending, it's worked in so smoothly with QUALM. Well done. Same goes for the J up at JAPES / JIM. Those relatively unconstrained areas make for great opportunities to integrate one of these rare letters.

The puzzle has an older feel to it, what with PERLE MESTA, ADLAI, EGAD, DECO clued to the '30 style, ODAY with an "Old..." clue, ZOOT suit. I understand Will's desire to cater to different subsets of his broad audience, and this one will no doubt play better to the older market segments than the younger ones. I personally would like to see less concentration; a wider variety of old and new entries in a single puzzle. Personal preference.

I liked the fact that Allan kept his glue bits to a minimum. It would have been nice if they didn't come from the same category, though — MSGS, SSGTS, SYNS all feel a little too similar, so they stuck out in my mind.

Finally, nice extra effort put in with the revealer, TAMES, helping to explain the theme to novice solvers. It's awfully difficult to find a nice phrase ending in TAMES (LION TAMES feels awkward) so it's a good way to put that final anagram permutation to work.

Mon 5/13/2013
ROBEFERNMICAH
APEXALIACRANE
HIGHROTTENEGGS
MESAARIZONAERS
UMATIEDYE
AMESBROTHERS
MULTIBOORPERP
PCBTRENTONZOO
SHAMOSTEASIAN
SAMEOLDSTORY
TOPGUNEAU
ARESEAMWELDING
BEAUTYSHOPIRON
LOCKETOMEOONA
ASHENISBNSCOW
Mon 4/22/2013
MCCERICELDEST
AAAMETHLIABLE
RRRBASEBALLBAT
LEASECOTETCH
OFFTRACKBETIKE
WOEISMEASIDER
ERSTESPKEENS
CENTERBIT
AMAHLAVECOPE
LANHUEEASESIN
IRAINTERNETBOT
BILETOGSCONE
ANYTHINGBUTREB
BESTEDOOZENEB
ARTERYSPITERE
Tue 1/8/2013
BANETACHREHAB
OWENECHOAMARE
WARDCLEOTONGA
LIDOSHUFFLEGER
STYRONEDMOND
SHOULDERCUT
VIREOSAARQTIP
INODIRTYANO
ASTAINGETATAR
PACKAGEDEAL
SETSINILLBET
ICIDECKOFCARDS
STORMHALFGAGA
TONKAURGEEVER
ARSONGOALSODS
Tue 11/20/2012
CAPRIBLOCBOWE
BRIANAEROAPEX
GELIDRAMPKEPT
BALLOONPAYMENT
AOLNCOS
DISTRACTARARAT
OSUFLOATPLANE
BANALORBHELIX
BANDOFGOLDPST
SKIDOOSEARCHES
ERNSWOO
PARADEMAGAZINE
CURLUNIXDECAF
OPIEESMEINEPT
QUAYSEEDESTES
Wed 7/11/2012
FACEHUFFJANDJ
ICONOMARAMARE
SCHOOLPRINCIPAL
CROSBYMEEKAXL
AUSEONZAPS
LETSKELETONKEY
GEENAOTIOSE
TRIOARKPAPP
VENICEACRES
SPANISHMAINIBM
GAPERBINRA
WOOGYPSEARNED
KANSASCITYCHIEF
RHETTACHEENZO
PULSETKOSAGER
Fri 5/18/2012
ATMSMMMBOPSPY
