Class of '66 today. 66 words, that is. Pretty smooth and clean, if you ask me. It's probably worth mentioning that I found inspiration for making this from Crossword Jesus #1, Patrick Berry. Who doesn't get inspired from the original PB though?
Anyway, the other PB (Blindauer, that is) sent me a copy of "Patricks' Puzzle Pandemonium," which is a collection of every puzzle by somebody named Patrick that ran in the New York Sun. So that means lots of Berry. Some Blindauer. A dash of Jordan. And a blink-and-you're-going-to-miss-him cameo from Merrell. This is quite possibly the most absurd packaging gimmick for puzzles, and yeah, there might be a smidgen of sour grapes because my name isn't Patrick and therefore I'm left out. Here's hoping the people at Sterling are working on doing a book of all the people named Brendan who had puzzles published in the Sun. (Brendan Heaney, Brendan Gorski, Brendan Payne, Brendan Nosowsky, etc.)
Needless to say the book is a gem of a solve. Loads of ultra smooth Berry themelesses in there, hence the reason I felt the need to try and pay homage to the master. I would be a fool if I didn't mention at least a couple of the puzzles in there. Two, count 'em, two masterpieces from Blindauer and one of the other puzzling Brendans (Heaney): "Solving By the Numbers" (a tour-de-force execution of a so-obvious-why'd-it-take-somebody-so-long-to-make-it theme) and "Squares Away" (see previous parenthetical phrase). And Berry's jumpin' jiminy quint-stacked 15s in "Color Change" is a see-it-to-believe-it marvel.
As always, if I'm writing about the book, you should be buying one. So get thee to it. In the meantime, share the puzzle. New one on Thursday.