Camping Aid

Gary Kennedy creates a tribute to his son’s early passion in his first solo crossword debut.

Comments: 61

  1. Congratulations on your first solo flight, Mr. Kennedy. I was onto the SWISS ARMY KNIFE right away, and it was fun seeing which functions were going to be used.

  2. Nice puzzle and an amusing backstory. An impressive semi-debut.

  3. A sad reminder for me. The TSA has confiscated two of my Swiss Army knives.

  4. In another year or so, I'll look forward to seeing a puzzle constructed by Gary, Stephen and Charlie.

  5. Love the Swiss Army Knife too. Used to take it on all my travels, until 9/11. Nice opener for the week.

  6. You can put it in your hold luggage, Beejay.

  7. And then you can get a friend in Albuquerque to forward it to you whenever your bags arrive there instead of San Francisco!

  8. I had fun with this though I wasn't onto it for a while. But what's a Swiss army knife if it doesn't have the plastic toothpick insert? I only buy the models that have it.

    Funny to see that they now include flash drives. Of course, why not?

  9. Trouble getting started in the NW where PATIO came before PORCH....I was such a STOOP to think that was right.....

  10. I put LANAI in first which caused great confusion since I didn't yet have SWISS figured out. Changed to PATIO which obviously didn't work....and finally PORCH.

  11. Exactly the same as Gary...and I would never have put in lanai if I weren't a XW puzzler!

    Growing up in a row house in Phila., stoop was the only real option.

  12. I filled in lots with my first pass through the Acrosses, but the SWISS and ARMY and KNIFE had to wait until I went through the Downs and started to complete things. Nicely put together!

    I put down PLAN D before PART D and had to go back and fix that, but otherwise it was pretty straightforward. I just noticed that SHIPLOAD and NOAH'S ARK are symmetrical!

  13. I wish I could claim that was part of my plan.

  14. By mentioning SHIPLOAD, you ruined my joke, which was to ask, what the heck is a CAN OTENER???

  15. Is it just me, or does the total solution not show up? Ever? I loved this puzzle! Easy but crunchy.

  16. I use xwordinfo.com to see completed puzzles. Great web site full of information for crossword silver's and constructors.

  17. Liz,

    The solution only shows up for people who subscribe to the electronic edition of the puzzles. Deb has acknowledged that they're working on a way for others, like print subscribers, to see it.

  18. Martin,
    Thanks for confirming my posted suspicion that it was "electronic sub vs. not" that was the distinction. Any idea *why* a "universal" link is so hard to come by for this particular item? All other links in the Wordplay column work for us print sub folk...

  19. Quick and relatively easy, although I didn't pick up on the theme until I got SCISSORS, then things clicked into place. Big fan of the knife - just recently had one repaired/refurbished.

  20. It's 9:03 and the Monday puzzle isn't available on the iPad. Could you please see what's the problem. Thanks.

  21. I carry the fattest Swiss Army knife that will for comfortably in my pocket. I'm flying home from Denver tomorrow so I have to put it in my suitcase tonight. So, this puzzle was quick and fun for me.

    Thanks for the entertainment.

  22. Was at our lake house for a few days playing some high-stakes money bridge. One of the players noticed that I was doing the Wednesday puzzle and commented that he didn't bother with Monday through Wednesday.--too easy. Made me feel dumb. But, he is missing some fun, like today's puzzle.

  23. Funny, I can see myself skipping the latter part of the week for exactly the opposite reason. I enjoyed doing more than half the puzzle without beginning to piece words together! First time for that for me!

  24. He sounds like he was trying to psych you out, Marcia. Ignore him and enjoy your puzzles.

  25. and Elke
    Neat symmetry of TWEEZERS and SCISSORS and CAN OPENER and CORKSCREW .
    With NOAH'S ARK ,SCROLL ,EXORCISM and CHRIST , after yesterday's Biblical Puns- we seem to be on a religious roll...
    On a Monday we have a reverse trig question ?
    Am not happy with the TSA either ( hi- Mike R.) Ten years ago they took my teeny SWISS ARMY KNIFE and added it to the pile of confiscated goods - wonder what happens to all these perfectly good items ????
    Fortunately, we still have R's behemoth--with a small saw which has never been used (yet).Like Mac K.- he puts it in the checked luggage .
    Neat fun puzzle.

