How not to do a TV Guide crossword
I was resigned to doing the less-than-great puzzles I happen to have around when I remembered I haven't done Games World of Puzzles since last year. Yay. Some relief.
I really needed that. The puzzle I just did in one of the 101 Crosswords for Dummies books (NOT the excellent Patrick Berry Dummies book, but those other ones) had "Casey of '60s TV," 5 letters. DRBEN. Bleeeh. Not to mention outright errors like neglecting the s on a plural clue.
I also did TV Guide puzzles from the massive piles of unread TV Guides. People often deride TV Guide puzzles as too easy, but they actually aren't. They invariably have obscure crossings - I mean, really obscure, not the pop culture staples some NYT forumites wrongly consider obscure. My puzzles end up with many marks for checking and often (gasp) wrong squares. Like the one with 7 errors from 6/11/04. In a 13 x 13. One was (gasp) careless: I confused TYRA "Ferrell of 'The Cape'" with TERRY Farrell which I attempted to spell as TERI and when I got the Y didn't notice the crossing was "Clarissa Explains ___" ITILL instead of ITALL. But they also expected me to know:
"Kidd Video" character (ASH)
Richard Long on "The Big Valley" (JARROD)
Dusay of "Dallas" (MARJ)
Bar on "The Jeffersons" (CHARLIES - I used to watch this show and didn't remember)
All these crossed each other, and it didn't help that I had AIT instead of RIA for "River inlet." Oops, AIT's an islet, not an inlet. I marked 6 other doubtful spaces which turned out to be right. Darkroom powder is indeed ELON, HAPI is a god of the Nile, "The Best Times" daughter is MIA.
Oh no, while writing this up I see I left a blank square in the bottom right which I meant to come back to (now known as "pulling an Al" - sorry, Al). Who knew the "Under One Roof" patriarch was NEB? I should have gotten the crossing at the N, "Gray of Port Charles" ERIN, as I've seen plenty of "Gray or Moran" clues. Oh well.
I also did some Maura Jacobsons in the even more massive pile of unread New York magazines. These are fun and puzzle 6 has always been a Maura, but I'd rather be doing a Frank Longo Jumbo in GWOP, and now I can.