Ship Off: a Canal Battle

Well, it started innocently enough. This, from two days ago:

Rejoice, dear solver! For while your Amazon sundries languish in shipping containers somewhere in the Red Sea, you’ve got a puzzle double feature. And a responsibility! For while Parker and I don’t need a “winner” to be crowned, we’re inveterate crossword wonks who sincerely want to hear about your solving experiences on our dueling canal grids.

So: solve! And then hit us up in the comments with your impressions. And in lieu of the “constructor notes” that I traditionally publish below the grid, join us on Monday at 10p eastern on Twitch to yammer with us live about a pair of puzzles that we’re both pretty ding dang proud of!

Important N.B.’s.: 1. You’ll get best results for Parker’s puzzle, “Evergreen Content,” by printing the PDF and solving by hand (if you can). 2. My puzzle, “Canal Zone,” is a wide 21×21, so the selected clue is going to populate *above and below* the grid rather than *beside* it. (So, maybe solve both by hand! … or by downloading the .puz and solving in AcrossLite).

Puzzle #1: Canal Zone

by Ross Trudeau


Puzzle #2: Evergreen Content

by Parker Higgins

[.puz][Solution][PDF] <—- print and solve the PDF for best results!

20 thoughts on “Ship Off: a Canal Battle

  1. Hey, Ross, I really liked the puzzle – but I have to take issue with 54d. Assuming spoilers are OK here….

    … was a deli. That is not the same thing.

  2. This was fun! Looking forward to more comments saying I “won.” (JK! Ross’s puzzle is super great, it’s an honor just to be nominated, etc.)

    If you just can’t get enough canal puzzle content, Paolo’s Block Letters puzzle is very fun!

    My puzzle owes a debt of inspiration to Paolo and Malaika’s recent “sad honk *remix*” on Paolo’s site.

  3. Okay, so I did both puzzles (22:39 for Ross’s, 26:37 for Parker’s) with no errors, though I had to guess at the “N” of “EVER GIVEN”, as I hadn’t noticed the name of the ship in the news reports. I liked and I am enormously impressed by both puzzles. If I absolutely had to vote for one over the other, I’d probably give the win to Parker, solely on the grounds that it more nearly captures the essence of the event in progress, but I’d rather call it a tie, with kudos for all!

  4. Okay, another quibble, cuz that’s what we do. Ross’s 81A clue suggests the Irish city (and brilliant TV series), but the answer reads more Scottish to me. Even so, thanks, you two, for the bafflement.

    • I think that’s fair! I asked a trusted source, and apparently the answer is “sure, something the Irish might say,” but “definitely more common in Scotland.”

  5. Lots and lots of fun! Thanks to Ross and Parker for great entertainment on a lazy Sunday. Loved your clues, as always, Ross, and really enjoyed finding 39A and 14D in one amazing puzzle. Somehow I had never heard of 20A, and was thinking of Nessie, not Bessie. Learned something new!

    Parker, you also made my day with 15A crossing 3D. I was sure the answer to 3D had something to do with “three pickups” which is another way to have a Stratocaster-induced face-melty experience. I eventually caught on to the blockage at the bottom of the puzzle.

    Hats off to both of you!

  6. Ross – Regarding 109A. I hope your crossword mask stretches across your face comfortably and does not slip down. Enjoyed the puzzles!

  7. Both puzzles were enjoyable! Thank you for another theme “ripped from the headlines”. I figured out Ross’ arrangement faster than Parker’s, but both were challenging.

      • The stern did, too, didn’t it?

        (Which is my way of saying that I didn’t get it, or the bluing of the N square, either.)

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