Arrested Development

[.puz][PDF][Solution] 👼👼👼👼

A few quick hits before we talk puzz:

-There may be a few tickets left to tonight’s How to Make a Crossword Zoom seminar. Be there and fill squares, friends.

-Don’t miss this Tuesday’s New York Times crossword, my 31st for that newspaper. It’s another collaboration between myself and my forever collaborator Amanda Rafkin.

-Similarly don’t miss next Saturday’s Lollapuzzoola online crossword tournament. In all sincerity, you should “go” even if you’re not a fast/expert solver. Jessie and I will be solving in the “pairs” division, though in all likelihood we’ll be mostly heckling our crossword friends in the chat bar.

Spoilers and discussion for this week’s puzzle below the jump…

Oh, baby…

I’ve been vacillating for years (YEARS!) about whether to build a puzzle around the evocative and hilarious phrase ADULT CHILDREN ever since I first heard it back during the 2016 election cycle. On the one hand, lololol. Great phrase. On the other hand … Donald Trump Jr.

It occurs to me that the thematic cultural touchstones–SPICE GIRL, BABYFACE, BOY GEORGE, and CISCO KID–are going to be more familiar to Gen Y/X/Boomer solvers. I’d love to hear a comment or two about how a puzzle like this with 100% thematic trivia solves for you. Does it go down smooth? Irritating to be asked to grok various humans you may not know/care about? Keeping one’s finger on the pulse of the solving audience (hopefully the real, non-imagined set) is a forever project for crossword constructors… so g’head and self-report, s’il vous plaît.

Happy solving, friends.


Humans mentioned in this puzzle:

7 thoughts on “Arrested Development

  1. I wasn’t sure about BABY FACE but the crossers made it clear — as did the revealer. LOLOL! I did *not* know that the CISCO KID was in an O. Henry story, which is very cool. Count this Trump-supporter — perhaps your token TS-solver — thoroughly enchanted with this puzzle, on many levels. Thank you!

    • Thanks, Kelly. Regardless of political orientating, I think we can all agree that voting should be like a good Monday-style puzzle: accessible to all, easy to do, and possible to do without exposure to deadly pathogens.

      • And that everyone should ENJOY voting! I love it…it was a thrill when I cast my first ballot and it’s never waned.

  2. Very smooth solve, cool theme, and lots of interesting fill. TIL that O. Henry created the Cisco Kid! Thanks

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