“Spin or Solve”

crosswords for these troubling times

by Jessie Bullock & Ross Trudeau

[.puz][PDF][Solution] πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ•Ί

The clue for 33-Across in today’s puzzle is [DJ’s spinner, represented by the circled letters in today’s puzz], which is a cry for help from Jessie and me. “HELP,” it says. “THROW US A PARTY! PUT US ON A DANCE FLOOR! For the love of god, FILL US A FOAM PIT!”

The real shame of quarantine is that no one but me gets to admire Jessie’s dance moves. So we’re bringing the club to the puzz this week! It’s hard not to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, and we’ve evidently progressed from hibernatory denial to active daydreaming about being able to hit the town again. I’ll spare you some of our more baroque mind’s eye wanderings into post-pandemic night life, and leave you with a triptych of “going out” elevator photos from a 2019 trip to (sigh) Paris. (You have to say “Paris” like this.)

Thoughts and spoilers for “Spin or Solve” after the jump!

Les Bing Bongs in Paris

Actually, this grid took us forever. Here’s a fun constructing challenge: try to arrange four words that contain T-A-B-L-E in a pinwheel (TURN TABLE) pattern like this in a 15×15 grid.

We experimented with a dozen grid layouts, but the constraint of relatively few hidden TABLE words, paired with the even more constrained set of words with hidden E-L-B-A-T strings, paired with the necessity of getting TURNTABLE as a revealer into the grid itself … made for a real head-scratcher of a construction process.

The trick, it turned out, was saving space by having two of the theme answers intersect with the TURN TABLE revealer. (Note that VEGETABLES and GEL BATTERY pass through it.) This allowed for an arrangement where we could get MELBA TOAST, as opposed to, like, HOTEL BATHROBE, which felt forced, into the grid opposite CONSTABLES.

Seriously though, put Jessie and me on your dance card. STAT!

Happy solving, friends!

-Ross

8 Responses

  1. Rich says:

    I think there’s a typo in the clue to 14D, don’t you want “inside” rather than “insider”?

  2. Kelly Clark says:

    Neat construction, guys! Now go out — or, okay, stay in — and cut up that rug! Also…I didn’t know that factoid about 28 Down! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the puzzle!

  3. Charles Montpetit says:

    “The real shame of quarantine is that no one but me gets to admire Jessie’s dance moves.”
    Video! We want video!

  4. Kathy Koons says:

    Nice job getting this week’s holiday in there, sort of. If only there had been a way to get in today’s, this retired Geometry teacher would have been over the moon! (The retired German teacher in me would have been super excited to see Einstein’s birthday-also today- as well. Maybe next year??)

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