As I write this, Jessie and I are under one roof with several agreeable friends for the first time in more than a year. I hope you’ll forgive a brief post; we’re blissed out and trying to stay in the moment. (The house, incidentally, is filled with several Big Names in crossworld; more details to come!)
Today’s puzzle is a cute one, I think. And it gets even cuter if you have the wherewithal to print the PDF and solve on paper. And even if you don’t, I recommend clicking into the PDF when you’re done to see how it may have enhanced your solve… Spoilers and thoughts as to why after the jump.
Process on this one was WEIRD. I iterated on this off and on for a few days trying to find an arrangement where at least 4 box numbers were positioned such that they could accommodate a answer that used their number in the answer, *and* which answers both started with the same letter (PARENT/PERCENT) or started and ended with the same number (WHEN I’M / MUSTANG) to achieve the desired effect.
Will Nediger was kind enough to test solve this one a few weeks ago, and one of his initial observations was that, pictographically speaking, 7-Across *technically* reads OCEAN 12 S rather than OCEAN’S 12, since the 12 is in the upper left corner of the box, and therefore slightly to the left of the S.
Personally, I didn’t really mind that (it also occurs with TURNED 30/TURNE 30 D and WHEN I’M 64 / WHEN I’ 64 M), but it did occur to me that I could mess with the number placement in the PDF with a little photoshop magic. So, presto-chango, the 12 is now in the upper right hand of the relevant box, rendering the answer unequivocally OCEAN’S 12. Ditto the 30 and the 64 (which is now in the lower left corner of its box).
Happy solving, friends!