NYT Sunday Puzzle – December 28, 2014 (*Plus My Sunday and Thursday Stats for 2014)

NYT Sunday Puzzle - December 28, 2014

Title: Fill-in-the-Blanks

Theme: The clues have missing letters. The answers are two-word phrases in which the second word contains the letters missing from the clues which are needed to form a new word. The first word in the phrase describes the second word’s type of absence. Essentially, this was an artfully creation of the old game “Hangman.”

26A. S_____ic = Missing person (Supersonic)
32A. Ob_____ly = Deleted scene (Obscenely)
50A. _____t = Unused minutes (Minutest)
71A. Lo_____y = Dropped ball (Lobally)
91A. Li_____nt = Forfeited game (Ligament)
105A. Ca_____t = Stripped bare (Cabaret)
114A. Wor_____er = Abandoned ship (Worshiper)
46D. E_____hen = Stolen art (Earthen)

The fact that I was able to finish this puzzle error-free is something of a miracle since I had no clue (mind the pun!) what was going on here. Rex Parker’s explanation didn’t help. It was only after I read some of the comments on his blog that the light bulb finally went on, and I understand how the clues and answers related. One commenter posted this: “Call me a DODO, but I still don’t get it! Would someone explain it to me like I’m a four year old?” By the time I read that post, I had already figured it out. Still, it was great to know I was not the only “dodo” out there. (And, yes, someone did explain it to her in an understandable way.)

*This is the final Sunday puzzle for 2014. Nice to finish the year on a high note! The final Thursday puzzle was on December 25th. I completed it but with several errors. Here, then, are my puzzle statistics for 2014.

Sunday: 23 Perfect! 14 completed with 1 error, 3 completed with 2 errors, 1 completed with 3 errors, 1 completed with 6 errors. 10 in various stages of non-completion.

Thursday: 15 Perfect! 10 completed with 1 error and 6 completed with 2 or more errors. 21 in various stages of non-completion.

Those who think the Sunday puzzle is the most difficult of the week are wrong. As borne out by my statistics, Thursday is much more difficult. Friday and Saturday are even harder, so much so that I don’t even attempt them.


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