This web browser is not supported. Use Chrome, Edge, Safari, or Firefox for best results.

Thumbnails

Puzzles for October, 2018
with Jim Horne comments

View these same grids with comments from:
Constructor (29)Jeff Chen (31)Jim Horne (13)Hide comments
Mon 10/1/2018
LAPDAFLACSWAB
AREASMIAMIMICE
DRAMATISPERSONAE
EARHIGHCORGIS
SULTANOFBRUNEI
IRTROOSSNUB
SUNDAEYAWGRO
THEENDISNIGH
ANADOHNEATER
GORPSOBALXI
FIGHTINGILLINI
ASASETGENEXER
BATTLEOFTHESINAI
LMAOTRUERSOARS
YELLLENNYNYSE

Crosswords are an unusual puzzle type because your experience as a solver depends so much on your life experience. Bloggers and other crossword commentators have to be careful with their "this puzzle is running on the wrong day of the week" objections. It's a normal tendency to assume that "stuff I don't know isn't common knowledge" but that's a trap.

If you grow up loving Shakespeare, DRAMATIS PERSONAE is a gimme. If you love classical music, Claudio ARRAU drops right in. This puzzle is too easy for a Monday!

But, wait a second. 51-Across asks me about some random stupid American college team? How is anyone supposed to know that stuff? Put this disaster of a puzzle on Saturday where it belongs!

Seriously, though, FIGHTING ILLINI is the kind of answer I love. I didn't know the term, but it's inferable enough. Once you parse the theme and when enough crossing letters drop into place, it seems correct. It may well have been a gimme for you. That's how this game goes.

Tue 10/2/2018
DARNSISMSLASS
ORIONSTEPOWEN
BIGCOMPANYVEGA
BOOHOOGUIDEDOG
STRETCHNUS
HAIRGREASE
NAMBASTEEARED
SCALAFIGSTOLE
FARADUSERSDAN
WICKEDNINE
EGOTAGALOG
MAKEGOODDEFUSE
UBERFROZENONCE
SIRIUSNATOGAS
ETRESOAPSTERE

Editors work mostly in the background, so we rarely know for sure what their contributions are. They select which submitted puzzles get published (the vast majority don't), they choose the day to run the puzzle on, they vet every clue.

Whether puzzle brilliance comes mostly from constructors or from the editor himself, at least we know that the editor has approved of the various decisions, and the decision today of how to reveal the theme is brilliant. Maybe.

"Megacorporation? [1996, 1970]" turns out to be BIG COMPANY. That's likely to be the first theme answer you uncover, but whatever does it mean? A quick scan shows there's no classic "revealer clue." There are lots of big companies and some probably have something to do with the listed years, but, uh, what?

If you love musicals, you'll get about halfway through the grid before the penny drops. Each theme answer is a combination of two one-word musicals, and the numbers are the years of their respective Broadway debuts. That revelation sneaks up on you and, if the light goes on, it's very satisfying. It's also a great nudge that the unnumbered GUIDE DOG and MAKE GOOD are not thematic.

But, if you're not a theater geek and you never make the connection, the puzzle won't be satisfying, and that's the crucial editorial choice. How do you balance a satisfying aha moment for drama nerds against the certainty that some solvers will be confused? Today, Mr. Shortz decided on the brave route. There will be letters.

Before I leave BIG COMPANY, those are both worthy of comment. Maltby & Shire's BIG was based on a hit film, but the play was a BIG BUST. Ah, but there's life after Broadway, and touring companies and regional theaters have turned it into a favorite.

COMPANY debuted to mixed reviews, but time has shown it to be one of the most popular and significant musicals, even plays, in American theater. Broadway tunesmiths had tended toward escapism, but Stephen Sondheim's musical (book by George Furth) took a gritty look at real people with real problems in real relationships. Once you open that Pandora's box, it's impossible to go back. I've seen at least a half-dozen different productions of this musical; all different, all revealing, all engrossing. A new gender-reversed production starring Patti LuPone recently opened. And now "Barcelona" is stuck in my head.

