Crossword of the Month, November 2013

Here are my five nominees for Crossword of the Month for November 2013. 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:

“Veiled Invitation,”
by Pete Muller. Muller Monthly Music Meta, November 5th, 2013.

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Stunningly original meta-crossword concept with fittingly skillful execution.

“Mark My Words,” by Peter Gordon. Fireball Crosswords, November 6th, 2013.

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Another skillful meta-crossword, utilizing the accent marks found on various foreign words.

“Taylor Made” by Erik Agard. Glutton for Pun, November 6th, 2013.

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One of the very cleverest quotation puzzles of all time, if that’s not damning with faint praise: the constructor forces the solver to feel the frustration expressed by a popular singer about crosswords and love (no joke).

Untitled, by Alan DerKazarian. The New York Times, November 7th, 2013.

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Elegant and intricate two-way rebus by a debut constructor.

“Seeing Double”
by Trip Payne. Fireball Crosswords, November 20th, 2013.

Novel and magisterial construction by one of the all-time greats: each clue appears twice, defining two different entries.

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And the winner is:

Pete Muller for “Veiled Invitation.”

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The king among kings in a regal month for high-concept crosswords: an iconic, fifteen-word Fleetwood Mac lyric hides, one word per row, in fifteen grid entries.

Deceptively simple in concept and construction, requiring only a highlighted grid to explain, and obvious in retrospect — but so hidden-in-plain-sight that fewer than three dozen solvers managed to see what was right before their eyes.

Absolutely beautiful, and a clear winner, despite extremely elegant competition, for my pick as Crossword of the Month, November 2013.

Full list of Crossword of the Month winners:

September 2013 — Anna Shechtman, American Values Club Crossword
October 2013 — Francis Heaney, American Values Club Crossword
November 2013 — Pete Muller, Muller Monthly Music Meta

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