Sunday, September 7, 2014

Just who is this "Frank Longo" anyway?


This week the Premier Crossword by Frank Longo is a straight-forward puzzle titled "Self-Contained Synonyms", and it soon becomes apparent that the long theme answers are words that contain within them shorter word that has the same meaning, thus:

23a - PRECIPITATION
27a - OUTSPOKEN
29a - CLOSE-MOUTHED 
51a - CONTAMINATE
55a - UNSIGHTLY
65a - FABRICATION
75a - PREMATURELY
85a - MASCULINE
89a - DESTRUCTION
108a-RAMBUNCTIOUS
111a-HONORABLE

Now that's all very nice and I was thinking it was a perfectly fine theme but lacking in the usual clever twist that I have come to anticipate in a Longo crossword, and then Frank surprised me with his final theme clue, "What the eleven answers featured in this puzzle are called" (117a), the answer to which is KANGAROO WORDS.  Learning that little factoid made me like the theme a little more, but then I discovered that a quick google search will produce dozens of lists containing hundreds of kangaroo words. Still, I give Frank Longo full credit for using eleven of them, plus the revealer, to create a puzzle that was fun to solve and is pretty much devoid of the dreaded "crosswordese" that sometimes populates the non-theme fill. It didn't ASTONISH (16d - Flabbergast) me but it certainly MET (42d - Fulfilled) my (admittedly subjective and unsophisticated) criteria for a Sunday puzzle.

I really don't see a lot more that I want to comment about so I'll forgo my usual drivel about the non-theme fill in favor of leaving you with a question that's been bugging me for a while now.  The Premier Crossword used to be credited to "Frank A. Longo", and then a while ago the attribution changed to "Frank Longo", a subtle but not insignificant change, I think. So here's my question: What's up with that?







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