Wed 10/3/2018
THEMGROGYACHT
IOTAEAVEAGREE
DAHLTHENEREIDS
EXILEDRENDSGT
OSLOSOLACES
GAPKNEWKILOS
UNIXEXAMINE
SNARFIDAEXPAT
AUSTEREAONE
BRYCESXSWSON
LEASHEDTOTE
AHISTEMUNRIPE
CASSIOPEIAIDOL
EVITAOMARCOPS
SENDSTONYKNEE

Cassiopeia is one of the easiest constellations to spot if you live in the northern hemisphere, and it's visible year round. Look for the bright stars near Polaris forming a big W. It will immediately evoke an image of a beautiful Ethiopian queen chained to a throne. Or, at least it did to ancient Greeks. The fate of Cassiopeia's daughter was even harsher. Andromeda was tied naked to a sea-side rock, to be devoured by a sea monster. Good times, back then.

Yes, Jeff does obsess over grid work. That's what you want from a constructor. I appreciate outstanding word-crossing skill too but, he's right that, for early-week puzzles, a delightful theme will atone for a few duds in execution. This is a near-perfect theme, combining astronomy and mythology. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone came out 21 years ago, but Greek myths are even older. Mark my words, they will withstand the test of time.

Did THE NEREIDS feel like a cheat to you? The definite article was necessary for grid symmetry, but it made it harder to suss out the word.

GUS Van Sant mostly directed smaller films like My Own Private Idaho, but his Good Will Hunting was a hit. MARX, sadly, gets a non-Groucho clue. "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" is, indeed, from EVITA. Do those lyrics make any sense to you? Listen carefully the next time you hear that song and ask yourself what, if anything, they might mean.

Thu 10/4/2018
LGBTACLUAMAIN
OLIOWOOTNANCE
BUBBLEGUMTONOW
STIEBOCARINA
JUDASPRIEST
ERASSEATAC
GASPIPESTOLLS
AGAINSTLAIDOUT
DEPTHMARCECKO
IMGAMESKEW
BASEBALLBAT
AMERICAINEPT
SITATSODAMIXER
INUSESHAGNINA
LOPEDYOLOETSY

We've been conditioned to expect something radical on Thursday — words turning corners or going backward or busting out of the grid or, well, anything goes. So, we approach Thursdays with a combination of excitement and trepidation, knowing that things are unlikely to be as they appear.

"It might pop out of a kids' mouth" turns out to be BUBBLE GUM. No obvious wordplay there, so our antennae go up. Something must be wrong, but let's go on. JUDAS PRIEST and GAS PIPES have straightforward clues too. Wow, this is going to be sneaky. "Swinger's club" is cute, but BASEBALL BAT comes to mind easily. Yikes, what are we missing?

The revealer, pointing to the ends of the other theme answers is SODA MIXER. Looking back, well, we have anagrams of SPRITE, PEPSI, COKE, and TAB. After the build-up (self-imposed, but not unreasonable) we have simple soft drink anagrams.

The only one left is UGM or GMU or, well, it must be MUG. Is there a MUG soda too? Perhaps it's a regional thing. A quick search pulls up MUG root beer which, while not a brand I've encountered, is legitimate.

After whining earlier this week that complaining about the day of week that the puzzle runs on is dangerous, this doesn't feel like a Thursday theme. In the rest of the grid, there are some odd facts to uncover, but little wordplay. So, I don't know; it's a well-constructed puzzle. I was fooled because I wasn't fooled. That's a meta crossword for you.

Feel free to publicly embarrass me if I'm missing something here.