TRIPOMERTATIO
MISEWIRIERREN
OFFENSIVEREMARK
SLICEFINANCE
TETHEREDTIGER
DONUTSZEDS
COSMOKRAMER
MCANPLEASE
ROLEXSPECTATE
STOPGAPCOLIN
PERMANENTMARKER
ARIMETEORSARA
UIEENCOREOLEG
LESSTONEDSIDE
Tue 1/3/2012
RICHGTOSSCAMP
AMYSIRAEELDER
TENTSTAKELAILA
AMIUMWBARDOT
TICROLLERSKATE
ANISEORESSTD
TESHCAROTID
MINUTESTEAK
PETITESHEAR
IMSGILTILENE
DOUBLETAKESPIP
TORRESORAPSA
ANTICJOHNKEATS
GIANTOWLSSCOT
SEXESBESTPENS
Sat 11/19/2011
MCGWIREMCCAREY
CHEAPENCLIMATE
CARSONSMADAMES
ONITETHANNISI
UTTEREONCANIT
REOICECUBETAI
TYLENOLSERMONS
MGRCEE
MCQUEENMCBRIDE
CLURAILCARSEN
LOONSGYMAWAIT
ASNOSHEAFHIFI
RESTARTHASIDIC
ETERNALOVERSEE
NOTEASYNETLOSS
Wed 11/24/2010
INCHEDBOWLGTO
TAHINIUVEAIRK
ENACTSCOLUMBIA
MCLICUSCRABBY
SILICONCHEZ
ELEVATELEEZA
SINISEICESNOL
WAGERUBENTTOP
AGEPYREDARETO
BORGEGREENER
IDLECATSPAW
BANZAIMOVERUE
ATLANTISONSIDE
NORTHORUNUSED
EMBSOUPRAVENS
Wed 11/25/2009
JCREWCATTDISH
AZUREAMAHUNTO
RADIALTIREADAM
SRISUNHOTLINE
SEMITEREADY
AMAHLPREFIX
LAROSAELEPHANT
GNAWCRESSALOE
ASBESTOSSOUTER
RASTASPSALM
HAYDNAPPLET
EVERESTLONBRA
NANAPIRATEFLAG
CITICOOSRHONE
ELANANKHSACKS
Mon 7/27/2009
MIREDHAFTSCRO
ACELAAWAITHIC
PUBLISHORPERISH
EQUALPRANKS
FUNRUNSCENT
ONOIDIARSENIC
RTERAMPSDONO
MAXFIELDPARRISH
EMIROSAGESOO
RETIRESRENELS
TENTHGETSET
GLAZERUSAGE
LOUISIANAPARISH
INNECLATDREAR
BETSHINEEARLS
Tue 3/31/2009
HTTPSOLESCUFF
EIREAVOWTORRE
RAINRAREARNAZ
BROCCOLIRABE
SASHAYSPLATES
ALAODIEALP
RUNNINGBEARTIE
ATITEOERUHR
KIXBAREMINIMUM
ECOOHMSMEG
SANDRAOPIATES
REBAMCENTIRE
LIVEDMOETOBIE
AMIGOFRAUNECK
SPASMMENSIRAS
Thu 11/13/2008
LEICAHONGSCUD
EXCELEMIRCINE
SPERMROTOANDA
TICTACTOEWINNER
ERANEZTATARS
REPEALJOHNMDI
MCLEANMOOR
POISONWARNING
CANTDENIAL
OMEPRODGISELE
SPLISHBELMAX
THIRTYINOLDROME
ULNATRAXOATER
MEETHAZEWREST
ETREMEIRNESTS
Tue 10/28/2008
SHELFAFTERTET
HENIETORSOELO
OLIVERTWISTAIM
VIAHELMETRMS
EXCISESEOSIN
SHETLANDPONY
ENTREUMASPAD
LEODANCINGETE
ETTUVIIASNER
CLEANANDJERK
TOMEIEXPARTE
ISPMINETAAWL
VSOBRASSMONKEY
EELLOTTEFREES
SSEECLATTASTE
Tue 9/30/2008
AMAHLFUELPACT
MEDEAANTIOMAR
IRVINLITEWARY
GEIGERCOUNTER
ASCHIONAREAS
STETSONEMUTHO
EARIRATTOP
JOHNWILKESBOOTH
PAYSTOEOIL
ETDCAWUNDERGO
GHENTANIREAD
PERIODICTABLE
CZARMMESENOLS
HERDPILEACRES
INKSSTAXKENYA
Wed 8/20/2008
ADHOCADEPTMTV
BRIARNACREAGO
LIFTINGTOOLLIL
EPIMESABEREFT
WESTFACED
