THURSDAY PUZZLE — It doesn’t happen often, but I knew that solving Allison Perch’s debut crossword would be over in no time.
The first clue I happened to crack was regarding the 20A exposer. I’ve been doing this for a long time until I know exactly what the answer is telling me, or not me, so to speak. So I solved it, but I was a little disappointed that the fun of figuring things out was over so quickly.
Ha! Show how much I know.it turned out to be two Revealers (both debut entries themselves), the second brings a pleasant surprise to solvers, as if to say, “Don’t forget the themed souvenir bags when you go out!” increase.
So if you feel daunted thinking you figured out the puzzle so quickly, go for it. A souvenir bag is waiting for you at the entrance.
20A’s revealer is the first three words of the song.take me to the ball game, written in 1908, has become an unofficial anthem for American baseball. But when read through a cross lens, the phrase can be interpreted as “taking the letters ME out of the thematic entry to make another word”.
The hints for the four theme entries are starred for clarity. For example, if you are solving using Down only, you may not notice that 24A is written to the grid as her COIN. This is a perfectly complicated word on its own, but the clue is “response to a knock on the door.” It doesn’t make sense until you solve 20A and realize that the original answer should have been “come in”. (COmyself IN minus ME = COIN. )
If you solved 20A quickly, you might be a little disappointed. Because her other three themed answers are so easy to guess that they don’t seem like Thursday puzzles. Maybe so. But wait, as the sage once said, that’s not all.
The four entries without ME are, from top to bottom:
And then there’s the second exposed issue at 53A. “Acquisition…or what happens by answering the starred hints in each case”.
The answer is “make money” and all of these entries are currency types.
Enjoy your lovely bag!
14A. Text slang OBVI is an abbreviation for “obviously” which is a synonym for “obviously”.
17A. I love solving riddles. ROOM is the answer to “the empty, the more you get”.
35A. “Ask Me Anything” (often abbreviated to AMA) is a Q&A conducted on Reddit.
43A. These “example” cues ask the solver to come up with named categories. In some cases, it can be very ambiguous. “For example Crunch” refers to CANDY BAR.
7D. “Is it a caesarean section?” Not a type of birth in this puzzle. It is a delivery of the line “ET TU, Brute?” Title play by Julius Caesar.
11D. The “brain line” in this puzzle is the EEG, the line that measures brain activity. Interesting side note: The phrase has not appeared in the New York Times crossword since. 1965.
Don’t Fear Friday: About the Easy Mode Newsletter
If you sign up for the Easy Mode newsletter, puzzle editor Christina Iverson will send puzzles with more accessible crossword tips to your inbox each Friday. This little perk is for those who want to try Friday’s puzzle but have heard a lot about how difficult it is.
If you solved the puzzle at the beginning of the week but feel like you don’t have the experience to go further, think of the newsletter as a set of cross-shaped training wheels. Use the easy mode tips until you don’t need them anymore, then tell your distressed friend how you got through Friday. Perhaps they too can benefit from this newsletter.
Let’s see the difference between Friday clues and easy mode clues. The link below is a small sample of the hints used in Friday’s puzzle. Click to see both regular and simplified versions.
(Warning: Spoilers for the Friday, July 7 puzzle.)