Jump to: Difficult evidence
Puzzle Friday – When creators mention initial entries for their themeless puzzles, they point out words or phrases that fascinate them so much that they choose to create an entire crossword around them.
These entries are usually placed in the grid first, just as a gardener plants a seed in the ground. The rest of the filling is inserted into the net around that seed, the clues are written and then the insert is well watered. With diligence, a timely dose of fertilizer in the spring and a little luck with the weather, builders can look forward to a decent crop at harvest time.
I'm sorry, I got lost. What I meant is that these initial entries can sometimes be the most interesting answers in the network. Although today's puzzle by Ryan Judge is no different, it also includes plenty of other clues and vital fill-ins for us to enjoy.
1 a. This “high sky” is an emotion, not a location. The answer is in ecstasy.
15 a. My mind has been trained to look for any misdirection in clues, to the point where it sometimes makes me think about them. I thought, “Solo work?” It might have something to do with the Solo cups and party supplies everywhere. In this riddle, he's a solo actor, and the answer is a monologue.
17 a. I knew that the “shoes with the distinctive yellow stitching” were made by Doc Martens, but I had never seen them referred to as DR. Martens. A visit to their website showed me that this is indeed the official name.
Oh, while I'm here, creators, please remember that if you include Doctors from Doctor Who in your puzzles, they will never be Doctor Who. “From”, even if you have a five-character field that can't be filled with anything else. Thank you for coming to this TED Talk.
20a/9d. You have to love a pair of cross clues. The answer to 9D, “nods,” is yes, and the answer to 20A, “gave 9-Down,” is yes.
38 A. This “frugal competitor” is not a frugal competitor. It's ALAMO, a competitor to Thrifty car rental. This is called a veiled capital clue, where the proper noun is placed at the beginning of the phrase to take advantage of the fact that the first letter needs to be capitalized.
56 A. Seattle Slew (with a capital S) was an American champion Thoroughbred racehorse who was the 10th winner of the American Triple Crown. “Seattle slew?”, which has a question mark and a lowercase letter, refers to a large number of things you might find in Seattle: RAINY DAYS.
4D. “Things to watch for?” In Mr. Judge's puzzle there are coats that can be stored in the restaurant's coat check room.
5 d. “In short, some of the offerings of Olympus” do not refer to gifts made to the Greek gods; It's a reference to the cameras sold by Olympus, and that's it SLRs.
8 d. The sunk cost fallacy is “a psychological barrier that links people to failed endeavors simply because they have devoted resources to them,” according to Investopedia.
12 d. It took me a while to fully appreciate this, but “some Instagram stats, appropriately?” It is a very smart idea. The answer is metadata. Instagram is owned by Mark Zuckerberg's company, Meta.
33 D. This was another great piece of evidence. “Dough” in “One Way to Make Cookie Dough?” It is a slang word that means money, and the answer is selling bread.
Hey everyone, I'm thrilled to be making my New York Times debut today! I am currently a student at Carnegie Mellon University, where I study music and mathematics.
I made this puzzle and submitted it in July, and it was accepted at the end of September. This was the first non-theme puzzle I've ever created, so I'm glad it's being published. My seeds were 33 wide, the main seed, and 8 down, which I chose after deciding I wanted to connect two keys in the middle.
I'm a big fan of having entries stacked in the corners, as I did in every section of this puzzle, and I'm glad I was able to fit so many strong entries. My favorite clues I've written are 12D and 30D; My editor favorites are the 56A and 33D.
Many thanks to Frisco and Mom for solving this mystery, and to Dad for helping with some of the clues! I hope everyone enjoyed it. Here's to the next stage!
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