Sunday, April 14, 2019

Sunday, April 14, 2019, Will Nediger

LEFT/RIGHT SYMMETRY

Today's puzzle is an impressive piece of construction on many levels. On the most basic level, the grid is set up in left-right symmetry. On the next level, Mr. Nediger has found five pairs of words  or phrases where the substitution of L for R (or vice versa) creates a new crossword acceptable word or phrase. And finally, you'll note that the entire remaining grid is free of Ls or Rs except for those ten instances.

My favorite pair of answers is 1D: What some carefree beachgoers do (GOTOPLESS) and 18D: Start printing (GOTOPRESS). I will just mention for the record that I must not be carefree - I wear a rash guard whenever I'm out in the sun to protect my fellow beachgoers from my blindingly white skin. My initial thought about the theme was that the circled squares would be SchrÃ¶dinger squares, where either L or R could equally go. But as I was getting started on my solve and put 1D in, I thought to myself, "go topress" isn't a phrase. Just goes to show how much I know.

All that being said, I didn't find the solve all that much fun. The "aha" moment was not particularly exciting, and there aren't many sparkling long entries. That can't be too surprising. When you eliminate two of the eleven top most common letters in the English language, your flexibility has got to be limited. After all, in this paragraph, twenty-two of the sixty-nine words contain those letters in them.

So how about some fun clues?

53A: They're full of holes (SIEVES)
56A: Popular girl's name any way (ANNA)
84A: Artless nickname? (STU)
97A: Some breads ... or a homophone for what bread loaves do (RYES)

- Colum

1 comment:

1. 40:05
I agree that this felt like a slog for the most part. Time-wise it's fine, but other than the occasional SKOSH or KISSY, not much was able to STOKE any excitement. My favorite theme pairing is MOLASSES/MORASSES for obvious reasons.