“Get ‘Em While They’re Hot”

[.puz][PDF][solution] 🥖🧁🥯 👩🏼‍🍳

Exactly one year ago today, a couple good friends opened a needlessly delicious establishment called Vinal just blocks from where Jessie and I live in Cambridge, MA. Like, just gratuitously tasty. And like many places, they closed their doors when quarantine started. But now… they are risen. And giving a damn good account of themselves in the new to-go paradigm.

I tried to lend a hand by making them a custom crossword to offer alongside their indefensibly scrumptious wares, and I’m offering a version of that grid to you today, along with a recommendation for y’all aspiring constructors out there: make puzzles for local businesses! Print them out and carry them over and tell them, “Here, maybe your customers will dig this as a little promotion to go along with your falafel/kung pow/tikka masala/etc.”

The folks at Vinal apparently sold out their goods in minutes, which I assume goes down to how much their customers love hot cross…words. But this idea is endlessly repeatable.

Chew with your mouth covered

*SPOILER ALERT* This puzzle is a straightforward “category” puzzle. But the execution was a bear. Getting a dozen different baked good into the grid–symmetrically, because I’m a masochist–took some doing.

If you’re going to run with this idea, I recommend keeping it simple. Vinal’s customers aren’t *necessarily* crossword fans, so conventional crossword wordplay or thematic nuance might be somewhat less fun to grok for a hungry human who came primarily for the English muffins.

Stay safe, y’all! And keep spreading those $’s around if you can!


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