jump to: difficult evidence | today’s subject
Puzzle Tuesday – Congratulations to Daniel Cantor and Jay Caskell, makers of Puzzle Today. This is Mr. Kantor’s thirteenth puzzle featured in The New York Times and Mr. Kaskel’s twelfth, and this is their seventh collaboration.
For me, this puzzle was a little tricky for Tuesday. There were a few entries and clues that I stumbled across, though when I checked the grid to write the Tricky Clues section, I could select just a few to write about.
It’s funny how that happens: As an analyst, you sometimes find yourself on the completely wrong wavelength for a puzzle. that’s good! Puzzles often reflect the voices and experiences of their creators, so while crossword puzzles may not resonate with me, I still appreciated the insight into what makes creators tick.
Let’s take a look at some clues that might be slowing down a new solution.
23a. The Swiss summit is the summit of the Alps, but the key to “Suisse peak” uses the French word for “Swiss,” letting you know that the answer must also be in French: ALPE.
46a. More French! “Yours, in Tours” (a city in France) is A TOI.
57a. I didn’t really understand “dead like a door chuck,” but I knew him well enough to know that the answer to “like a door chuck, it says” had to be dead. But this piece of evidence made me wonder: Why are door hoods the epitome of dead things? Surely there are other equally “dead” inanimate objects. Fortunately for all of us, the Internet (as it often does) has provided the answer:
25 d. Both “Chichi” and TONY mean something like “elegant and elegant,” though I understand that “chichi” is chic in an extreme way, while TONY lacks that connotation.
50 d. The guide “Draw the figure?” It does not refer to a schematic drawing of a person but to a schematic diagram on person character, known as TATTOO.
This puzzle features five non-verbal subject entries that are noted via the square bracket convention I described yesterday. As a refresher, clues in square brackets, such as those for the current trait entries, indicate that the answer will be an action, sound, gesture, or other form of nonverbal communication.
The clues for the five attribute entries describe what each gesture is meant to convey:
17a. Eyebrow scan:[Phew! That was close!]— this is particularly evocative of a silly gesture of relief, which, in my experience, is usually ironic or simple.
26a. knee cuff:[Har-har-har!]- This might as well be hilarious! I think original knee slaps often come in combinations of multiple slaps, so unique knee slaps might mean “a nice attempt at humour!” sarcastic voice of evidence”[Har-har-har!]This explanation reinforces for me.
40 a. eye roll:[Puh-lease!]I appreciate the accuracy of this guide, which very accurately conveys the mixture of frustration and mild disbelief that EYE ROLL is supposed to express.
51a. face palm:[D’oh!]— we see “d’oh” in crossword puzzles as an entry all the time, often with a reference to Homer Simpson, known for his use of the exclamation mark. In fact, my favorite clue to “doh” is “Homer’s cry?” which sounds like a phrase About an exclamation found in an epic poem.
64a. hand grip: “[Woo-hoo!]”- I had a FIST grip here a little bit, which slowed the last corner out of the loop.
This is a solid set of gestures with a nice symmetry. Each entry is either eight letters long and associated with another eight letter word, or, in the case of EYE ROLL, seven letters long and unpaired because it is in the middle of the grid. Readers, I challenge you to think of more gestures that could fit into the crossword puzzle and then suggest a verbal explanation for each in the comments.
To the creators, I say thumbs up: [Way to go!].
With most crossword puzzles, the solved written word or words becomes the final goal. With this puzzle, the written clues and answers are ultimately subject to the unwritten and non-verbal. It is these gestures that, in the end, look at the written word (with a gesture), reminding us that a simple gesture can communicate more efficiently. Yes, written words exist, but only to serve the non-verbal, the unwritten. We found this idea interesting, even funny. After a few rounds with the editorial team, we were able to obtain a excellent On the net and fill in that hopefully won’t cause too many solutions head scratching.
Want to submit a crossword puzzle to the New York Times?
The New York Times Crossword has an open submission system, and you can submit puzzles online.
For tips on how to get started, read our series, How to Make a Crossword Puzzle.
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