  26. and Elke
    Martin- thanks for that info. Think I see my little knife in one of those piles. Do hope that the funds raised wind up in a food bank ....

  27. I hope so too. Could I interest you in a bridge?

  28. A super-easy clue made this easy Monday puzzle easier,
    I will accept is a birthday present.

  29. Correction:
    I will accept it as a birthday present.

  30. Happy Birthday, Amitai ; enjoy your day

  31. Happy birthday Amitai, and thaks for clearing up a discrepancy between two sources I read, listing your birthday in one as May 22 and in the other as March 22. Carry on! עד מאה כעשרים.

  32. Easily done. What's an SRO?

  33. It's an acronym for Standing Room Only....

  34. Tahoe, SRO stands for Standing Room Only, thus a sold out show. Also an example of crsswordese.

  35. Suejean, SRO is very much in the language in NYC, especially among Broadway aficionados. It means you can buy your way into the theater, but you have to stand the whole time, behind the last row of seats.

  36. I'm a fan of the swiss army card, rather than knife. Easier to get past security searches. It has come to my rescue many times. On a different tack, Monday's puzzle was available in the UK at. 11.00pm Sunday. So, I could have done it on the same day as the Sundays puzzle. On the other hand, I had to wait until after a late breakfast before I could get at Sunday's puzzle. Why the variation in publication time? Plan or caprice?

  37. The Sunday puzzle should be available equally early. Sunday's posts on Saturdays at 6 pm New York time, and Monday's posts on Sunday at 6 pm New York time. If any puzzle gets short shrift from this arrangement, it would be Saturday's, which posts at the usual 10 pm local time on Friday night.

    The links to the Sunday Variety puzzles and Second puzzle tend to go live late on Thursday local time.

  38. Thanks very much. Your quick response is appreciated. That's one source of the problem eliminated. Most likely suspect is now the ipad app.

  39. Some people have posted about the ipad version being late in posting. I solve on a desktop (full-size, yay!), so I don't know about those details.

    The tech crew has been working at each of the individual glitches, over the past year and more. Deb suggests using the Feedback form on the main puzzle page to make sure that they are aware of continuing problems.

  40. Loved this one from start to finish. Beautifully balanced, with lots of good entries and nicely easy for a Monday

    My husband always had his SWISS ARMY KNIFE with him, (with toothpick, David) whether camping or not. No prizes for guessing the most used function.

    I'm definitely looking forward to more from Gary.

  41. Anyone who wants to experience a masterpiece of concept and construction needs to somehow get hold of last week's Fireball puzzle by Patrick Berry. It is jaw-droppingly amazing what he put together.

    This fell quickly, and I like the crosses CASINO/OWES and ESSES/SCISSORS. The theme works for a Monday, where inexperienced solvers are learning the concept of "theme". And welcome back, Gary, after seven years!

    The Swiss Army WorkChamp XL has 31 "functions" (blades and more), including a seat belt cutter, and hoof cleaner, no lie. So I started thinking, what function would I like to see on a Swiss Army Knife that I haven't seen yet? The first two things that popped into my mind were Thesaurus and Automobile Jack.

  42. Musician's Swiss Army Knife - reed knife, tuning hammer, string cutter, pad tools...I can picture it now!

  43. I've used the tweezers as an emergency spring unhooker for my flute. The nice guys at Powell made me a real one (a little y-fork on a stalk with a knurled handle) during a visit and I would love it on that knife.

  44. Nice Monday puzzle. A bit more challenging than usual for me, as I had to get the theme before I was really able to get going in a few places. It was working out ARMY that finally gave it to me. Waffled between DDE and IKE for a bit (I never manage to remember which 'cuisine' is which). Thought the fill was quite good for the most part.

