Puzzle 78: Themed Puzzle 3, There Are No Words. What more can I say that hasn’t been said?

Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here.

Get the PUZ here.

You can probably tell by now that there’s no freestyle puzzle today. That will appear on Friday instead of today as originally planned. There is a new crossword, however.

I’m going to dispense with the usual routine here because the situation calls for it. As is well known now in the crossword community, a giant in the puzzlemaking world was lost tragically and too early. I never met Mr. Reagle. In fact, I have no personal connection with Mr. Reagle… well, actually, that isn’t quite true, because everyone who ever did his crosswords, as I did, has felt a personal connection through his style. I have nothing to go on except for what I’ve read about him and, well, his work that I’ve done many a time. No other constructor has let his or her personality shine through in their grids and clues better than he did. To hold the pen or pencil while solving a puzzle by Mr. Reagle is to shake his hand. To move your eyes back and forth between the grid and the clues is to have a conversation with Mr. Reagle.

I was impressed with his volume of output as it was — a Sunday puzzle every week for 30 years — but to do the things he did in a Sunday-sized grid consistently every week for 30 years (put out junk he certainly didn’t!) is something I’ll never wrap my head around. But I hope this puzzle that I have constructed serves some small part as a tribute to the man. The best thing you can do is to visit his website, and to enjoy his creations.

What you should also do, if you haven’t already done these things, is to go and do Sam Ezersky’s and Brendan Emmett Quigley’s treatments of this same topic. Both are very elegantly done.

Usually, the video I post has some tangential connection to a clue in the puzzle, or to the concept of the puzzle. However, this one relates directly to the honoree in a subtle way that I think he would appreciate and that I hope you can figure out as well.

So long until Friday…


5 thoughts on “Puzzle 78: Themed Puzzle 3, There Are No Words. What more can I say that hasn’t been said?”

      1. It’s strange, I definitely counted nine but now I see ten. I don’t think it was that one because I would have definitely made it ALAS/ARES if I weren’t trying to hide the MERL there. What may have happened is that I initially fit MERL 9 times in the starting skeleton, then found that I could throw one more in late in the construction, but didn’t account for it.


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