SUNDAY PUZZLE — Will Nediger has a Ph.D. in linguistics and a career in puzzles and trivia, and I already considered him an artist of some subtlety before working on this grid. He’s one of those “Agatha Christie” constructors whose themes sneak up on you and then make you wonder why you didn’t see them right away, if you know what I mean. Today’s was a doozy, because it came with two “aha” moments.
I’ll be amazed if anyone caught on to both of them early in the solve. I didn’t see either of them until I looked at the entire puzzle. When the light bulbs came on, I was duly impressed.
There wasn’t a lot of heavy-duty verbiage today; the longest entries were but nine letters and most of the fill was much shorter. There’s a great reason for this, first of all, and second, none of this means that working this was like skiing a bunny slope. I made several missteps, mostly simple misstatements (“say yes” instead of SAY I DO, “about” instead of KISSY) or misnomers (“Aikens” instead of AIKMAN).
There were some great funny clues, and most of the odd unfamiliar bits were small or deducible — OMAHA, ACES, those two albums — BEN and ANTI.
61A: A zeitgeisty word and a debut. We’ll see how long DADBOD is used as a reference. There’s no doubt that the clue was awesome, though, if the entry was at all recognizable to you.
73A: This is a debut, and a term that was unfamiliar enough to me that I misspelled it. I had “catanas” instead of KATANAS, which was fine because I didn’t know how to spell SKOSH at 63D, either. It took some trial and error to get both of these.
100A: This was another entry that helped me with the L’s and R’s because I just used ARNICA cream on my knees, which are skinned and bruised from being pulled to the pavement by my spring-feverish dogs. I thought the flower was actually calendula, but arnica montana is a different plant. (The cream works, by the way.)
118A: I noted the clue for OBESE before I saw Mr. Nediger’s regretful mention and thought it perhaps intentionally subversive: the “B.M.I.” or Body Mass Index is considered by many to be completely invalid. Most of the recent references I’ve seen to it have been debunkings.
64D: I let the crosses fill this in, but I realize that I had no idea what the “Starfleet Academy” is, really, when I think about it. It’s a “Star Trek” reference, but much like a regular military school, if you’re a student, at some point you’re a CADET.
I imagine thousands of people will solve this puzzle and go on with their Sundays none the wiser to all the bells and whistles. Their loss! This construction is quite a feat.
There are 10 circled boxes in the grid, forming five left-right mirrored pairs of bubbles. At some point while solving you probably noticed that left-hand circles are all around L’s and the right-hand circles are all around R’s. I think I picked up on this while solving mostly acrosses — LET at 39A was pretty easy, as were RYES at 97A, ARTIE at 68A and HTML at 92A.
“Very clever, Mr. Nediger,” I thought, and kept going. It seemed a bit anticlimactic, those five L’s and five R’s arranged like that. Bubbled letters sometimes spell a revealer; sometimes they connect to make grid art. This set of 10 didn’t have any obvious entertaining trait like that.
Then I got to the downs and first saw something special at the centermost bubbles at 41D and 42D. I had to rub my eyes for a moment as I realized these entries were SPINDLY and SPINDRY. Sure enough, the paired downs all followed suit: BLACKISH/BRACKISH, MOLASSES/MORASSES and my favorite, GO TOPLESS/GO TO PRESS. This was fun!
One more thing, though, and you have to look at the whole puzzle to get it. You see, there aren’t any other L’s or R’s, anywhere else in the grid.
This one was brutal to construct because the non-theme fill couldn’t have any L’s or R’s; avoiding one common letter is hard enough, but two is a nightmare. So there’s more stuff like SMEE/SSTS/DOEST than I normally like, but overall I’m happy with how the fill turned out.
Actually, there’s one entry I’d avoid if I were writing this puzzle today: OBESE. My strategy used to be to clue it matter-of-factly, and I’m glad to see the editors kept my clue, but I’ve since just removed it from my word list entirely, since I think it’s an inherently loaded word that implies a negative judgment.
I wanted to mention that Mr. Nediger is a founder of the Crossword Puzzle Collaboration Directory, and last week he and a good friend and colleague of mine had a very good puzzle published by Universal. It’s her debut, and you may find some inspiration there if you’ve been itching to take a crack at making a grid yourself.
