Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Title: And the Nominees Are...
Author: Roger Depont, or some Peter Gordon anagram
Theme: Academy Awards Nominations

As of the time of this writing, this puzzle wasn't released yet. That's because the nominations were just announced this morning, and it's not easy to come up with a good puzzle on a moment's notice.

But... I'm out all this evening and my Mom is having surgery tomorrow morning, so I probably won't get a chance to blog this puzzle by the time you all have gotten it and completed it.

So... I'm going to do something new. I'm going to pre-blog the puzzle. You can all comment as you wish, as normal. (Joon, if you want to add anything after the puzzle comes out, be my guest.)

The Best Picture nominations are:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Slumdog Millionaire
The Reader

If I were a betting man (and sometimes I am), I'd guess you'll see these as follows:

MILK (4)
CASE (4)

At least, that's how I'd try to do it, keeping the long titles together and in order. Amazing that it works out symmetrically. Still, it's a lot of theme fill, which makes the gridding process tough. Don't be surprised if you see some ugly clumps of black squares around the edges, and/or a few nasty entries. Just producing a viable puzzle from the above is no simple task, so you should be suitably impressed. Peter Gordon is, after all, the man.

It's for puzzles like these that you should go out and buy three friends a Sun subscription. Do you really want these to stop?

Thanks for listening.

- Pete M.

1 comment:

Joon said...

i can't edit your posts, so i won't. but you guessed the theme answers exactly right. the fill was surprisingly uncompromised considering the large quantity of theme material, and the grid is also organized rather well. there's the "utah formation" necessitated by the central 11, but other than that, it just looks like a normal crossword grid. as a nice added touch, the shorter theme answers (MILK, CASE, BUTTON, READER) are all located along the top and bottom rows of the grid, so that the theme answers are pretty easy to find. i think if i had been trying this, i might have attempted to switch READER with BUTTON, since READER looks happier on the bottom row. but as you say, peter gordon is the man, and he did an impressive job.

the toughest part was two totally unfamiliar names crossing in the NE: figure skater RENA inoue (that looks like a really useful crossword name) crossing novelist judith KRANTZ. i didn't know ESCADA either, but at least everything crossing it is a familiar-looking name.

i suppose if you're not a seamhead, the southern region could be tough, with ALOU, MINOSO and NEN all meeting up in a veritable orgy of ballplayer names. but ALOU and NEN are crossword regulars.

maybe if i paid any attention to movies, this puzzle would have been easier. CURIOUS...BUTTON was pretty obvious, as was FROST/NIXON, but the rest of them were all tough to piece together. i've heard good things about SLUMDOG/MILLIONAIRE but i needed many crossings to remind me of the title. didn't get MILK until i had MIL_. and i've never heard of the READER.