Stand Together

[.puz][PDF][Solution] 🌲🌳🌴🎄

There was plenty of demand last week for a recording of my last How to Make a Crossword Zoom seminar, so I have two options for you:

First, I’m going to run the seminar again, on Sunday, August 9th at 7:30pm EDT. Tickets are $10, and all proceeds will benefit a queer youth organization here in Boston called BAGLY.

If you can’t make that seminar, I can furnish you with a link and password to the video of the previous iteration. That one was also $10 (supporting Families for Justice as Healing), so in the spirit of giving, I’ll ask that you email me a receipt of at least a $5 donation to that organization. I’ll reply with the link/password to the video. Reach me at rosswordpuzzles (at)

On to this week’s puzz! Spoilers/discussion after the jump.

This puzzle had its origins with the phrase SAINT ELMO’S FIRE, which my mostly-useless superpower of hidden word detection identified as having a pair of trees lurking inside it.

The first iteration of the puzzle utilized the apt revealer DOUBLE TREE, but it was noted to me that C.C. Burnikel had already discovered this revealer-answer relationship a couple years ago with the phrase BALDERDASH. I decided it would be reasonable to execute a retread, but only if I could find an original revealer. Fortunately I’ve been meeting a whole slew of stereotypes and playing golf (of all things), that most socially-distant of summer sporting activities… and TWO WOOD popped right into my head.

I like the vertical orientation of the various trees represented here. There were other options on the table–things like [TEA]R-DRO[P EAR]RING, but I decided that it was kind of a cheat to use things like TEA TREE or PEAR TREE where the TEA/PEAR descriptor isn’t really ever used all by itself to describe an individual tree of that type. (So APPLE was out.) I was mildly surprised I couldn’t make PINE or PALM fit this pattern … feel free to drop more examples in the comments!

Fictional & real people named in this puzzle:

See you all at the Boswords online tournament in… yikes! About an hour…


6 thoughts on “Stand Together

  1. Hi Ross. When you give your seminars, please talk to the constructors about formatting their puzzles. I prefer to print out puzzles, and sometimes the print-outs have no identifying matter at all: no name, no title, no date. This means that if I don’t get to one of them for a day or two, I have no idea whose it is. Encourage them to take the credit that’s due!

  2. Consider the clue for 37-Across: “With 40-Across, Yale, familiarly”. “OLD EMI”?!?! Hmmm … I think the clue must be a holdover from an earlier version of the puzzle … 😜.

  3. Hi Ross! I am a big fan of your puzzles. I am not sure how to contact you, but saw that in your constructor note’s of todays NYT that you said you’d be open to helping any nonmale, LGTBQ, POC people interested in getting into crossword constructing! My good friend and I have been interested for quite some time and need help getting started. Please reach out!!! Email:

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