I can sail along for a while, then get bogged down and have to set it aside. When I come back, I get rejump started and can usually finish it up.
But a recent puzzle had one word that really bogged me down - and it is embarrassing what that word was.
The vertical clue was “Restaurant fixtures,” 8 letters. Working horizontally I came up with _ _ E E _ E _ S.
Lot of help there, right? (OK, some of you probably got it already.)
After a bit more struggle and erasing for a couple of horizontals, I figured out “Ramon” was the first name of “Catcher Castro” and a “1994 sc-fi film” was “Stargate.” That gave me _ R E E _ E R S.
You’d think I’d have it by now. But no. I had to recall that most crosswords have parallel patterns for some words. “Stargate” had a parallel pattern with the word “Stargaze” for “Act the astronomer.”
That added a “Z” to my mystery restaurant word and I finally got the answer: “FREEZERS.”
Nothing is sadder than to have the refrigeration editor of a major HVACR publication have to figure out the word “FREEZERS” by knowing baseball players and sci-fi movies.