Saturday, December 23, 2023

Saturday, December 23, 2023, Will Nediger

When I opened the puzzle on the app this morning, I was a bit unsettled by the form of the grid. That many white squares all in a row, has, in the past, spelled trouble for this solver. Imagine my surprise then, when I read the first clue, "Modern-day scrapbooks, of a sort," and I dropped in PINTERESTalbums, and it fit! Huzzah! If you are reading this sentence, you already know that my excitement was ill-founded, but happily, only partially so. Looking at the Down clues, it became clear pretty quickly that the 'albums' part of my answer was incorrect.  Fortunately, the answers OPEN, RIDDANCE, and SNEAKERS at 11, 13, and 15D got me quickly back on BOARDS.

I *should* have dropped in the second grid-spanning across ("Common cybersecurity measure"), but I overthought it and spent time wracking my brain for various security type acronyms that would fit the space. The correct answer, was the more generic EMAILENCRYPTION

All six of the grid-spanning entries were excellent, with MARINEBIOLOGIST having, perhaps, the most entertaining clue ("Academic who works with many different schools, maybe"). The third spanner in the north, THREADTHENEEDLE, was also good. When it happens, there is something very satisfying about getting a long answer, isn't there? The same holds true for getting answers to tricky clues. It took me what seemed like forever to re-parse the clue at 28A "Does" as a plural noun for the animal instead of as a verb, even when I already had H_NDS. Derp. In a word, LESSTHANSTELLAR solve technique, but a delightful aha moment when I figured it out. 


There was good stuff to be found among the shorter answers as well. I particularly liked HACK for "Handy trick," "Goes for" for COSTS, and "Hearing monitor, for short" for ENT was clever. "PiƱa colada topper was a great clue for TILDE.

As my review week draws to a close, I have this final bit of crossword advice to offer: keep an open mind. :) Best wishes to all our dear Readers for a congenial holiday season and a puzzling New Year.


1 comment:

  1. Really nice. Love the clue for BAA BAA...I kept trying to fit parts if the Alphabet Song but couldn't. Finally remembered the other song, which, of course, is now an earworm for me!