POW Fri 10/5/2018
ANDWEREOFFSITE
PERIWINKLEETAL
STALEBREADTONY
ESMECADSMALES
LAGHAIRDYE
STOWAGEMONEY
CAPONEGOLDCOIN
ALERTDABMOUSE
TINKEREDPERSON
SERTACOLDONE
SCORNEDLAD
CLUBSLAICALBA
HEREWITCHTRIAL
MACEINTHEWINGS
ORESGENERALTSO

I enjoyed this crossword too.

The best clues are poetic gems, and this puzzle has plenty. Two clues cleverly separate normally-combined compound words. "King maker" (you expect to see kingmaker) and "Honey bunch", (not honeybunch.) Those innocuous extra spaces point to SERTA and WORKER BEES. Brilliant.

"Protector of the heart" is a romantic clue for RIBCAGE; the image here was hand drawn by da Vinci. AND WE'RE OFF might be my favorite 1-Across ever. "Crux of 'The Crucible'" is fun.

"One who's got game ... but shouldn't" for POACHER is outstanding. That clue alone makes this puzzle memorable.

Sat 10/6/2018
OFFEDSAHLSZA
DRIVESOREOTHIN
SERIALSCATHING
SELFIMPORTANCE
OHHICIATATTER
IMONERDOSSODS
NESTEDSHALT
KNEECAPONTHEGO
NONOSDREXEL
ATITDREAMSCAD
DENIEDTRIPARS
LABORINTENSIVE
IRONICALDORADO
BARSCENESPITUP
STNADOSSTEPS

I love reading the comments from new constructors. Old pros might become a little jaded, but I'm sure they all remember their own debuts. It's a special thrill to get your first crossword published.

Despite what some insist, IRONICAL isn't wrong; it's just old-fashioned. Modern writers prefer IRONIC, but crosswords aren't limited to what's currently in vogue.

Saturday is Peak-Difficulty Day and, under Will Shortz, that tends to mean hard clues rather than hard words. There are plenty of ways to clue HEARTS AND MINDS, but to make it Saturday hard, we get a reference to a four-decade-old documentary. That sounds unfair, but even if you haven't seen that film recently, and you haven't, it's the kind of phrase that, given enough letters, makes enough sense to guess. This is how Saturday works. KNEECAP is a simple enough word, but you have to go back to your med school days to remember "sesamoid bone." Or more likely, you ran across that somewhere, and it's still stuck in some corner of your brain.

"Woman's name that rhymes with a part of the world" is a tough clue because the various common parts of the world that rhyme with ERICA have different syllable counts, making the rhyme less obvious. Still, it's fair.

I often enjoy phrase answers like LABOR INTENSIVE and SLICED AND DICED. "Now you're talking!" is a perfect clue for THAT'S THE SPIRIT.

Did "Regurgitate, as a baby would" make you throw up in your mouth a little? I'm less squeamish than some solvers; it's hard to offend me, and particularly hard in a game. We do get email, though, from indignant solvers who disapprove of certain clues or answers, and I'm sure NYT receives far more than we do.

I like "What isn't legal for copying" for LTR, and I love "R.E.M. show?" for DREAM.

Sun 10/7/2018MIND THE GAP
GURUSTREATYSEPTET
EPIZOAEENSIEUNREADY
RSAILSPLITTERTONEDUP
MELOCTAOUTQERSPACE
STSHEAVEDPLANET
TONIRISENSMARS
ROUOMDIVIDERDISPOSAL
ARMRESTNAASALCAVITY
TAPIRSEATITSUNEASE
ELSESORTRNAFBINOR
SECURRITYBREACH
SLOALTONELARSOHNO
TOWAGEPOIBEERBROOD
PAEPERCUTTERIPLANTO
AFTERALLSPAFECRACKER
TSOSOSOANONENE
NOBAMADOCOCKUSB
LUCKEYBREAKOVENNEE
ONLEAVEGRANGDOPENING
ADOPTERAGLARETSETSE
DOGTOYSHEERSSWEET

RATSO is a surprisingly common crossword answer; this is its 53rd appearance in the Times. Surprising both because Midnight Cowboy came out nearly 50 years ago, and because there's no way to clue the word without reference to that film.

