FRIDAY PUZZLE — Just a reminder that my columns are truncated this week. Please help one another with the tricky clues, and things should be back to normal on Monday.
When the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in March was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, two crossword enthusiasts, Kevin Der and Finn Vigeland, quickly set up the online Crossword Tournament From Your Couch to take its place. Nearly 2,000 people took part from home.
This was the final puzzle, constructed by Byron Walden. If you would like to solve the others, they remain available online at no cost.
I loved this puzzle and wish Mr. Walden was in the rotation more often. Fourteen debut entries and a very crunchy solve!
Major thanks to Kevin and Finn for putting together the Crossword Tournament From Your Couch. It was really fun and a great honor being part of it.
Most of the time, I make a themeless by starting in a corner and building the grid out from there. With this one, though, I started with WIFI PASSWORD. Since you can’t build a conventional corner around a 12-letter entry, I used this pinwheel style that accommodates 12-letter entries nicely. Once you’ve got the middle part filled, the four corners usually offer a lot of good possibilities independent from one another. As an example, at 36-Down, ON?????? has so many options of the ONE LITER variety. I was very pleased to come up with something fresh there.
Wishing you all a safe and healthy Friday. It’s been almost 10 years since the last time I, along with my favorite co-constructor, was in The Times on a Friday. That reminds me, I better start looking for a romantic restaurant that delivers candlelit dinners.
The Tipping Point
Almost finished solving but need a bit more help? We’ve got you covered.
Warning: There be spoilers ahead, but subscribers can take a peek at the answer key.
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