Thursday, January 26, 2023

Thursday, January 26, 2023, Dan Ziring and Quiara Vasquez

Partial debut alert! Welcome to Ms. Vasquez. And what a fun puzzle to break in to the NYT with!

I do love a tricksy Thursday, and this one had me guessing far longer than typical. The clue comes at the revealer, 33A: Developing phenomena literally depicted three times in this puzzle (SNOWBALLEFFECTS). And the three answers are clued at 1A, 10A and 54A with "Gradually develop, literally). You are then asked to spell out the answer with rebuses, adding one more letter in each square to create GROW, FORM, and SWELL.

Boy, I had no idea what was going on until finally I realized that the answer I'd wanted for 3D: Punished for the weekend, perhaps, was in fact [GRO]UNDED. Then I saw [GROW]LERS, and the other shoe dropped.

I love the move from [SW]EET to [SWE]ATY to [SWEL]TER. Very descriptive of what it might be like in RO[SWELL] in the Summer. Particularly nice is the connection to the first answer of this series, ETS. Way to connect it all together!


The puzzle is very nicely constructed all around. Some good C/APs are:

5D: One might hit a very low pitch (BASSTUBA) - indeed.

36D: You might make waves when you lie about this (WATERBED). Hah!

39D: Fried food whose name translates to "breaded" (EMPANADA). Nice ROI. 

31A: Leaves in the kitchen? (BASIL).

I also enjoyed TOPSHELF. Anything that comes close to an Auntie Mame reference works in my book.

Fun puzzle! 10:15.

- Colum


  1. I agree - that was one of the funnest puzzles ever, and took a satisfyingly long time to crack the theme!! Before I figured out what was going on, I was just staring forever at three blank areas on the grid. Ultimately - nipped you by 3 seconds, Colum :) CAPRISUN is not a Canadian thing, I don't think - never heard of it. Also I thought a TUBA was a TUBA, and a BASS qualifier would be redundant....

    1. Well, after research, you are not incorrect about the tuba. What we regularly call a tuba is in fact, the bass tuba, and what we regularly call a euphonium is a tenor tuba. There is also a contrabass tuba!

  2. Wow, it took me forever to get what was going on. Like you, Colum, I really wanted GROUNDED at 3D and that's when I finally cracked what might've been happening. Quite a workout, but ultimately satisfying. Philbo, I never heard of CAPRI SUN either.

  3. This was a great one! I love a rebus and this was an especially inventive one. Took me a little bit over 21 minutes. (Tough to comment on this device; much easier on my laptop.)