Friday puzzle Welcome to Friday, everyone. We made it, and we have a puzzle-free gem to get you started on the weekend. Today’s Puzzle is a collaboration between creators Christina Iverson (new assistant editor at Los Angeles Times Crossword) and Caitlin Reid (a mainstay in The New Yorker’s all-star crossword puzzle creator).
I’ve always felt that crossword puzzles should have marker lines to help distinguish their brand and capture what makes a New York Times puzzle different from a Los Angeles Times or New Yorker Puzzle. I’ve tried running a few potential New York Times crossword clues by the editors here, with very little success. Some of my favorites were “all the printable clues” – that was tricky (“it’s non-grammatical”) – and “it’ll help you out when you get frustrated” (also, oddly enough, it wasn’t immediately embraced).
Because it’s Friday, and because I think everyone can use a fun distraction from all *unruly *gestures this isI humbly ask that you suggest your potential tag lines in the comments.
Speaking of fun distractions, let’s get into today’s great puzzle by taking a peek at some of the tougher clues.
1 a. Right outside the gate, we hit the “it kneads to make naan and roti” switch, which I adore. We often see ATTA connoted as “introduction to a boy or girl” (as in, ATTAboy!), and it drives me crazy because there’s actually a totally unpleasant meaning to ATTA: the flour used to bake naan bread and roti.
18 a. The “foldable foundation” is ORIGAMI, because you fold the paper to create ORIGAMI.
25 a. The meter reader checked my gas usage the other day, but “meter reader?” He is a poet who may recite poetry (meters) in a recitation or a poetic shed.
37 a. I’ve never had seats on the court at a basketball game, but from what I can see on TV, they’re just regular chairs. But here we’re talking about “courtside benches?” With a question mark – the pun is on the “side of the court,” which, rather than referring to the basketball court, refers to the court of the king or queen. Therefore, the respective stadium seats are the throne.
56A, ‘hot’ events are a meet because track or swim runners meet for individual competitions.
57 a. “Tag line?” It is an excellent guide to “do not iron”. I’m not sure this tag line would work with the New York Times Crossword, but it would definitely prevent me from damaging a silk shirt with a hot iron if it was printed prominently on the card. I mean, will likely Help, assuming I read the tag first.
8 d. I had no idea FALLS was a “classic destination for honeymooners”. Are we talking like Niagara Falls? Some other waterfalls? Only waterfalls in general? I did a quick internet search on this topic, and it seems to be something!
19 d. I love MAGNET’s “you can draw things with this” idea because it works on two levels. The correct level of wordplay is that MAGNET might draw something using its magnetism, but the smarter level is that Etch A Sketch is really just a magnet and a bunch of iron filings that you use to draw.
40 d. Today I learned that what we refer to in the US as a sedan is a SALOON in Britain. (The proof here is in the analogy form “sedan: US: ___: UK”) Do Brits get confused when they visit tourist attractions in the Old West where they are expected to drink in a saloon?
42 d. Evidence of “religious exodus” refers to Hegra, which was Muhammad’s departure from Mecca in the seventh century.
52 d. “Large sums of money, unofficially” is GEES, short for “Grands,” or Thousands of Dollars. As in, “Jess paid 40 for his new salon.”
Thank you to Mrs. Iverson and Mrs. Reed for this fun Friday game. Let’s hear from them about their collaboration.
Christina Iverson: I am happy to share my secondary lines with one of the best companies in this field! Caitlin and I called three years ago when we hooked up because at the time we were homeschoolers. (I’ve since started working as an assistant editor for Patti Varol at the Los Angeles Times Crossword.) We bounced back ideas for nursery rhymes but never ended up making a themed puzzle. About a year and a half later, we reconnected and made this pointless, with IM A LITTLE TEAPOT as a seed. With the development of the network, only TEAPOT remained, but I think the puzzle is better for it.
I learned a lot from Caitlin about featureless build. Its puzzles are always very sparkling and clean, which is what I always strive to achieve in any puzzle. It really prompted me with this section, to keep reworking it until we are 100 percent satisfied with each section.
Caitlin Reed: As Christina mentioned, we’ve been looking forward to collaborating together on solving a mystery for a while now. I’m excited because it’s finally time!
Christina is pleased to work with her and seriously aims for a clean and pleasant filling. No wonder the Los Angeles Times wanted her to be an assistant editor! It was a lot of our favorite fill and clues we gave her, like the 57-Across and many other nice things that unfortunately ended up on the cutting room floor. I also loved the idea of the editorial team for 18-Across. Hope you enjoy the puzzle!
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