TOPHATMATADORS
OSLOSHOVESNEY
THUMBANOTOKEN
EEGUSHERSDEVO
MAINSTAYOBEYED
NUDESFRED
MOSTELBOERJOE
AXEPLAYINGCARD
MEROASESEMCEE
ANTTRUSTNIKON
Thu 7/31/2008
WORSHIPTAMALES
BROCADEEMINENT
CROONERCANTATA
TOOMUCHHEAVEN
MUFTIOILINT
OTOFIFEMOTTO
WEREWOLFAUSTEN
RAREEARTH
STMARKEPITAPHS
ARISESPEDHAI
CANMAOSCAMP
HIGHWAYTOHELL
ENLARGERADIATE
TEENIERCHANNEL
SEDATESANNEXES
Wed 12/5/2007
ROAMELINORCUB
EURODERIVEOLE
HINDQUARTERRNA
AJAUARTRUDEAU
BAZAARJITNEY
VIDEOISTHMI
CRUELTHOMSAID
HONSCANNEDRKO
ABCDALDAHATES
SOLEMNONTAP
ELOISEARENAS
LABTESTAIMORE
APUSTAGFLATION
MICHERETOESSO
PAKARREARDEER
Mon 10/1/2007
BETEFFUSEMAYS
UZIFORALLALOE
NRCFLORIDAKEYS
TAKEAIMMEDICOS
ENCAMPSON
TARGETINTLJAS
ASTAEDGEPLUNK
STAGEOPTHINDI
TOPERDESIOKIE
EREODONMINDED
ADOSIMMER
SINCERESEALANT
THIRDSTRINGWAR
LOCIATEASEEMI
OPEDLASHESREX
Mon 8/6/2007
EXCELSELMABBC
LEOXIAROARAOL
FREEZEFRAMENAE
CAREMANDATE
TOFUASHBAINES
UNITASASEVALE
BARESOTTAWAS
ENSTOSPAREPJS
TRANSITNOLIE
POSENONSTRIVE
OCTAVOSSWITEM
PARROTSCATO
PSITINPANALLEY
EEKECARDLEAVE
DYEREPOSCSPAN
Tue 7/31/2007
GABSCAVSRAHAL
ALLAALECORONO
REAMVEERMILNE
TRIPLESPACEYAW
HORRORMIRACLE
AGNEWROAR
PEPSILAICHOCK
ALACOOLCATSHE
WITHPIKEHOSEA
TAUTSTART
OLYMPICPOTPIE
SOCSCHOOLBOARD
COATIARGOMBAS
ASKEDMARMALTE
REECEPLEBNOEL
Mon 5/21/2007
ALANTADAESTES
SANEOLESQUAKE
HUGOBLACKUMBER
ERRIDSTEAMUSA
NAYSAYMONTE
PLAZADERIVE
ASSAYERLESMEW
MOWNLAKERTUNA
ALAIALEGROSIN
JETSKITOPIC
HANKSEDKOCH
SETFREESAGCHA
EXILEMINCEMEAT
MELEEPOOHCALE
ISLAMTCBYINKS
Mon 4/30/2007
APESPARCHSKIS
MOMAALCOAKINK
RUBBERBANDANTI
ARRIVESISNED
DIANESOUTHBEND
INCRAHALERASE
OGEEYUKFEARED
SPELLBIND
PASTASALFYMCA
ALIENSWEEPCOG
JAMESBONDLUCRE
AMPYAWMARLON
MESAGERMANBUND
ADOSETHANAREA
SANKLOOPYNETS
Tue 2/27/2007
SHALTENDUPABS
GORENSEATOFOP
TYRONEPOWERFRO
STOPRINGSWAIN
GABLEACHING
CHARLESINCHARGE
HANDYSICEM
ESTSQUATCHO
SPITZAPRIL
GRAPEFRUITJUICE
HUBERTMEANT
EPICSABETSELA
TEDITSELECTRIC
TRESATEDDEION
OTSTIARACRANE
Tue 9/19/2006
RUBIKSNUBJPEG
OTERIKATOURGE
WIESTARALBARR
SLRKITCHENITEM
BLAMESRELETS
SIESTAMORE
COLTGAPEDEPTH
AWLBELONGSOUI
MAYBEETUIEKES
RIASNLWEST
LEGENDEASIER
ILLEGALDRUGTOM
BROZGISTHEAVE
ROBEEREITYKES
AYESSALESEERS
Mon 1/9/2006
SHIPSKIMPEEPS
PANEHEMIEXTRA
ASTRONAUTOATES
RAHMONSTERMASH
STEREOSLIP
WALKTOBALSAM
JAIMEESTOETRE
URNTVSHOWSACE
NIGHISEEAUGHT