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2017年另版跑狗图74期【可】【惜】，【也】【没】【有】【任】【何】【一】【个】【人】【卖】【这】【种】【船】【票】。 【张】【扬】【也】【为】【此】，【有】【些】【苦】【恼】【不】【已】，【虽】【然】【他】【没】【有】【对】【何】【雅】【说】【过】【一】【些】【关】【于】【船】【票】【的】【具】【体】【事】【情】，【甚】【至】【绝】【大】【多】【数】【玩】【家】【都】【不】【知】【道】【船】【票】【的】【具】【体】【作】【用】。 【要】【不】【是】【张】【扬】【有】【着】【前】【世】【的】【记】【忆】，【他】【也】【不】【可】【能】【知】【道】【具】【体】【这】【些】【船】【票】【有】【什】【么】【作】【用】。 【可】【惜】，【张】【扬】【的】【两】【张】【船】【票】，【已】【经】【被】【他】【直】【接】【以】【自】【己】【的】【名】【义】【和】【他】【女】【儿】
【秘】【密】【武】【器】-【核】【武】【器】。 【这】【种】【武】【器】，【官】【方】【明】【面】【上】【的】【说】【法】【是】：【全】【水】【蓝】【星】【加】【起】【来】【总】【数】【量】【号】【称】【能】【让】【整】【个】【水】【蓝】【星】【毁】【灭】【个】【几】【十】、【上】【百】【次】。 【当】【然】【这】【只】【是】【以】【前】【的】【说】【法】。 【现】【在】【的】【水】【蓝】【星】【不】【仅】【是】【生】【物】【数】【量】【增】【加】n【倍】，【地】【貌】【增】【加】n【倍】，【法】【则】【跟】【空】【间】【壁】【垒】【同】【样】【也】【是】【稳】【固】【了】n【多】【倍】，【再】【加】【上】【法】【则】【对】【于】【热】【武】【器】【的】【削】【弱】。 【所】【以】，【毁】【灭】【水】【蓝】【星】
【明】【媚】：“【他】【不】【喜】【欢】【山】【下】，【又】【为】【何】【下】【山】【找】【我】？” 【耿】【哲】【对】【山】【下】【有】【阴】【影】，【已】【经】【很】【多】【年】【没】【有】【下】【过】【山】【了】，【这】【一】【次】，【很】【反】【常】。 【男】【人】【深】【深】【看】【她】【一】【眼】，【又】【看】【了】【一】【眼】【桑】【若】【瑾】，【似】【乎】【想】【加】【深】【明】【媚】【的】【愧】【疚】【感】，【亦】【或】【者】【想】【挑】【拨】【离】【间】，【他】【语】【重】【心】【长】【道】：“【叶】【姑】【娘】，【耿】【哲】【喜】【欢】【了】【你】【那】【么】【多】【年】，【难】【道】【你】【不】【知】【道】【么】？” 【明】【媚】【眸】【光】【淡】【漠】，【手】【指】【轻】【挥】2017年另版跑狗图74期【不】【知】【何】【时】，【码】【头】【这】【边】【突】【然】【多】【出】【了】【一】【个】“【捕】【鱼】【翁】”。 【说】【来】【也】【奇】【怪】，【这】“【捕】【鱼】【翁】”【每】【次】【出】【海】【的】【时】【候】【都】【带】【着】【好】【多】【东】【西】，【可】【回】【来】【的】【时】【候】【他】【又】【变】【成】【了】【两】【手】【空】【空】【的】【模】【样】。 【好】【长】【一】【段】【时】【间】【过】【去】【了】，【他】【依】【旧】【一】【无】【所】【获】。 【码】【头】【这】【边】【的】【人】【对】【他】【的】【行】【为】【很】【是】【不】【解】，【明】【明】【捉】【不】【鱼】，【为】【什】【么】【还】【不】【放】【弃】【呢】？ 【一】【而】【再】【再】【而】【三】【地】【浪】【费】【物】【资】【出】
【那】【漆】【黑】【的】【眸】【子】，【宛】【如】【宇】【宙】【一】【般】【的】【深】【邃】，【在】【叶】【辰】【的】【眸】【子】【中】【还】【闪】【烁】【着】【金】【色】【的】【光】【芒】！ 【那】【眼】【神】【令】【人】【看】【不】【透】，【犹】【如】【能】【洞】【穿】【万】【古】【虚】【空】【一】【般】！ 【平】【静】【的】【一】【个】【呼】【吸】，【却】【仿】【佛】【让】【周】【围】【的】【世】【界】【都】【收】【缩】【了】【那】【么】【一】【瞬】【间】，【那】【种】【天】【人】【合】【一】【的】【感】【觉】【慢】【慢】【的】【消】【失】，【叶】【辰】【的】【气】【息】【也】【是】【渐】【渐】【的】【出】【现】【在】【天】【地】【间】，【只】【是】【叶】【辰】【的】【目】【光】【中】【闪】【烁】【过】【一】【抹】【迷】【茫】【之】【色】。
“【好】【久】【不】【见】【啊】…【凤】【姨】！”【身】【影】【被】【埋】【在】【黑】【暗】【中】【的】【男】【孩】【神】【色】【淡】【然】，【嘴】【角】【微】【微】【勾】【起】，【露】【出】【一】【丝】【笑】【意】。 【而】【反】【观】【被】【叫】【凤】【姨】【的】【女】【子】【似】【乎】【有】【些】【不】【敢】【承】【受】，【神】【情】【却】【是】【十】【分】【高】【兴】，【忙】【着】【伏】【了】【俯】【身】，“【是】【很】【久】【没】【见】【您】【了】，【少】【爷】！” 【说】【完】【这】【才】【抬】【起】【头】【望】【着】【男】【孩】，【在】【微】【弱】【的】【月】【光】【下】，【面】【庞】【露】【了】【个】【七】【八】【分】，【虽】【不】【似】【二】【八】【少】【女】【的】【娇】【嫩】，【其】【容】【貌】【却】
“【别】【磨】【磨】【唧】【唧】【了】，【你】【们】【看】【这】【里】。”【孤】【灵】【鸾】【板】【着】【一】【张】【脸】，【手】【中】【长】【剑】【泛】【着】【微】【微】【银】【光】。 【那】【双】【小】【巧】【精】【致】【的】【银】【纹】【战】【靴】【旁】，【稀】【稀】【落】【落】【地】【躺】【着】【些】【乱】【草】，【切】【口】【整】【齐】，【显】【然】【是】【她】【刚】【刚】【斩】【下】【的】。 “【这】【是】……” 【一】【块】【高】【大】【平】【整】【的】【石】【碑】，【安】【静】【的】【伫】【立】【着】。 【郁】【郁】【葱】【葱】【的】【草】【丛】【下】，【居】【然】【还】【藏】【着】【一】【座】【石】【碑】？ 【凤】【汐】【微】【微】【蹙】【眉】，【旋】【即】【又】【想】