Aubrey's aimless blog

Got a Wednesday crossword book!

Most of my crossword books were getting pretty full, or the only remaining ones were too late in the week for me to make headway on them. Since Wednesday puzzles in the paper were proving challenging but solvable, I splurged on a NY Times Wednesday crossword book.

I just finished one today! I've been compiling a list of "Gimmes", clues that are common on crosswords for producing usually short, unusual arrangements of letters that make it easier for cruciverbalists. I usually see a lot of middle eastern ports and canals and Nobel prize winners for these, and I'm still trying to learn them all. This puzzle gave me DAR, clued with "Patriotic org.", as well as ASTI, clued with "Italian wine town". Here are a few others I've found in other puzzles along with their clues:

Maybe some of these are evident to people who, for example, knew of Weisel or Bombeck, but they were news to me.

Anyway, the crossword theme was pretty fun; they were clued with "Mic check #1" through "Mic check #4", with the answers CANYOUHEARMENOW, TESTINGONETWO, ISTHISTHINGON, and HELLOHELLOHELLO. Once I got even a few of the cross-answers, they were pretty easy to figure out.

There were a few really fun ones in this crossword, like "Type of court defense" giving ZONE... as in a zone defense on a basketball court. Or "Best of theater" which I never figured out except for its intersections. After realizing it wasn't an award, I thought it looked suspiciously like a name clue, like "Rickman of film", so I figured it to be EDNA. Edna Best's 'A' was my only guess-letter, which helped me figure out that DAR was even the answer to the Gimme mentioned above.

Also "Straight, at the bar" I figured to be NEAT with only one cross-letter found, but only because I'd been looking up bar terms in general out of curiosity because of another crossword I'd done a couple months ago. Funny how these things stick in your head. 3/5.