“Location, Location, Location”

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DATE NIGHT

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? ๐Ÿ˜

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.

-Ross

This puzzle references people–both fictional and real–by name. Among those people…

25 thoughts on ““Location, Location, Location”

  1. You definitely made the right decision re: revealer — that’s the beauty of being able to title your work! Enjoyable puzzle, great fill entries, too.

  2. As a curious new constructor, how do you decide whether to publish a puzzle on this site or submit to a publication?

    1. Hey, Tomas. There are a lot of factors. In the case of this particular puzzle, much of the theme generation was done in a public forum (the Zoom chat), so couldn’t offer it to a newspaper with a guarantee of exclusivity. Beyond that, I tend to post puzzles here that might be a) a bit avant-garde for standard puzzle venues, b) too saucy for the mainstream, or c) in most cases, I’m just too excited about sharing the puzzle to wait for a newspaper to accept it.

  3. Totally interested! I’d attend a Zoom session, if it fit my schedule. Making a recorded class publicly available would alleviate that challenge. Thanks for being an advocate for diverse representation in crosswords.

  4. I’d love the opportunity to access the recording! Love your work and solving your puzzles in various outlets & this website. Congratulations to Jessie for her puzzles’ acceptance and looking forward to many grids from both of you in the future.

  5. Belatedly — I am also interested in the recording. I had considered participating in the session, but the timing wasn’t good for me. I’d also wanted to participate in your March 20 webinar, but it completely slipped my mind that night.

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