August 5, 2011 9:28 PM   Subscribe

⃞⃞⃞⃞⃞⃞⃞⃞⃞⃞⃞⃞ A Puzzle Father leading prestidigitation to a cluster of drupes.(7,5)

For those that follow the bylines of crossword puzzles, the answer himself needs no introduction. He is, of course, Patrick Berry, creator of NYTimes Friday-Saturday puzzles that are to dedicated solvers:
A perfect example of the form. Anyone who wants to be a constructor should first get Patrick's book, Crossword Puzzle Challenges for Dummies, which is unerring; and second, study his grids, which do not cry out for attention but instead command respect with their careful, smooth, fluid construction and their genuinely thoughtful, often entertaining cluing. Your goal should always be to make puzzles this smooth—you will fail, mostly, but it should be your goal anyway.

–Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

But it's not only his compelling, fluid grids that give the dedicated puzzler a decidedly triumphant excrucigesis at the end of a Patrick Berry puzzle, or whatever you may like to call it.

This is the kind of puzzle that makes even accomplished constructors just shake their heads in amazement. And yet it's probably just about average for Patrick Berry. I'm out of superlatives for this guy.
–Rex Parker, again.
In short, or in the Will Shortz era, he's one of the most prolifically pleasing puzzle constructors around.

He's also a dedicated novelty puzzle constructer, bringing into the WSJ and other venues exotic, challenging forms of word puzzles, each with their own clever reward. Such as today's Rows Garden. The WSJ puzzle blog has extensive, free archives as well, from Berry and other exemplars of the exotic puzzle form.

Even better, for the devotees of the novelty puzzle form he's also got FREE PUZZLES, on his own website, not published elsewhere.

Once you've exhausted the online puzzles available, through intemperate solving, there's another book, to tide you through the slow weeks before another masterpiece appears.
posted by Cold Lurkey (3 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Your cryptic clue above the cut seems a little sloppy! The leading "A" doesn't do anything, and father gets used twice. From what I understand that may be okay in British-style cryptics, (and older american ones too I think) but modern American cryptics are pretty rigid in what is considered acceptable in a clue.

If anyone wants to try their hand at absolutely insane variety cryptics, I've been working my way through those made by Ucaoimhu. They tend to be extremely tight in construction, with fair and solid clues, and ridiculously elaborate tricks. People who haven't done a cryptic before might want to cut their teeth on something else though.
posted by aubilenon at 4:04 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

He's not the only puzzle father, hence "A" is all right. I'm used to seeing a question mark at the end for clues that do things like use the word father twice, though.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:15 AM on August 6, 2011

I do miss Eugene Maleska.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:39 PM on August 17, 2011

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