SUNDAY PUZZLE — Trenton Charlson is a recent but steady contributor to the Times puzzle; this is his Sunday debut and his 10th offering in a little less than two years (not counting a really inventive variety puzzle). He still needs a Tuesday to hit for the cycle, but that will happen.
The theme today revealed itself (appropriately) slowly to me. It has to do with something that I find fascinating, though, and manifests itself through a really, really cool double trick by Mr. Charlson. So I spent about as long researching the topic as I spent working on the grid, and found all of that time well spent.
There weren’t a lot of debuts outside the theme answers today, but the fill was still tight and bright. I had a few mix-ups, like “Amin” for ADAM and “REO” for GEO, but found almost all of the names familiar — ETHAN, JAKARTA, GOYA, OLAV, TATI, ADELE — ANYA was about the only one that was new as clued..
I really loved the clues for SLED (which glides on runners that never get tired), URSA, ITALY, SPUD and especially NIAGARA — I needed almost every crossing letter to make sense of that entry and it made me laugh.
82A: We’ve all had this image in mind, right? Anyone who solves TILTS AT a windmill every so often. I always imagine Don Quixote at an angle, but “tilt” refers more to speed and precision, or lack thereof. EPEES and SHEATH in this puzzle were nice touches.
120A: I know my coat trees and my hat racks; it seems that HAT TREES are some sort of amalgam, vertical storage for a display of multiple hats.
17D: Everyone who has a stock (one that can’t be POACHED, that is) enjoys a “dividend” when it comes. In this case, it doesn’t fit — you have to settle for an UPTREND, which is probably better in the end, what with compound interest, if you’re thinking long term.
41D: For something romantic, as I think this entry suggests, it sure doesn’t get much love from the slang in question. “Traps” are usually being told to shut, not demonstrate affection as KISSERS do.
54D: I knew “mañana” means “tomorrow” in Spanish, so I checked my mental inventory for “today” en Español, natch, for “Mañana preceder.” De nada, we’re just looking for the beginning of a common phrase, “hasta mañana,” or “see you tomorrow.”
I don’t know why my thoughts went here, exactly, but I was reminded of the ABBA song.
57D: This entry seemed a little too crosswordese for me, TOP LINE, short for “top of the line,” I guess — but it’s been in the puzzle plenty of times. Its 1959 debut clue was “Where the star's name goes,” which I like.
As I solved this puzzle I really peppered this grid pretty evenly, so the theme revealed itself slowly. There are six theme clues at 22, 33, 47, 67, 85 and 100 Across, questions also denoted by asterisks, as well as a two-part revealer at 114A and 115A. The trick is pretty specific, and the cipher-minded among us probably picked up on it right quick. I did not.
Before I finished any of the theme answers completely I had bits and pieces everywhere — WORLD, BOSTON, PHONE, PRINCESS and so on. The first entry I completely filled in was 85A: “*Exclamation after a performance of ‘Every Breath You Take’?” I recognized the band behind the song, the Police, so the answer as I filled it in on the crosses made sense: BRAVO, STING.
Fine. Moving on, to 100A: “*Amusement park named after a ‘Peanuts’ boy?” I had gotten the second part, WORLD, rather easily, and thought of Disney World, of course, or the “It’s a Small World” ride. Gradually, CHARLIE filled in for the first part, but CHARLIE WORLD did nothing for me.
I even had THE PRINCESS AND — on the big span entry at 67A, “*Duo ruling a kingdom on Take Your Daughter to Work Day?”. But it wasn’t until I figured out 22A, “*Ballroom dancing event for Beantown residents?” that my poor brain broke the code, and I got the theme.
Let’s look at the answer here, BOSTON TANGO PARTY. We know that we want “Tea” here, not TANGO. But TANGO rang a bell — it’s possibly an individual thing, but I instantly recognized this word as T in military jargon, although my knowledge really ended there. So we have “Tea,” phonetically represented as “T,” represented as TANGO, as if we’re at war, perhaps with Trenton Charlson.
