This is hardly a big deal anyway as most of y'all love the wide-open themeless. Well look at that beast up there. 64 words. 5.94 average word length! That's moneygridding, baby! Decision was split on the difficulty, so tie goes to the runner (in this case the runner is Nancy Schuster, with her decades of puzzle editing experience). Nancy said it's a "medium" but it's probably got a few hard patches so really it's a "mard." A moneygrid mard puzzle.
By the way: huge thanks to everybody who got the word out last Wednesday. Numbers went up big time. All the tweets, RTs and Facebook postings were humbling. Thank you it was very much appreciated. But our work isn't done! Please keep it up folks. It's our mantra: share the puzzle. Share the puzzle. Regulars know this site smokes all those crappy puzzles in the free Metro newspapers. We need to tell others. Share the puzzle!
Pat Blindauer is kind enough to share puzzles with me. So just a quick thanks to him for sending me a copy of Frank Longo's latest book, Vowelless Crosswords. Is it overstating the obvious this book is bananas? I'll go into it anyway. Frank's removed all the vowels from every entry in the book: A, E, I, O, U, and just because it's "sometimes" a vowel, he erred on the side of caution and got rid of every entry with a Y as well. So CROSSWORD appears as CRSSWRD, HAPPINESS IS A WARM GUN appears as HPPNSSSWRMGN, and BRENDAN EMMETT QUIGLEY wouldn't appear at all because of that pesky Y at the end of my name (even if it is technically a consonant there. UPDATE: I have been told by a few people, it's a vowel. Regardless, it still wouldn't be in any puzzle because of the Y). Since Frank's a masochist, all the grids are insanely wide open, 60-ish word range. Moneygrid x infinity. And the grids, when they are filled in correctly, always look like my racks when I play Scrabble (all the nasty letters and no Es). Their difficulty, at first is daunting. Nasty hard. Mostly, though, because it's tough to parse out the spacing of the words. For instance, a 15 letter entry is probably going to be in the 7 or 8 word (!) range. Maybe an 8 letter entry might be a 15 letter word, and how many 15 letter words, not entries, words do people really know? To compensate, Frank clued them straight, and for the really stuck, listed word lengths in the back of the book, but even then it's still friggin' hard. At least until you get your sea legs. About 5 or 6 puzzles in I got the hang of it. Well recommended.
Enjoy this one. See you on Monday (cross fingers for this cryptic).