EASIERASPIRE
BIGDEDICTS
POTATOCHIPSOOH
ILICHCORPORATE
NICHEAHMEICED
TOSIRBOAROHMS
Mon 12/26/2005
BARAETNADEGAS
ATOSQUATENOLA
SOBPULPFICTION
SPECIALDARNED
RUNTTELLY
MATTOZONEFEST
ALPTRAPSSEATO
TEETHPSIRESIN
EVERYAEGISTNT
SELASTENSLOGO
STEADOMAR
ARCHIESTEWARD
JUICENEWTONNOR
ALTARSHOPSGTO
REINSTYPEAESP
Mon 12/12/2005
STUTZIMAMPAVE
POLESGINOUSER
ONCEAMONTHRHEA
IKEZEROALPERT
LAROSATRIAL
RAGAORDEALS
IRMAEGGOSHREK
MOANRHYMEEBAY
AMIGOAMEXASKS
CAMERASROAR
JESTSDITTOS
THRUSTPLUMABO
MAUIHIYOSILVER
ALECMOOGNOISE
NOSEANNEGASES
Wed 4/13/2005
LEAPSJIMIKART
ASCAPIDESIGOR
BARRIEHEROTRAY
SUEGRAMPACERS
LOADPOSHEST
SABOTSSADIE
OMOOESPYGNOME
BACKSPANNIVEN
SHAFTRYESTAUT
OOZESPHELPS
CHARLIESEAM
LARGERSEARTIS
INTOCAMERASHOT
FOILOVUMSERTA
TIEDNATESQUAB
Tue 6/22/2004
UKESEMMECOMFY
SEXYNEALADORE
EMIRZAGSDELIA
ROTARYDIALSTET
CUMEASSESS
INJUNEBEMOAN
SEASSKEWERLIP
NAMESAGETRADE
TREARTUROAVOW
SALOONAPPALS
CRIMEASKIS
RAVEMUSCLETONE
OZONENORAARCA
FORDSISONREAR
TRYSTTODDSOAP
Wed 5/12/2004
SCTVESSODUCTS
HORALOCKAGREE
AVONAGARWHINE
WEDDINGBANDMOP
ATTYALDERS
AMBLERSEBERG
CEOMADAMSARMS
TEXTSELMSWOOP
STIRLATESTURI
NICELYWEAPON
LAGOONHAMM
ITSCOLLARSTAIN
FRISKPARTRUDE
TITHEGOSHADOS
SPEEDASHYKILT
Tue 4/20/2004
BURPVOCEBEBOP
AVERIBETALONE
RENOBEAURINSO
BATTERYSIZEDEN
ERASEALERTS
COMMONPHYLA
OHOSTJOHNSTOW
BITTEAAASEINE
BOORAMTRAKNEV
RIFTSTANGLE
DAGGERSPATE
ERRMINORLEAGUE
BIOTAANNORANK
USUALRIDSBLUE
TEPEECALSYAMS
Mon 3/8/2004
USDAPLOPASCAP
LEERCAVSSCALE
TOMBOSLEYPOKES
RUMORARCHITECT
ALERTHART
HALFWEBCAM
RONHOWARDRAMBO
ASEAENEROIDBE
FLAPSERINMORAN
TOPPLEEPEE
YOURCANAL
DEADWRONGCRANE
ADLAIMILWAUKEE
BABYSPLEABEND
SMASHSEEDADDS
Mon 1/5/2004
SPAMACMESCHMO
TOGABAILAREAR
ALECORMELAMPS
PENELOPECRUZ
LADIKETOTEBAG
EXACTTWICEALA
AHAOOOCLAM
SHAKEDOWNCRUISE
KOBEAREOER
APEEGADSLEARY
TITANICIIILEA
GROUNDSCREWS
MARGOLONEAXIS
AVAILAVERMERE
JEWELRAYEPIER
Tue 11/25/2003
UPPERLAPSBIDE
SALVOOMITODOR
USEABEEPEROOZE
AHABABAANKLES
LASSESSTIES
IRESUNHEARD
CMONULANIGLOO
ZINGPAGESMEMO
ASKERTORTEXAM
REPRISESOWN
PIERSPATAKI
PHRASEAVIVMUD
ROOTSENATEAIDE
ABETAPESAUTOS
YOGIWARTTRYST
Mon 7/1/2002
ELFPOSTSPEONS
LIEONTOPALPHA
INNSCALESMELL
JACKIEGLEASON
AGENTCUEDOG
HEROPATHSDAME
WEIGHFETAL
THEHONEYMOONERS
SOLONMACRO
ANEWERECTTANG
REVIREMETOO
AUDREYMEADOWS
METRESWIRLNIP
OMEGAECLATESE
BUSESSALSADEL