At our annual house Halloween Party last week, I was startled by the plenitude of crazy costumes this year. It’s taken me a week to recover and post a few pictures. Two examples come to mind. First up:
Direct from the Mushroom Kingdom . . . TOAD! What an original costume! Here, Leah . . .er, Toad . . . poses in front of Leonardo’s Medusa Lisa. The mushroom cap should be recognizable to Super Mario Bros. 2 fans . . . Toad is a cool character. Leah, an excellent violinist, really strung us along with her disguise this year …
Next up: It’s square . . .
It’s black-and-white . . .
It’s clued . . .
It’s Lucas as . . . The Human Crossword.
Lucas created an interactive costume; partygoers can solve the puzzle on the spot. (See the clues in red?) He also decorated areas of the puzzle with musical terms. I love this detail (below): his visual interpretation of CRESCENDO speaks volumes to me. Lucas is a superb pianist and when it comes to musical terms, he really knows the score!
The costume is patterned after a puzzle called “Composer Crossword.” (We’ve included a PDF download below.) Every puzzle has a story, and this one began two years ago, when Lucas (then 8 years old) wrote a letter to The New York Times, putting forth his lists of “favorite” and “great” composers.
I recommend that you solve “Composer Crossword” first, and then read the NYT article (see link in “spoiler alert” section below), for it reveals the puzzle answers.
As for the puzzle itself: Lucas wrote the clues. The answers are based on his composer lists. (I merged the two lists and arranged them, crisscross-style.) I lightly tweaked the clues, but it was a delight to simply let Lucas’ voice shine through. Lucas is 10 years old and I look forward to solving more of his puzzles!
And speaking of the crossword/pianist connection: Will Shortz has confirmed that pianists (Jon Delfin and Dan Feyer specifically) seem to win the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament more often than any other profession. Will we see Lucas at the ACPT some day? I’m just sayin’ . . .
We invite you to solve “Composer Crossword!”
Click on the image. Download. Print. Solve. Share. Enjoy!
1. Click HERE for the answer grid.
2. Check out Anthony Tommasini’s response to Lucas’ letter to the New York Times
3. And just because I can’t resist: Lucas and Leah (out of costume) in recital. They’re my good neighbors, and I love hearing them practice!
Thanks for solving, friends! Ciao! ~Liz