Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Wednesday, April 6, 2022, Damon Gulczynski

One of the great things about going to the Crossword Puzzle Tournament is getting a chance to meet the constructors. Mr. Gulczynski checked me in when I arrived Friday night. It's a funny little frisson to lay eyes on people you've gotten to know through their work, in this fairly small world of crosswording. Someone pointed out to me that it's not as small as I might think: apparently 28 million people are doing Wordle every day; likely a fair proportion are also doing the crossword. However, only 500 showed up to Stamford, so that's pretty small.

I love this puzzle. What a great idea to use those qualifying words we see so frequently in crossword puzzle clues in the place of the old "e.g," but by removing the COMMA, make it seem like they're not qualifying. Talk about TRICKERY! The reveal is highlighted by the excellent clue at 74A: Punctuation mark missing in "Let's eat people!" (at least one would hope!).

Thus, 1A: *Leave briefly (VACAY) is really meant to be "leave, briefly," or a short way of saying "vacation." The others play on "say," "for one," and "frequently." 41A: *All for one (LAUNDRYDETERGENT) is simply brilliant. How completely the meaning changes with that added comma! I don't love the answer COURSEEXAM. I'm not sure what would have worked better, but it's really a small complaint.


Some other nice things in this better than typical Wednesday include things like the casual phrases TOBEFAIR and THATSODD. I also enjoyed the presence of TWEEDLEDUM. I had to leave the last two letters blank for a little bit to be certain I had the right one!

Tough clue at 16A: Mystical character (RUNE). I tried gUru at first, and then had to fill in everything with crosses once I'd taken out the wrong letters. I didn't expect that kind of character! Also a nice gendered misdirect with 30D: Some playground attendants (DADS). I recall those days with some fair degree of nostalgia.

- Colum


  1. I love this puzzle, too! Such a clever gimmick that I didn't get at first at all...and then roared with appreciation. The clue for the reveal is really, really funny.

  2. The "Mystical character" clue also eluded me initially - I tried 'seer'. Ha! LAUNDRYDETERGENT was my favorite theme answer, too. I liked "Subs" for BTEAM and, fill-wise, enjoyed CANARD. **SPOILER ALERT**, how about today's WORDLE vis-à-vis this puzzle's revealer?

  3. I took advantage of your spoiler, Frannie, and got today's WORDLE in 1! Just so I can say that I once did it (and downplay the fact that I basically cheated :) ) This was a fun one! COURSEEXAM and REAIR are ever so slightly klunky, but oh well. 4:15

  4. So glad you enjoyed my puzzle!

    It was great to chat with Horace at the wine and cheese reception at ACPT. Feel free to say hi if our paths cross again in Crossworld (likely).

    Now I have another site to add to my daily crossword blog reading!

    1. Thanks for checking in, Damon! It was great talking with you, too. Loved this theme.