"City from which the U.S. moved its embassy in 2018" is a modern clue, and one seemingly designed to either raise hackles or cause you to lovingly stroke your red MAGA cap. Is it ok to stoke political outrage in a crossword? Sure, why not? I love NOBAMA too, not because it echoes my sentiments, but because it's a lively clue tailor-made to evoke a reaction.

Baseball lingo clues carry a regionalism danger. Your local broadcaster may refer to a "singleton," but it's tough to know if that's universal language or just how your play caller talks. Still, easy enough to figure out given a few letters.

The RATE clue is a little geeky, which I like. NASAL CAVITY is a snotty answer. I didn't know EPIZOA. "Little protestation" is a terrific clue for PEEP. The 2007 film "LARS and the Real Girl" is delightful. Lars's companion Bianca, not exactly a real girl, is a sex doll. No, really, it's more charming than it sounds.

That wraps up another Jeff and Jim Cross Words week. If we get enough feedback, we might do this once a month or so.

Mon 10/8/2018
ELBOWFROMTWIT
BEENERAVERITA
BATTERYTERMINAL
SHAHEISNERELK
ERINTACIT
GOLDENGATECOCO
IWILLSOASTO
GEMAIRPORTLPS
PRYNNEADELE
TCBYCANNERYROW
ILIEDOPEN
PEZILLINIAMPS
TAKINGABACKSEAT
OVIDBRIMATARI
PETSTASETYLER
Tue 10/9/2018
DAMNSIMACNEAP
EBOOKGAIAORCA
BUNNYOURSBILL
EPLURIBUSUNUM
DYLANNAPE
SECURITYBLANKET
PALSTWOTOOTH
ALITEASETSSHY
HIPPOHRHCHEM
NOSURPRISETHERE
TREEEVERS
HIDDENFIGURES
OREOCUKEORALB
SKEWISEEOILER
ESPNLEAKMOTTO
Wed 10/10/2018
JOTAGERPLASTIC
ONOBRAERIHANNA
DODOBIRDINSPOTS
INOUYEOHOKTOT
EELSSOSOREVIEWS
HITHERVIDEO
BASSIADEINSTIR
ANTLALALANDUMA
EDSELSYSLOKRAS
REHABSARONG
SOHELPMEGODOTIS
ANALADEESPANA
NAILGUNALPHABET
DILEMMAROTOLEE
PRESSESSXSWERS
Thu 10/11/2018
CCSQBSCLEVER
FOLKUAEIONIAN
BRAIDINGNODOGS
ISMELIAEFILE
LABRATSBRAVERY
AGEESHERAETTA
BERETMEMOSOY
LEFTBRAIN
LBJDARELEASE
IROCSIDEBCRAG
VIBRATOBRAKING
SHELFOBIEADD
STUDIONOBRADAY
ELNINOCUEINRE
WETTEDETSLET
POW Fri 10/12/2018
NESSADAGEPRAT
OCTATUPACFISH
WHATSTHEBIGIDEA
LOTIONGAZEAT
EBERTMCSMESSI
TOMEPEONSRHYS
MOOBAGNOLDOAT
EMTIRAQWARTSO
SETDEDUCTSGAS
EROSDEEREJUBA
ESSEXTSAFANCY
LIGHTBULB
LATINOROBUST
AVENGENAENAE
BADASSSTRODE
Sat 10/13/2018
SHONDACHEATDAY
TOPOUTROGUEONE
AMENDSALANALDA
REDOSEWENTTOIT
GAPSACLUARES
ALIPIPETS
ZOEKAZANNOTBAD
ENCASESCORELLI
SEETHEKESTRELS
YESANDWAH
CROPDEEPFATE
LIMEADESISOPOD
OVERLAPSMURANO
MAGRITTEAPERCU
PLAYTESTSEXTET
Sun 10/14/2018GAME HUNTING
BETTIESPICERUBTGIF
UNHURTMONOMANIAREBA
THERISKISTOOHIGHUNIX
TAFTSATESEABEDS
ELALETHANETOGACE
ONEBCSORRYNOTSORRY
DIGUPBEAKSSELFIE
ARMORLESABRECOROLLA
IHAVENTACLUEHASRUES
MEREMORTALSHAJISI
SAGEMAILSMAROONDAG
IFSMEDSADDLEJOINT
EDNAFARPLEASEDONTGO
TESTBANTOASTERKEYES
ALOHASCOOPTTYPES
LIFESTOOSHORTOSCAR
ERSUMSNORMALOLES
ARTISTAIANBLIGE
YURIASKINGFORTROUBLE
ATOMNEEDARIDEOSMIUM
PORETRIBUNESTENSES