Let’s look back at what we’ve already solved: Now BRAVO, STING becomes “B” STING, or “bee sting.” CHARLIE WORLD becomes “C” WORLD or “Sea World.” And I’m reminded of a couple more letters from this military alphabet.
Unfortunately, my knowledge of this alphabet was too limited to lean on for much more help, but I muddled through the other three, helped by the puns in the clues (that span? THE PRINCESS AND THE PAPA, of course — PAPA = P = “Pea”).
So the “New York baseball team” is YANKEE, or Y, or “why,” as in YANKEE BOTHER — and the “winner gets the loser’s pants and jersey” in a UNIFORM, or U, or “you” in UNIFORM BET.
If you solved the revealer early, down at 114 and 115A, it probably made a difference. I got the second part at the very end — I got NATO at 114A, but had PHONE to start the next entry and didn’t think of PHONETIC at all. In fact, I was focused on those “enigma” machines that inspired a movie a few years back, remembering scenes with these switchboard-like setups with headsets. The device referred to here is semiotic — the NATO PHONETIC ALPHABET. It’s also designed to ensure clear communication, not succeed in obfuscation.
As a constructor, I never know what will spark the idea for a puzzle; the only consistent factor seems to be the rewarding feeling of having that breakthrough that makes a puzzle possible. Here, the tiniest seed of an idea was planted while I was pre-editing clues for a themeless. I was trying to think of an interesting clue for DELTA, then suddenly realized that it is a letter in both the Greek and NATO alphabets. This connection must have lying dormant in my brain, waiting for its next big moment, because seeing the clue again some time later immediately gave me the idea of replacing individual letters in phrases with letters of the NATO alphabet. This seemed as if it might have potential, but I had difficulty coming up with theme answers. I reflected that using homophones for letters instead might allow for better themers, and then eventually realized I had inadvertently found the perfect way to tie my theme together — by replacing words of a “phonetic” alphabet of sorts with the letters of an actual phonetic alphabet! And just like that, I had the theme for my first published Sunday puzzle. TOO EASY, right?
The title I proposed was “Forming an Alliance,” but I think the new title, “Code Switching,” works remarkably well. I also had originally clued NATO and PHONETIC ALPHABET separately to explain what is replacing/replaced in the theme answers, but the new clue simplifies things. My revealers did seem a bit convoluted, and hopefully it will be enjoyable for solvers to piece together the inner workings of the theme without as much assistance. After all, epiphanies should be not just for constructors, but for solvers too!
It was interesting to have the opportunity to incorporate so much seven- and eight-letter bonus fill into a themed puzzle — enough to fill a themeless!— and I’m proud of how it turned out. I was pleased to work in entries like BEAR PIT, JAKARTA, JUJITSU, OOH LA LA, PROSPERO and SISYPHUS, and I think the puzzle is pretty clean over all. I also like a lot of the clues of mine that survived — my favorites here are those for 19-Across, 33-Across, 67-Across, 120-Across, 88-Down, 99-Down and 107-Down, along with the clue echoes of 15- through 17-Down.
It’s exciting to be making my Sunday debut today, and hopefully it will be the first of many. Until next time, happy solving!
Subscribers can take a peek at the answer key.
Trying to get back to the puzzle page? Right here.
