That’s Jessie pictured at right test solving today’s puzzle over meze at date night last night. I felt compelled to capture the moment because… uhn. Reader, I’m a lucky man/ constructor/partner. Quarantining is far from ideal, but making a Big Deal of date night has been a particularly effective coping mechanism here at Chateau Trudeau. Did I mention Jessie has started constructing and has sold multiple puzzles? 😍
I’ve also been hosting periodic How to Make a Crossword Zoom seminars, which is about as good a way to connect and socialize these days as I’m going to find. Today’s puzzle was a crowdsourced effort from the 100 or so attendees of one such event I put on a couple weeks ago in conjunction with Lamplighter Brewery. (They’re the awesome folks who put out the Wordplay beer you can see in that date night photo above.) We raised $700 for charity and made a darn good grid.
If you’re interested in seeing that hour-long intro to crossword construction, leave a comment. It was recorded and is accessible (though password protected) online. If there’s enough interest, I’ll see about making it public.
Oh, and don’t forget to sign up for the Sunday, 7/26 Boswords 2020 online crossword tournament! Spoilers for today’s puzzle after the jump…
Anyone who’s spent any time talking puzz with me knows I *vassstly* prefer a puzzle that justifies its theme with an apt revealer answer. The main decision in constructing this puzzle came down to whether to use GREAT LOCATION (13) as a central revealer, or to let the title (“Location, Location, Location”) do that work.
In the end, using COMFORT ZONE [Good location for a spa?] as a fifth theme answer won out. The result feels like a really tight theme set, with very few other options that would meet the pattern closely enough.
From a consistency standpoint, I like that the theme examples the Zoom attendees generated were all metaphorical “locations”: BRIGHT SPOT, SAFE SPACE, COMFORT ZONE, DREAMLAND (one word, slight outlier) and HAPPY PLACE.
Happy solving, solver. I hope you’re in a good place.
This puzzle references people–both fictional and real–by name. Among those people…