The theme works for me. I don't understand Jeff's objections.

Mon 10/15/2018
INCUBUSAKITA
MOONINGSIDEBET
APRICOTANATOLE
CENSEINDMIA
OPTICALFIBER
SCANUTEYAM
PUGSTAGEKIOSK
AREYOUKIDDINGME
SEDANEAGERROY
RICNAVBEGS
JOHNCOLTRANE
ACENYSYEAST
WHATAMIELMTREE
SODACANREPLIES
YOUNGATHEART
Tue 10/16/2018
DOSEAFRORESET
ETTUIRONELENA
BOARDGAMEMELDS
TENORGEARCFOS
PAARCARTIRE
BREAKFASTCEREAL
OHMETNAKOI
BOOBTLCCARA
ARMERATMAC
PICTUREMAGAZINE
ADOPTEDBONE
SETHDISCKAZAN
SATONTHATSLIFE
ATONEOAKSOMAR
TENETRHEATARO
Wed 10/17/2018
MAGICPATJOINS
ICALLESEUBOAT
TESLANIXVINNY
TSPPANCAKESAX
STAYSSANE
AURALFAITH
SCUBAAOLLOUIS
HENPANCAKENNE
ESTALEDGEHGTV
STJUDEGUERRE
ALEXASASTRYON
LAMPANCAKEJUS
AVIDSEEYARABE
DIMEALLINUCLA
YEARPLATEEKES

Samuel Taylor Coleridge famously coined the phrase "suspension of disbelief." You can't enjoy fiction without it. You can't enjoy any art without it. Art and Nature are two different things; non-overlapping magisteria. A painting of a pipe is not a pipe.

To me, a triple stack of PANCAKEs on a PLATE with a PAT of butter on top and syrup dripping down the sides all within a 15x15 block of black-and-white squares full of fun words is close to miraculous.

Crossword commentary decrying the lack of accuracy in grid images confounds me. Of course, this breakfast isn't exactly what you find at IHOP. Jeff complained last September that the chemical bonds represented in this puzzle didn't show the correct angles, and that last year's Space Needle didn't have quite the right dimensions. Of course not. Use your imagination. It's fun!

At a software company I used to work for, I got to know some of the artists who created icons. It's a crazy, specialized skill to make something so small represent something recognizable, but they had a couple of advantages over constructors — even at the smallest size of 32x32 pixels, that's four and a half times the number of squares available in today's puzzle, and they got to take advantage of subtle color tricks to fool the eye into seeing detail and dimensionality that wasn't really there. Crossword art is necessarily more primitive.

Finally, and this might seem unfair, I seem to recall a Christmas puzzle last year by Mary Lou Guizzo and her collaborator. Who was that again? Oh, right, it was Jeff. Call me crazy, but I've never encountered a reindeer that looked exactly like this.

Jeff and I love to argue crosswords. Now and then, one of us even manages to change the other's mind. It's fun either way.

Thu 10/18/2018
THEDABCHANDUD
MERIDAFATELINE
SLIDERLGBTICON
MENLOGABFEST
TENHITAT
GLAMEGOSLEPEW
RIRITOTELVIRA
ABCSCOLONEXIT
DRESSYAUGRICE
SADATEVIEYEAR
BECCALEV
LATERALBLOAT
OCEANIANEDITOR
SANTERIARECODE
SITRORYTRENDY
POW Fri 10/19/2018
SIXPACKBOOHISS
COROLLAONVACAY
ADAPTORDEADEND
NEYOSEEYAIMIN
TVSBENDSSTATE
RIPPEDGUAMNYY
OCEANSERIES
NEXTGENFRATBRO
SAMOASGABOR
CARLOWSTORQUE
OPENSYODELJLO
BANASOFARPOET
ATECROWNEOLITH
LOGROLLASHANTI
TWEEZESEASYTEN
Sat 10/20/2018
CRIPMANTAPSIS
LENTAREELOHNO
ANTOINETTELIMA
STILLLIFEBARAK
SAFELYLACERATE
ICAMEBITESIZED
CODYTUXEDOS
SPARATATATLAC
PARTNERWILL
GREATODDSHASTO
NEUROTICTORTES
APLANAHOYTHERE
WOOSFLIPPHONES
ARGOBELIELUGE
TTYLIDLESSPOT
Sun 10/21/2018YOU'RE GOING DOWN
FIBBERLIBIDOSTRAP
AMARNAUNITARDSCHAFE
KIBITZCROSSBOWRETRO
ENYAOAKENHIDEARSON
SNARKYICETDOME
OTTERABACUSMENSSHOP
WRENCHRESTVINETORY
LIPOUBEREGADASHLAR
SOSALLACARDIBLEDTO
EBOOKUSAUSAARIES
NOLITABRATZDONUTS
BALEDTHEFBIPARTB
LEDGESAVEUSUSESJIF
INVADENEWTAPSOTATA
GAINABELTRIPSEIZED
HECTARESTOILETSEZME
LUSHPUNTTWITCH
ARBYSEGANEPSONLAMP
LEAPSSANDRAOHEMINOR
ENNUITHEREIGOPOPDUO
STATEMADDOWTOSSED
POW Mon 10/22/2018
HOMEEBBSCUBES
UNITTRONASANA
MERCURIALMERCI
ORAGAGSVENIAL
RONALDTOOESSO
MUDPIESPLATTER
ESAUCITGOADS
MARTIAL
IMPPRISMYELP
WORSHIPAPPAREL
ONITETSLAKOTA
JOVIALPOORSSN
IMALLSATURNINE
METESECIGBOOT
ARESOTESHANTS
Tue 10/23/2018
RASTAEDGARARC
ALTOSTIARACAR
FLATSTANLEYTKO
STENOENEMIES
ITEMGEENADAVIS
FALSEALANENE
SRADIREGIS
WINONARYDER
DANNOMEOWE
EASYKOIACMES
SMALLWORLDRATS
COULEESEDENS
REDATHLETICCUP
OBIDRESSTHEIR
WASSYRUPZESTY

Jeff's Kid-lit debut, Ultraball #1: Lunar Blitz is available January 15. You can pre-order now.

Wed 10/24/2018
ADDRESSPOPUPAD
PERIDOTORINOCO
AVOCADOWANDERS
ROPEOPETIME
TESSIDEROAD
OOHDECENT
TARSALDARKRED
BATCAVEORANGES
BREADEDNICEST
CANIANNEE
NOTSOBADMOP
TOILTREMILL
LOONIERZAMUNDA
BAZOOKAELASTIC
ODYSSEYLOOKSEE
Thu 10/25/2018
LIAMTETESFRAT
ACNEECONOAONE
PAGELOSTLIQUID
SNORKELSDRILLS
ESLACADEERE
DOASLOWBURNTHE
HEMLASERTAG
PEPASELAERO
BROMANCESEN
SAWGOUPANDDOWN
EDICTLAGNEU
MORITASCREAMED
INSEARCHOFKING
SLUGBRAVEOKIE
TYPOSOWEDNEED

Very clever, Mr. Fogarty. And very satisfying when I finally saw the light.

