Last night Amanda and I got fairly tipsy and made a crossword puzzle. And we recorded the whole thing. And it was one of the lovelier Saturday evenings I’ve had these past few months.
We ran our “Tipsy Puzzlers” event via Zoom, and as such we relied on input from folks who called in to put the grid together. And honestly? It’s a darn good puzz.
The grid features invaluable input from crossworld regulars like Ken Stern, Dan Feyer, Paolo Pasco, Ria Dhull, Jessie Bullock, Allegra Kuney, Sophia Maymudes, and up-and-coming constructors such as Annie Gosfield, Parker Higgins, and Lucy Howard. We also had the pleasure of meeting and getting input from a whole slew of new faces. And my heart grew three sizes.
If you’re interested in seeing a recording of the event, leave a note in the comments section. More on this week’s puzzle “We’re Blowing Up”–which isn’t the grid we made last night–after the jump.
“Tipsy Puzzlers” Ep. 1
I’ve gone on record a number of times expressing how much I prefer puzzles with revealer answers, so bear with my as I try to explain why “We’re Blowing Up” doesn’t have one.
The puzzle relies on the varied denotations of the phrase “blow up”: BICYCLE PUMP [It’ll blow up at the Tour de France], SMART PHONE [It’ll blow up with social alerts on your birthday], PHOTO ENLARGER [It’ll blow up in a dark room], VIRAL VIDEO [It’ll blow up on Instagram], and GLITTER BOMB [It’ll blow up in a cloud of colors].
The reasons I decided to go with “blow up” in the clues (and the title) are a) I don’t *love* short revealer answers like BLOW UP, and b) placing that lynchpin phrase in the grid would result in sort of tortured syntax. It might look like:
BLOW UP [Inflate, as an air mattress]; BICYCLE PUMP [It’ll 60-Across at the Tour de France].
For me, forcing the cross-reference feels just a wee bit inelegant. So I decided to write “blow up” into the clues and rendered them in a parallel construction. That being said, I’d love to hear some opinions on the subject. Leave a comment!
Happy solving… and stay thirsty, my friends.
Among people named in today’s puzzle: