Sunday, April 21, 2024

Sunday, April 21, 2024, Michael Schlossberg


[Warning - spoiler alert below]

Hey, good folks, puzzle enthusiasts, and loyal readers (and likely all three at once)! Glad to be back with you for another week of New York Times crossword puzzling and reviewing. Thanks to Philbo for another fine week of blog posts.

Today, as we prepare for a late lunch book club (we're making two fritattas, one with fried potatos and onions and one with asparagus and goat cheese) (oh, and we read The Vulnerables, by Sigrid Nuñez), I got to spend some time with the Sunday puzzle. When the grid opened, I knew immediately I would need to look at the info box to get some clue to the seven odd circular locks symmetrically placed across the puzzle. 

The blinking I button told me that, when the puzzle was completed, the letters in the locks could be rotated in only one way to create a new set of four crossword acceptable answers. When all seven locks were in the correct position, the "safe" would open to reveal a seven-letter answer appropriate to the theme. A meta-puzzle! And, otherwise, an essentially themeless Sunday.

I filled in the whole puzzle and figured out the answer, but did not get the pop-up congratulations message. So I tried to rotate the locks to see if that would correctly fill in the grid. No luck. Turns out I had incorrectly put an M in the crossing of 6A: Items on the backs of some Jeeps (GASCANS) and 11D: Former name of the electron (NEGATRON). I don't really know why I thought a "gas cam" would be a thing, but "megatron" didn't sound so wrong.

Anyway, the meta-answer (SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!) is [JACKPOT], definitely appropriate. My favorite transformation was AORTA to [S]ORTA


How odd that CCLEF and CCLAMP both appear in the grid. When you add in GSUIT, that's a surprising number of letter-word answers. I liked the clue at 678A: Partner ship? (ARK). And POPQUIZ is a great answer. I've never heard of SOLARPUNK, but love the phrase. And that's it for ANSWERS today ("Key components" - excellent).

- Colum

No comments:

Post a Comment