Friday, December 9, 2022

Solution to Evan Birnholz’s March 6 Post Magazine crossword, “Rerouted Flights”

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(*6*)3. I encourage you to learn Portia Lundie’s piece in The Post about her expertise as a Black girl who writes crosswords. Her assertion “crossword culture does not encourage learning — rather, it rewards already knowing” is one thing that actually struck me.

(*6*)Something unusual is occurring in at present’s puzzle. A handful of Across solutions appear to have two clues, and an equal variety of Down solutions haven’t any clue in any respect. The clue for 23A reads: [Relative of a meerkat / Citizens of Ulaanbaatar], and the subsequent spot within the puzzle with a Down reply in unclued. In truth, it doesn’t actually have a clue quantity; it simply appears to be like like 5 clean squares.

(*6*)You get a touch in regards to the theme within the top-right nook at 14A: [What this puzzle’s featured creatures build] which is NESTS. That has to refer to birds, proper? Indeed it does. It’s spelled out extra explicitly at 105A: [One making a swift descent, illustrated by each unclued Down answer in this puzzle] which is DIVING BIRD. Each thematic Across reply splits into two paths, turning Down on the title of a chicken for one reply and continuing as regular for an additional reply:

  • 23A: [Relative of a meerkat / Citizens of Ulaanbaatar] are MONGOOSE and MONGOLIANS, respectively. You activate that G to spell GOOSE within the Down path.
  • 31A: [Cowardly / Sellers of fabric and knitting supplies] are CRAVEN and CRAFT STORES, respectively. Turn down on the primary R to spell RAVEN.
  • 62A: [Snoopy, e.g. / Stout vessel] are BEAGLE and BEER BARREL, respectively. Turn down on the primary E to spell EAGLE.
  • 64A: [Infant’s hooded garment / One born during the 1950s, maybe] are BABY BUNTING and BABY BOOMER, respectively. Turn down on the third B to spell BUNTING.
  • 91A: [“An appalling waste of energy,” per Katherine Mansfield / Exploring deeply] are REGRET and RESEARCHING, respectively. Turn down on the primary E to spell EGRET. I hope nobody thinks I’m saying that researching is an appalling waste of vitality. Although I suppose relying on the analysis …
(*6*)And reverse NESTS within the bottom-left nook at 112A, you’ll get a DIVING BIRD that ties these 5 birds collectively: [105 Across that’s spelled out by the first letters of this puzzle’s unclued Down answers]. Take the primary letters of the birds so as (GOOSE, RAVEN, EAGLE, BUNTING, EGRET), and also you spell GREBE.

(*6*)When I first began constructing this theme my goal chicken had been the PELICAN. It swoops down to scoop up fish in its massive invoice; nobody may say that isn’t a diving chicken. The drawback was that not the entire letters of PELICAN had been serving to me as a lot as I’d hoped. A chicken beginning with N that would finish one other crossword reply was fairly difficult to discover. There’s the NENE, however the choices for a phrase ending in NENE felt fairly slim. The title JANENE? The hydrocarbon LIMONENE? The chemical spinoff of Vitamin A often called RETINENE? I wasn’t bought on these choices. I additionally discovered a chicken referred to as a NICATOR, which does finish the phrase COMMUNICATOR, however I wasn’t assured that the nicator was a widely-known chicken. It doesn’t present up on this record of alphabetical chicken names, as an illustration.

(*6*)It now happens to me that perhaps “Rerouted Flights” won’t be 100% correct as a title so far as the grebe is worried, because the grebe is maybe extra possible to dive underwater whereas sitting on the floor, somewhat than swooping down from in flight like a pelican does. But I’m no chicken knowledgeable; perhaps there are a couple of grebes that can dive into the water from the air from time to time. Here’s a video of grebes racing throughout a pond. I believe that counts as a flight, proper?

(*6*)Next week’s publish will characteristic an interview with each visitor constructors, and my subsequent puzzle will run on March 20.

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