I love crossword puzzles. I am fairly good at solving them. But living in SouthEast Asia has gotten me a bit off my game.
As of late, we have had a visiting engineer who gets the International Herald Tribune, for free, at his hotel. And he is nice enough to read the Tribune, then give it to me so that I can attempt to solve the crossword. The Tribune is a fine publiction, and it includes what I at first thought was an amusing crossword. Little did I know.
I imagine Will Shortz (the name jokes could fill an entire 'nother blog segment) was once an excellent puzzle producer. He has a "reputation" at The Times. But now he appears to be a heroin-addled poser who is trying to live off his "reputation". Here are some examples of the inexplicable hints that he is producing (from the July 23rd edition of the IHT):
1 Across: "Show-off". Will's answer - HOT. No really, I cheated and looked at the July 24 solution to the July 23 puzzle. Will actually thinks that HOT means "Show-off".
4 Across: "Manx cries". Will's answer - MEOWS. Manx's (sp?) don't meow. They rip your head off in the middle of the night while you are sleeping in your tent on the Appalachian Trail.
9 Across: "U.S. Marine". Will's answer - DEVIL. I had to look at this multiple times to make sure that I did not get it wrong.
16 Across: "Like some flocks". Will's answer - OVINE. Fine. Ovine. Why not just change the clues to read "A word". Or maybe Will could be more specific and say "An adjective".
42 Across: "Alexander _______, Russian who popularized a chess opening". Will's answer - PETROV. See, this is where you really can sense that Will has given up.
54 Across: "Plotted for urban uses". Will's answer - ZONED. I figured this one out, but the clue is not accurate. Zoning is not an urban action. It happens outside of the urb as well. For all I know it happens in Nebraska. I think Will is zoned...
4 Down: "With "the" and 32-Across, describing an old Matryoshika doll". Now you're just makin' shit up. Have another hit.
39 Down: "Cornwallis's schol". I don't care how well read you are, you did not know this off the top of your head. You looked it up.
63 Down: "Stone, e.g." Will's answer - PELT. I give up.
Will, please stop. Just stop. You are taking all of the fun out of it. Call The Times and tell them you need some time off. Go to the library. Get your ego removed. Learn English.
Otherwise, you suck.