WEDNESDAY PUZZLE — What a pleasure of a puzzle we’ve got in the present day! That is Nancy Stark and Will Nediger’s fifth collaboration, and so they clearly have a formulation that works. There have been so many standout clues on this puzzle, however I particularly needed to level out the symmetrical IRISH PUBS and SPORTS BAR at 10-Down and 32-Down, which put an enormous smile on my face after I stuffed them each in.
Full disclosure: I had a barely more durable time on this puzzle than I might on a median Wednesday. I say that to not discourage, however as a substitute to encourage you to keep it up. This puzzle would require you to deploy your entire crossword expertise to resolve and can make you a greater solver for it.
24A. MESHUGA is a Yiddish phrase which means crazy or foolish.
28A. “Wrangler” on this clue refers to Wrangler denims, so LEE refers back to the clothes model.
34A. “Sting,” within the clue refers to being stung by a WASP, to not an operation designed to catch criminals. It additionally doesn’t confer with the musician.
43A. I needed to learn this clue just a few instances earlier than the phrases stopped wanting like a disconnected assortment of nouns. “The Persistence of Reminiscence” and “Lobster Phone” are work by the artist Salvador Dalí. Using “and” within the clue makes it plural, so the reply is DALIS.
2D. Peter O’TOOLE holds the report for probably the most Academy Award nominations for appearing without a win. He was nominated for his roles in movies like “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Becket.” In 2002, he was awarded an honorary Oscar.
36D. The reply right here is SLAT, as in a thin, narrow strip of something.
47D. A HEIFER is a younger feminine cow that has not given birth to a calf.
In the present day’s Theme
Ms. Stark and Mr. Nediger supply us three theme solutions and a revealer. Let’s begin by looking at 20-Throughout. We’ve the reply “TOO MANY COOKS,” which is clued as “Begin of a saying about getting in the way in which.”
Now, earlier than revealing the top of the saying, we should give a SPOILER ALERT, or a warning that the plot or finish of something is about to be revealed. Every theme reply is the start of an idiom about spoiling one thing.
In the event you want slightly assist with the theme solutions, click on or faucet on the clues under.
This was such an gratifying puzzle. I obtained tripped up by the theme at first as a result of I didn’t know all of the idioms, however as soon as I obtained the revealer, it was clean crusing to the top. I stay up for extra collaborations from Ms. Stark and Mr. Nediger.
I initially had an concept for a puzzle about “spoilers,” however my theme reply concepts had been all around the map. Nor did I’ve a very good technique for cluing them easily. I feel that I had numerous cross-referencing between the clues and the solutions, and that the clues tended to be overlong.
Enter Will Nediger. First, he whittled down my theme concepts to give you the three that had been the strongest and probably the most internally constant. After which he discovered this extremely elegant manner of cluing them: transient, clear, easy and utterly honest. Scary curiosity however giving completely nothing away. Once I noticed his answer — one I don’t suppose I might have considered alone — I could have truly shouted “Eureka!”
My second “Eureka!” was when SPOILER ALERT turned out to have the identical variety of letters as TOO MANY COOKS. From such serendipitous occurrences comes the untrammeled pleasure of the puzzle constructor 🙂
I’m actually pleased with the development and the tightness of the theme right here. Looking back, although, I remorse together with “spare the rod…” in a wordplay theme (my duty solely, not Nancy’s!). I have a tendency to consider it as a quaint saying as a result of it’s now extensively understood that corporal punishment is dangerous and flawed, however after all it’s not solely a factor of the previous — I apologize to anybody whose fixing expertise was soured by its inclusion.
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The Tipping Level
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