Thursday, May 23, 2024

Thursday, May 23, 2024, Adam Wagner

For those of you not in the know (I count myself among them), an image of BOXBRAIDS is below. But the trick of the puzzle is not in making literal box braids, but rather in braiding boxes in the puzzle so that two down answers side by side exchange their letters, making two new words. Thus 2D: Academic achievements ([DEGREES]) and 3D: Doesn't allow ([FORBIDS]) exchange alternating letters to become DOGBEDS and FERRIES

It's a fun idea, carried out extremely well. The shaded squares make the theme clearer. Would I have been able to figure it out without them? I think so, although not as quickly. I know opinions vary on the necessity of hints like this, but the puzzle took me a little longer than average for a Thursday, so I'm in favor today, at least.

I'm not certain about the answer BANKSAFE. I've never heard those two words together like that. Most of the time, I'd say the target of a heist is the bank vault, but it wasn't hard to figure out. I did enjoy 19D: Light entertainment? (LASERSHOW) and 27D: Iconic declaration from Bruce Wayne (IMBATMAN).

The quote from TAFT was quite amusing. It took me way too long to get 18A: What a king might sit on? (SLATS) - that's a king-sized mattress. I also liked 24D: Two in a row? (FOES). Very nice.

- Colum


  1. I loved this one. "Tiniest change" for DIMES! Brilliant non-QMC.

  2. You Yankees don't have nickels and pennies any more???