Words won’t precisely do it justice, so I’m attaching a photo below of the setting from which we’re uploading today’s puzzle. It’s a timely offering–you’ll see what I mean–and it’s that timeliness that convinced us to briefly plug back in to share it with you here. Jessie is waiting for me to join her on the beach about thirty yards seaward, so I won’t linger long to editorialize beyond noting that a kind and simple “bon voyage”-style DM from constructor Brooke Husic set the wheels turning that bring this puzzle to you today.
One or two quick thoughts on “Having a Nice Trip!” after the regrettably basic jump.
It would have been easy to render a theme like this without a revealer. The pattern of metaphorical vehicles with a positive connotation stands up without any ancillary hinting, but anyone who’s been in even the most passing crossword dialogue with me knows that my soul fractures slightly but perceptibly whenever I forgo signaling a raison d’être in the grid itself. And was adding the “THE” to allow for an interlock between THE WELCOME WAGON, DREAM BOAT, and TIGHT SHIP somewhat gratuitous? Perhaps. But I love shit like that. So.
Sometimes the inspiration for posting a puzzle is as simple as a friend saying “have an amazing trip!” That brief note sent my mind directly to FANTASTIC VOYAGE, et voila.
Working with Jessie on this puzzle was particularly fun and satisfying, for reasons that are probably fairly obvious. Our trip to Quintana Roo, Mexico is our first proper vacation since before quarantine, and the time we’ve been able to spend connecting with each other and letting down our respective guards a bit has been, in a word, FANTASTIC(O).
Happy solving, cherished solvers.
-Ross & Jessie