Sunday puzzle Jesse Goldberg is a software engineer in San Francisco. This is his third crossword puzzle for The Times (and his second Sunday language—his first, in about a year, Was Beautiful and pulled quotes from a famous French cuisine, if you missed it). Many analysts will be familiar with the daily routine of this beloved puzzle creator: solve Wordle, check WordlebotPlay Spelling Bee Solve the crossword puzzle in that order.
The packaging is bright today, and there are quite a few interesting long entries; It’s so easy to get a little lost while looking for the look.
44 a. I drew a blank in this trivial guide,” Andy Dufresne in “The Shawshank Redemption,” for example, and thought for a while that it might be in the topic because I had been misdirected to the homonym. I had “Mr” instead of CYD CHARISSE , which left me with the word “essapee” nonsense as in “SaP.” silly, but only one letter of Correct description Dufresne, played by Tim Robbins in the movie, became an ESCAPEE prisoner.
94 a. This entry surprised me, even though I’m a huge owner and fan. The phrase “may they reach all parts of the earth” refers to delightful, rechargeable rooms.
17 d. Mr. Goldberg is a software engineer, and when I saw a “server error”, with some strategic cross characters, I wrote “root error”. This does not seem to be a thing. there “root directory”but it is benign. Also, the ‘server’ in question is not part of a computer system or a restaurant employee; it is a reference to tennis and a foot-fault error.
53 d. “Primeval” makes me think of an old-growth forest without people squabbling and yelling and making tools, but STONE AGE is a synonym.
62D./65D. I found the arrangement of these clues ingenious. 62D, “Prince’s early collaborator”, leads to Maurice Day (who’s Still wandering, with time). 65D, “ru 4 real?” Reminds me of a singing princess.
There are four pairs of subject entries in today’s puzzle that do the same trick, which is letter offset, where a letter jumps from one entry in the pair to the other and makes both pun clues make sense. There’s also a delightful detector, at 115-Across, that points out the details of a character shift that somehow eluded me.
The other thing that somehow got me off while solving this puzzle is the actual pairing between those. I blame this for finding almost all entries that get a letter first; These are in 24-, 51-, 71- and 96-cross, and they are barrel of monkeys.
On 24-Across, “Where do some belts tighten?”bell bottoms. If you notice the title of the puzzle, you’ll nod here—”Why? Well why not?” It makes sense for a topic that requires adding the letter “Y” to terms and phrases for comedic effect.
51- Via is amazing. “A lawyer with absurdly exaggerated humor?” The difference becomes on another career path, CAMPY COUNSELOR. 71- via “The Harvest Machine That Needs to be Cleaned?” becomes dark. 96-Across, “A Battle Between Tinker Bell and Princess Ozma?” Light as a Feather: Both characters are involved in a fairy tale battle.
I solved three of those clues before I got anywhere with their partners in crime, which are at 29, 58, 80 and 108 across. For some reason, these were more difficult for me, and I haven’t seen the connection for a while. 29-Across, “The Red Badge of Courage” by Stephen Crane, “For example?”, resolves to COMBAT READ. Yes, yes, a famous war novel. I understood you. 80-Across was more than just a head scratcher but still somehow acceptable: “The Doctor’s Description of the Birth of Three Sons?” Solve to three times the salad. Ah, yes, Mr. Goldberg, very clever.
Fortunately, 58-Across saved me. Sleeping stage? Solves to the SLUMBER part. AHA! This “sleep-party” is missing a “Y” in the case of “Well, why not?” This means that COMBAT READ is a “ready-to-combat” play, which is “three times Ms. “
Finally, at (almost) the bottom of this puzzle is this surprising little reveal in 115-Across: “Be aware…or a symmetrical description of four letters in this puzzle grid.” I was thinking of “seeing why” or something like that, but this is much better. Say wisdom out loud, if only to yourself – the Y is the top two – and note the path of each “Y” in these trait pairs. They each take a mini two-row ride and fit perfectly – so stylish!
This topic came up by chance. Fortunately, I noticed the possibility of wordplay when the phrase revealing appeared in something I was reading. It might not be the most effective way to generate theme ideas, but keeping your mind in “crossword mode” as you go about your day can sometimes pay off.
Overall, the network creation process was fairly smooth. Since they only needed to remove/add a single character, there were plenty of options to choose from. I struggled a bit with the detector attitude. For those purists who would love to have their detector in the final through the aperture, just know I struggled really hard to make it but just couldn’t quite make it. At least not without some ugly packing options that I wasn’t willing to accept.
Hope you all enjoy the solution.
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