Fri 10/26/2018
TABLESCRAPASIS
ALPINELAKERICA
KALECAESAREDEN
EMUASAPPHTEST
IOSSONBWAHAHA
PENGRAYAREA
BIASSAILSMEN
LINTSKUNKBETA
UGHSUINGAIDS
SPARESETCFO
THROATSSACMTA
SAMOSAPUCEOWN
FROMIVECHANGED
OMNINOPRESSURE
RAYESWEETTALKS
Sat 10/27/2018
SCHLUBBYPOTASH
PLEASUREOPORTO
YOUDAMANLEMMON
BURLMISSEDWORK
ODIEENIACARKS
ALSPREGNANT
TITLEDNATESTS
SKIERSSCORED
ECOCIDALKNAVE
PETODORSGEM
ARCOCROWEMIRE
BILLBOARDSICAN
APEDOMNOTALENT
REFILMESURANCE
ENTITYDEPENDED
Sun 10/28/2018MATCH PLAY
TRACTSAPBSDOCTERI
BACHATABOLTONOREAD
SWEETANDSOURNEGERGO
ANTEHEARTANDSOUL
ERRSTILTJPOPARTS
SHEESHLEIABLACULA
PEACHESANDCREAMEATS
NAPTIMETAKEYOGIRHO
BANEDSSUNNIER
TARANDFEATHERSTONER
DALAISURFAGUAELEGY
IMMUNERIGHTANDWRONG
APOLUNESHEDIS
NONSEASAAHSONESTEP
ANDYSTANDUPANDCHEER
CUESTASSHAMOTELLO
OPRYRSVPSPEWMESS
STOPANDSTAREETRE
WIKICOPMIXEDDOUBLES
ARIEUNOONITSCROOGE
BEESPETSGTSKOWTOW

This is a great example of a crossword where, once you figure out the theme, it jump-starts the rest of the solve. Fun puzzle.

Mon 10/29/2018
GRABACADSTESTY
LENASOBERALTAR
OMITPUFFINBOOKS
SAMOAGAIALICE
SKUNKCABBAGEKOD
YESBARASTRIDE
AASASHANDY
ZEBRACROSSINGS
BALEAMYTNT
ONELUMPRYEMBA
AIMPANDAEXPRESS
NEATHILLTAXIS
PENGUINSUITBIDE
OSTERACMESACES
ESSENPOSSETOSS

Peter Gordon is a long-time puzzle maker and crossword editor. Serious solvers love his challenging Fireball Crosswords, available by subscription. How hard are they? "If you have to ask, too hard for you."

I particularly enjoy his Fireball Newsflash Crosswords, with their amazingly timely content. They must, indeed, be constructed in a flash.

Tue 10/30/2018
ATOPSPAPAGED
RIPOSTESORONO
TRIPTYCHSIFTS
SEEPYSOCIAL
ELSROTYIP
MRRIPLEYDAMA
AYEZAGAOKAY
GRAVEYARDSHIFT
AIDEDMAPTAO
PASTSUNRIPEN
EDAURNERL
LENAPEAUSSI
BROADEGOTRIPS
OFUSEGIVEARIP
ODDERSSALENS
POW Wed 10/31/2018
SHAGAGASPTIFF
CUJOREVUERAIL
OLAFELENAOGLE
TAXLAWSKGBMOLE
ALERAP
NESTEGGVALETED
EREROOIVSELI
ADATOMDEAAFT
ROSEDOWELOBIT
SCENERHOBRINY
ROTARYCLUBS
PCPARAMAICCAR
AMEXTHEMEBURY
PONYRIGA
ANTZCRYPTATON