technology

Why? Nicely, Why Not? – The New York Instances

SUNDAY PUZZLE — Jesse Goldberg is a software program engineer in San Francisco. That is his third crossword for The Instances (and his second Sunday puzzle — his first, from virtually precisely a 12 months in the past, was pretty and pulled quotations from a well-known French kitchen, in case you missed it). Many solvers might be acquainted with this puzzle-loving constructor’s day by day routine: Remedy Wordle, verify Wordlebot, play Spelling Bee, resolve the crossword, in that order.

The fill is brilliant in the present day, and there are fairly a number of attention-grabbing lengthy entries; it’s fairly straightforward to get a bit misplaced whereas searching for the theme.

44A. I drew a clean on this trivia clue, “Andy Dufresne in ‘The Shawshank Redemption,’ e.g.,” and I assumed for some time that it could be within the theme as a result of I used to be misdirected to a homophone. I had “Syd” relatively than CYD CHARISSE, which left me with the nonsense phrase “essapee, as in “S-a-P.” Ridiculous, however just one letter off from the proper description — Dufresne, performed by Tim Robbins within the film, grew to become a jail ESCAPEE.

94A. This entry shocked me, though I’m an proprietor and an enormous fan. “They may get everywhere in the ground” refers to cheerful, rechargeable ROOMBAS.

17D. Mr. Goldberg is a software program engineer, and once I noticed “Server error,” with a number of strategic crossing letters in place, I wrote “root fault.” This doesn’t appear to be a factor; there’s a “root listing,” nevertheless it’s benign. Additionally, the “server” in query isn’t part of a pc system or a restaurant employees member; it’s a reference to tennis and the error of a FOOT FAULT.

53D. “Primeval” makes me consider old-growth forest with out folks clanging about, grunting and making instruments, however STONE AGE is a synonym.

62D./65D. I discovered the association of those clues to be witty. 62D, “early collaborator with Prince,” results in MORRIS Day (who’s nonetheless touring, with the Time). 65D, “‘r u 4 actual?,’” jogs my memory of a Prince lyric.

There are 4 pairs of theme entries in in the present day’s puzzle that execute the identical trick, a letter shift, wherein a personality hops from one entry within the pair to the opposite and makes each of the pun clues make sense. There’s additionally a pleasant revealer, at 115-Throughout, that factors out a element of that letter shift that had someway escaped me.

One other factor that someway escaped me whereas I used to be fixing this puzzle was the precise pairing of the themers. I blame this on discovering practically all of the entries that achieve a letter first; these are at 24-, 51-, 71- and 96-Throughout, and they’re a barrel of monkeys.

At 24-Throughout, “Locations the place some belts are tightened?,” the entry is BELLY BOTTOMS, which is anatomically appropriate as an easy reply, however can be a play on “bell bottoms.” If you happen to seen the puzzle’s title, you’ll nod right here — “Why? Nicely, Why Not?” is smart for a theme that requires the addition of the letter “Y” to phrases and phrases for comedic impact.

51-Throughout is wonderful. “Lawyer with absurdly exaggerated humor?” turns into a variation on one other profession path, CAMPY COUNSELOR. 71-Throughout, “Harvesting machine that wants cleansing?,” will get darkish. 96-Throughout, “Battle between Tinker Bell and Princess Ozma?,” is mild as a feather: Each characters are engaged in a FAIRY FIGHT.

I had solved three of these clues earlier than I bought wherever with their companions in crime, that are at 29-, 58-, 80- and 108-Throughout. For some purpose, these have been far more tough for me, and I didn’t see the connection for some time. 29-Throughout, “Stephen Crane’s ‘The Purple Badge of Braveness,’ e.g.?,” solves to COMBAT READ. Sure, sure, well-known warfare novel. Bought it. 80-Throughout was extra of a headscratcher however someway nonetheless acceptable: “Physician’s description of the delivery of triplet sons?” solves to THREE TIME SALAD. Ah, sure, Mr. Goldberg, very intelligent.

Thankfully, 58-Throughout saved me. “Sleep section?” solves to SLUMBER PART. Aha! This “slumber occasion” is lacking its “Y” in a case of “Nicely, Why Not?” That implies that COMBAT READ is a play on “fight prepared,” and, um, oh, that’s “Thrice a woman.”

Lastly, at (virtually) the very backside of this puzzle, that little shock revealer is at 115-Throughout: “Turn into conscious of … or a homophonic description of 4 letter shifts on this puzzle’s grid.” I used to be pondering of “Seeing why” or the like, however that is so a lot better. Say WISE UP TO aloud, if simply to your self — Y’s up two — and spot the trajectory of every letter “Y” in these theme pairs. They every take a little bit trip up two rows and match proper in — fairly nifty!

This theme took place serendipitously. Fortunately, I occurred to note the wordplay potential when the revealer phrase popped up in one thing I used to be studying. It may not be essentially the most environment friendly approach of producing theme concepts, however maintaining your mind in “crossword mode” whereas going about your day can sometimes yield fruit.

General, the grid-making course of was pretty easy. Because the themers solely wanted a single letter removing/addition, there have been ample choices to select from. I did wrestle a bit with the place of the revealer. For these purists on the market who like their revealers to be within the remaining throughout slot, simply know that I fought arduous to make that occur however couldn’t fairly pull it off. At the least not with out some ugly fill choices that I wasn’t keen to simply accept.

Hope y’all benefit from the resolve.

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