Beekeeper Crosswords

Themed Puzzles from Beekeeper Labs

Puzzle #99: “Seeing Red”

Posted by on June 3rd, 2009

The life of a crossword creator is all about letter counts. Since pretty much every weekday puzzle is 15×15, he’s constantly on the look-out for “lively” phrases that are exactly 15 letters long. But it doesn’t end there. The subtle constraints of building a perfect crossword grid make some lengths better than others: 15 and 10 are great; 9 and 12 are decent; 11 is ok; and 13 and 14 are awful. 16…is right out. This is why “down for the count” has appeared in print at least 9 times, but “down in the dumps” — an equally popular phrase — has only appeared once. When he is trying to come up with a perfect theme, you’ll frequently find a constructor searching through possible phrases and cursing when they don’t come out to the desired lengths.

This brings us to this weeks puzzle. The only way to make the theme work was to use 4 14-letter theme words — a total disaster. So how did we pull it off? We cheated. Unlike almost every weekday puzzle out there, this one isn’t 15×15. You won’t find us copping out like this very often, but sometimes that’s the way it goes. (Besides, we made up for it by shoving some 16 letter words into a puzzle around this time last year. It all balances out.)

Speaking of cop-outs: It’s been a long week, and we just didn’t get around to preparing a second set of clues for this weeks puzzle. Thus, you are stuck with just the hard set of clues. If you are feeling brave, pull out your Almanac and your Thesaurus (or just pull up and give it a try anyway. If not, we’ll try to have an easier experience available for you next week.

Title: Seeing Red
Difficulty: Friday
Download: Across Lite or printable PNG (w/ solution)