What did you think?B:
六和神童134期开彩结果“【许】【总】！【你】【的】【报】【价】【还】【是】【有】【点】【低】！” “【我】【们】【最】【希】【望】【一】【鸣】【集】【团】【公】【司】【打】【包】【兼】【并】【庐】【州】【市】【机】【床】【厂】，【不】【解】【决】【工】【人】【就】【业】【的】【问】【题】【是】【不】【行】【的】！” “【打】【包】【兼】【并】【的】【价】【格】【应】【该】【要】8000【万】【元】。【否】【则】，【我】【们】【没】【法】【跟】【上】【级】【领】【导】【交】【代】！” 【这】【时】，【田】【冲】【和】【刘】【主】【任】【等】【人】【开】【始】【还】【价】。 【他】【们】【认】【为】【第】【一】【种】【方】【案】【不】【适】【合】，【那】【些】【库】【存】【下】【来】【的】【万】【能】【小】【铣】【床】
[【三】【日】【之】【后】……] 【考】【试】【全】【部】【结】【束】。 306【的】【女】【生】【们】【在】【宿】【舍】【里】【不】【惧】【脂】【肪】【细】【胞】【膨】【胀】【地】【疯】【狂】【大】【吃】【零】【食】【来】【庆】【祝】【假】【期】【的】【降】【临】，【缺】【考】【了】【某】【几】【科】【的】【人】【也】【随】【着】【她】【们】【一】【道】【高】【兴】。 【在】【回】【银】【关】【之】【前】，【书】【月】【溪】【觉】【得】【有】【一】【个】【人】【还】【是】【应】【该】【当】【面】【辞】【行】【比】【较】【好】。 【下】【了】【公】【交】，【行】【至】【犀】【牛】【聚】【产】【附】【近】【时】，【她】【在】【街】【边】【看】【见】【一】【个】【即】【使】【戴】【上】【了】【新】【潮】【太】【阳】【帽】六和神童134期开彩结果【金】【夫】【人】【神】【情】【一】【凛】，【有】【些】【诧】【异】！ “【可】【是】【我】【来】【京】【上】【这】【么】【多】【年】，【好】【像】【从】【来】【没】【有】【听】【说】【过】【老】【夫】【人】【的】【儿】【子】【儿】【媳】，【也】【没】【有】【见】【过】【她】【们】！” 【林】【夫】【人】【叹】【了】【一】【口】【气】，【用】【一】【种】【极】【为】【低】【沉】【的】【声】【音】【说】【道】，“【这】【件】【事】【在】【京】【上】【是】【个】【禁】【忌】！【圣】【上】【曾】【下】【了】【令】，【是】【不】【许】【提】【起】【的】！【我】【也】【就】【是】【跟】【你】【提】【个】【醒】，【多】【的】【我】【也】【不】【清】【楚】，【只】【是】【听】【说】【八】【年】【前】，【那】【一】【对】【璧】【人】【是】【在】
“【给】【我】【一】【把】。” 【高】【发】【拿】【到】【钥】【匙】【这】【才】【开】【了】【口】。 【冷】【荷】【冷】【冷】【的】【看】【了】【一】【眼】【高】【发】，【随】【后】【开】【了】【锁】，【推】【开】【门】。 【高】【发】【正】【要】【挤】【进】【屋】【子】，【冷】【荷】【一】【把】【关】【了】【门】，【差】【点】【夹】【到】【高】【发】【的】【鼻】【子】。 “【哎】！【到】【底】【还】【是】【不】【如】【别】【人】【受】【欢】【迎】。” 【高】【发】【说】【完】【后】，【拿】【着】【钥】【匙】【去】【开】【了】【自】【己】【的】【门】。 …… 【第】【二】【日】【一】【早】，【高】【发】、【冷】【荷】【二】【人】【出】【了】【归】【客】【居】，
【随】【即】，【雪】【玥】【便】【一】【下】【子】【昏】【了】【过】【去】。 “【雪】【玥】！”【秦】【禾】【赶】【忙】【跑】【过】【来】【扶】【起】【她】，【将】【她】【抱】【在】【自】【己】【的】【怀】【里】。 【所】【幸】【的】【是】，【尽】【管】【雪】【玥】【昏】【了】【过】【去】，【但】【是】【并】【无】【大】【碍】，【只】【是】【太】【过】【疲】【劳】，【消】【耗】【过】【度】。 【而】【焦】【锄】，【则】【又】【恢】【复】【了】【自】【己】【本】【身】【的】【意】【识】，【但】【是】【那】【断】【裂】【的】【手】【臂】【仍】【让】【他】【痛】【苦】【不】【堪】。【他】【跪】【在】【地】【上】，【扬】【天】【长】【啸】【了】【一】【声】，【继】【而】，【断】【裂】【的】【手】【臂】【被】【绿】【色】