They asked me to write them an easy puzzle to go along with the article. Initially I think I got the difficulty right as a couple friends who aren't puzzle people were able to finish it. The Improper originally wanted something about Boston, which I thought would be too boring. That's why I'm emphasized the other word in their title.
I don't want anybody upset because this one's an easy puzzle. If you're in that category, I want you to do what a couple of my "extended family members" (that'd be puzzle people) do. The rely on extreme handicaps, with the de facto one is using the Down clues only. Their logic is if the puzzle is really truly easy (and fairly clued) you should be able to get the whole thing by using just the Downs and you can confirm your answers from the crossings.
I've solved exactly three this way, and well, I just hated it. After all the years of blowing through easy puzzles with a whirlwind abandon, I got frustrated because Downs-only solving slo-o-o-o-owed me down. Hardcore. In a way, it was not unlike constructing a puzzzle. I found myself thinking things like: "if say ORATE goes across, MR. BIG fits going down." I mean, I make so many damn puzzles, forgive me for wanting to do them for entertainment!
My buddy Trip tells me every now and then he solves the Saturday puzzles (aka "the bitch mothers") Downs-only. I ... er, um ... Wow. I got nothing. I know Trip's been at the top of competitive solving for like ever. But, man. I repeat: wow! Granted, he can't fly through a Saturday this way, but jeesh, that seems like showing off to me.
Oh, by the way: for those who gave some loot to help pay for the site, thanks mucho! For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm hitting folk up for some small scratch to help pay for this month's puzzles. So if you can, go to the tip jar and give $5, $10, or $20 if you got it to help cover this month's puzzles and to keep the BEQ strong and independent. And again, everybody who donates will be in the running for a free copy of "Diagramless Crosswords". I'll announce the winner on Monday.
Share the puzzle. Themeless Friday coming up next. (You thought I wasn't going to post one, eh?)