Crossword of the Month, September 2015

Here are my five nominees for Crossword of the Month for September 2015. Note that if a puzzle requires a subscription to solve, clicking on the title below will lead to a review of the puzzle. If no subscription is required, clicking on the title below will lead to the puzzle itself.

In chronological order, our five nominees are:

Off With Their Heads by David Steinberg. Chronicle of Higher Education, September 4th, 2015.

steinberg
Complex theme idea that required precise execution (heh-heh).

Untitled by Byron Walden. The New York Times, September 5th, 2015.

ByronWalden

Free-flowing freestyle.


Double Play
by Evan Birnholz. Devil Cross, September 11th, 2015.

EvanBirnholz

Tribute puzzle to the late Merl Reagle, which incorporates a quote from the great master.

Trade-Ins by Patrick Berry. Fireball Crosswords, September 13th, 2015.

Berry

Subtle and original meta idea.

Put a Lid on It! by Jeff Chen and Jason Mueller. The New York Times, September 20th, 2015.

Chen

{Note: no picture available of Jason Mueller}

Hard to resist the charm of this idea: famous people wear their iconic hats in the grid.

And the winner is…
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
cotm

David Steinberg for Off With Their Heads.

Marie ANTOINETTE gets the GUILLOTINE in this puzzle; hence the gallows humor above.

Ten symmetrically placed entries must lose their first letters to fit in the grid. These ten beheaded letters spell ANTOINETTE; the first letters of these truncated versions spell GUILLOTINE.

Well plotted out, and my choice for September 2015’s Crossword of the Month.

Full list of Crossword of the Month winners:

September 2015 — David Steinberg, Chronicle of Higher Education
August 2015 — Patrick Berry, MGWCC
July 2015 — Jeff Chen, American Values Club Crossword
June 2015 — Erik Agard, American Values Club Crossword
May 2015 — Patrick Berry, Fireball Crosswords
April 2015 — Joe Krozel and Timothy Polin, The New York Times
March 2015 — Jeremy Newton, The New York Times
February 2015 — Byron Walden, The New York Times
January 2015 — Jill Denny and Jeff Chen, The New York Times
December 2014 — Pete Muller, Muller Monthly Music Meta
November 2014 — Tom McCoy, The New York Times
October 2014 — Caleb Madison, American Values Club Crossword
September 2014 — Peter Broda, Fireball Crosswords; Francis Heaney, MGWCC (tie)
August 2014 — Josh Knapp, The Washington Post
July 2014 — David Phillips, The New York Times
June 2014 — Patrick Blindauer, www.patrickblindauer.com
May 2014 — Sam Donaldson, Fireball Crosswords
April 2014 — Patrick Blindauer, www.patrickblindauer.com
March 2014 — Brendan Emmett Quigley, American Values Club Crossword
February 2014 — Neville Fogarty, www.nevillefogarty.wordpress.com
January 2014 — Peter Broda, The Cross Nerd
December 2013 — Francis Heaney, American Values Club Crossword
November 2013 — Pete Muller, Muller Monthly Music Meta
October 2013 — Francis Heaney, American Values Club Crossword
September 2013 — Anna Shechtman, American Values Club Crossword