“Significant Digits”

[.puz][PDF][Solution] 🔢🔢🔢

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. 

agreeable friends <3

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!

-Ross

21 thoughts on ““Significant Digits”

  1. Neat idea. I like puzzles that integrate the numbers and the words. There was a good one like that in the NYT a couple weeks ago that had even numbers in the squares of EVEN, Fibonacci numbers in the squares of FIBONACCI, etc.
    Minor glitch: the clue in 24A should reference “row” not “road”.
    I always wince when I hear the Weisel quote in 3D – unfortunate perspective from an otherwise thoughtful guy.

    1. I was just talking about that puzzle with an xword friend here at the house! I appreciated its originality as well.

      As for “tough row to hoe,” I’m happy to report that until this moment, I thought the phrase was “road to hoe” … that’s for bringing me up to speed, Rich! 😀

      1. The NYT rejected a thematically similar puzzle I sent them last summer… I’m still aggrieved… I’m going to email it to you and would be grateful for any feedback you’d care to give?

          1. In your Inbox (or spam-filter, maybe) – let me know if you don’t see it. I appreciate your taking a look!

  2. Another lunch break, another Rossword. Thoroughly entertained. Came up with the correct “rebus” answers at first, and was stumped for a minute until I figured it out. Also, DEEPFRYER is just a beautiful entry, and two Oreo clues?! Good stuff. Thanks!

  3. Your original idea was clever, but as others have pointed out, not exactly a first in crossdom. It’s the PDF tweak that makes it unique. Well done, and thanks to Will Nediger for pushing you into uncharted territory.

  4. Hmmm. I think I’d have left the “special” numbers where they were. I actually didn’t notice that the 12 and the 30 had been shifted slightly until after I saw the 64 … which just looked … wrong … to me. (IMHO, a bit of mental gymnastics never hurt anyone … 😜.) In any case, thank you for a most enjoyable puzzle!

  5. Wow! Just…wow! Thank you so much for a terrific solve — and enjoy the time with your friends!

  6. This was a fun solve, Ross. Thanks. I solve on Across Lite and the settings I use allow for the rebus button to be there always, not just when there is a rebus. That takes some of the mystery out of the everyday question “is this a rebus?” I used a rebus until Across Lite said it was filled but not right so had try to figure out what I did wrong. I finally grokked your scheme at that point and found it to be VERY clever. I may or may not have seen the moved numbers in the pdf version.

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