The last big online puzzle tournament of the summer kicks off next Saturday. Book your Lollapuzzoola tickets now! As a bonus, my collaborator on this week’s puzzle, Soleil Saint-Cyr, has also contributed a puzzle to a slate of warm-up midis with a meta solution. If you’ve got an afternoon to devote to puzzle solving and characteristic Lolla shenanigans, this is a can’t-miss event.
Meantime, this week’s Crucinova ($) puzzle is a grid concept that I cooked up last spring. The form you’ll find it in when it drops on Wednesday 8/19 is the result of the thoughtful stewardship of editor Lisa Bunker.
*Spoilers* and notes from Soleil on “Local Lingo” below!
Soleil: Hey everyone! I’m excited to say that I’m back to constructing after a ~ more-than-brief hiatus.~ Ross came to me with this half-baked theme idea close to a year ago, right when I started learning to construct. I remember our (very very long) email thread going back and forth about all of the possibilities for theme entries, and the real breakthrough with this grid came when we discovered that ITALIAN STALLION fit the theme. We probably finished the grid and cluing back in winter of 2021, so this one has been sitting on the shelf for a while, and I’m really happy that we’re finally able to share it with the world! Happy solving!
Ross: When we started defining the terms of the theme, we started with [LANGUAGE + any WORD] English phrases, with the caveat that the WORD in that stated LANGUAGE had to itself be a valid English language word, such that we could obscure the gimmick in the clue, e.g. [Pain in Paris?] for FRENCH BREAD. It hadn’t occurred to me to examine names for this concealable property, so when Soleil pulled ITALIAN STALLION I was, well, pleased as, ahem, punch. Killer answer, killer spanner (15).
Happy solving, friends!