Fangs for the Memory

New York Times, Oct. 31

Happy Halloween, everybody! I’m somewhat relieved to report that no trick-or-treaters have yet braved our centralized doorbell system to beg sweets from us — we didn’t think to buy any candy this year. And I’m pretty sure giving out bottles of beer and/or cat treats would not go over well.

Today’s amusingly frightening grid by Elizabeth C. Gorski is a twofer: a vampiric movie theme coupled with a connect-the-dots (well, connect-the-letters) bonus that may lead you to call an exterminator.

“Fangs for the Memory” contains some of the best and worst of filmdom’s bloodsucking genre, from DRACULA (appropriately in the heart of the grid, 68 Across) and NOSFERATU to LOVE AT FIRST BITE and VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN. (Rounding them out: NEAR DARK, BLOOD TIES and TWILIGHT.)

Holy Bat-puzzle!

Then, following the instructions at the top of the puzzle, you can connect the circled letters A through R in alphabetical order  and — Holy Bat-puzzle, Will Shortz! — you’ll get a real scare. OK, not really. But it’s pretty cool. (And do the black squares make it look like a smiling bat? Or maybe a weird jack o’lantern expression?)

Thought I Caught An Error Dept.: I really thought I had Will this time after filling in GUERILLA for “Kind of warfare” (91 Down). I was positive it was spelled GUERRILLA; after all, “guerra” (“war” in Spanish) has two Rs. But dictionary.com says “guerrilla” can be spelled with one R or two.

Questions or comments? Tweet me @crosswordkathy.

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Comments

6 thoughts on “Fangs for the Memory”

  1. Kathy,

    About the black square pattern on the 10/31 puzzle…I thought it looked like a spider. Two fangs (for the memories) at the top, three legs down each side, two legs at the bottom. (Spidies have 8, insects 6.)

    A tangled web indeed.

    Bill

  2. Aha! I see the spider now, too. Good eyes! (Or good imagination … guess we’d have to check with Ms. Gorski on that one.)

  3. Just to fill in your missing square, the canals at Sault Ste. Marie, one in Michigan and another in Ontario, are informally known as the Soo Canals. One letter missing is sometimes more frustrating than an entire word. Cheers!

    Paul

  4. Hey, thanks for that! I know the connection between “Soo” and Sault Ste. Marie, but somehow the sole reference to Ontario gave me a brain cramp.

  5. Good catch! I think I got so caught up in drawing the bat that I didn’t double-check a lot of squares. I know I’ve eaten enough kebabs to be able to spell that right, even if LEE J was not familiar to me …

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