    Never owned a Swiss army knife and only recall handling one a couple of times. I do still have an old Barlow pocket knife (I think I originally got it about 55 years ago) sitting in the bottom of the tray where I keep my wallet and keys. Can't remember the last time I picked it up.

    OT: I knew a kid in high school, the child of Italian immigrants, who went by "Chris" but whose given name was actually 58a. Everyone knew and it ended up having a sort of "boy named Sue" effect on him, as he ended up in a lot of fights in response to snarky comments, which invariably consisted of essentially inserting a comma between his first and last names. Out of curiosity I went a did a search and I found someone with that name who posts regularly on a particular blog and uses his original given name. Don't know for sure that it's him, but there can't be that many people with that name combination. Nice to see that he eventually embraced it.

  45. Our head tech guy at work is named Jesus, which he pronounces as in English. Leads to many puns around the office, as one might expect.

  46. Guess he never learned to turn the other cheek?

  47. Nice, easy puzzle. It was fun sussing out all the functions.
    A great start to the day.

  48. "Clean, fun, and interesting." Roger that.

  49. I agree that it was easy, but it IS Monday. Nice little workmanlike puzzle!

    Dhubby started the day with an alarm at 6 a.m. which he claims he did not set, followed by a coffeemaker mistake followed by a coffeemaker disaster (yes, two separate goof-ups.). When I leave the house to go to my quilting guild meeting, I will take away his SWISS ARMY KNIFE, since I'm worried about leaving him home alone.

  50. Clever theme, but perhaps we can use the big blade of the knife to excise Cheri Oteri from the crossword? She's up there with Brian Eno and Yoko Ono as a cheap crossword date.

  51. n

  52. I gave you a reco for brevity, Bru.

  53. You couldn't have put it more succinctly, Brutus.

  54. Mr. Kennedy's puzzle had me at SWISS ARMY KNIFE. This concept alone provided me with all the flat-out fun I needed to remember when I first held one in my hand, marveling at all the little instruments so cleverly tucked into the so-much-more-than a knife knife.

    Thank you, Gary Kennedy, and congratulations on your solo debut!

  55. Sorry about the previous post. I never hit the submit box but the one letter comment, 'n', went flying off into the blogosphere regardless...Today's theme, with the crafty, diagonal design included, (top to bottom, west to east) was a fond reminder of the days when the little red folding machine was an integral part of my stuff. I wish I still had the original. I'm at a loss to recall whatever became of the implement. A switchblade for sure, the cutter earns a spot on the top of the cutting edge of innovation. This is Jimmy Buffett's "Last Mango In Paris."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vynpKk9Kjog

  56. Nice Monday puzzle! It's been a long time since my camping days with our children, and I was expecting a reference to tents, Coleman lamps, etc. Once I had filled in SWISS, ARMY and KNIFE quickly fell into place. I never had one myself but I fiddled with my husband's knife a few times & found it confusing and hard to manipulate.

    ARCTAN didn't ring a bell, my trig days being long in the past. My days of early independence began with a brownstone rental that was basically an SRO (shared a bathroom and a refrigerator!) on a NYC street later destined to become a yippee haven.

  57. Finding a double cross-referenced clue @1A on a Monday is likely to put me in a cranky mood, but this one solved quickly and smoothly enough, so no hard feelings. Cleverly constructed grid, with the various attachments branching out from the theme answer. As Lewis already said, nifty idea to cross ESSES with SCISSORS. Also enjoy seeing NOAHSARK and ARCTAN side by side.

    "KNIFE Edge" by prog-rock trio Emerson, Lake & Palmer extends writing credits to both Johann Sebastian Bach and Czech composer Leos Janacek, because Keith Emerson nicked parts of the melody from classical compositions (he did that a lot with the group). The somber yet rocking result was a staple of FM "underground" radio in the 70s.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrUkKNVTzTE

  58. No new comments for 5 hours? So far.

  59. I know I've been busy for the past seven hours. Has everyone else been busy, or did the comments shut down seven hours ago?

    (This is a test.)

  60. LOL. I sent that comment in at 7 p.m. yesterday. The logjam has broken.