“The Old Normal”

by Aaron Paulsen & Ross Trudeau

[.puz][PDF][Solution] 🌬 💦 🌿 Difficulty: 3/5

One of the happiest results of having gotten into live crossword streaming on Twitch has doubtlessly been the occasion and opportunity to become friends with this puzzle’s co-author. Known on the internet at ScootsBaboo, Aaron recently served as right honorable arbiter of a Clue-Off competition between Parker and me, and he quickly stole the whole show with his wit and with his bits. (When he’s not puzzling on the www, Aaron is plying his trade as a talented improv actor, so this was all to be expected.) I know I have a nasty habit on inserting lengthy burbles of praise for my collaborators on this site, but Aaron really is a dreamboat.

Oh! And for Boston-area solvers: Parker and I are running a How to Make a Crossword workshop at Lamplighter Brewery on Monday, October 4th at 6:00p. Visit this page to buy your ticket, which also gets you a beer or cold brew!

Spoilers and thoughts on “The Old Normal” after the jump.

deep breath now

Aaron: Hi cuties! It’s me, Aaron/Scoots. If this is our first time meeting, hello! I’m from Vermont, and I live in Chicago where I do comedy! You?

I started giving constructing a shot during quarantine, and as a relatively new constructor I feel so lucky to have been able to collaborate with Ross! Every little xword thing he says is illuminating, would recommend. 

Hope you enjoy the puzzle! If you liked it, or wanna talk about Survivor, Drag Race, or Great British Bake-off, tweet me @ScootsBaboo. It’s my first blog puzzle so please be nice to me, and PLEASE be mean to Ross. Solve away!

Ross: Just a quick N.B. on THE FRESH AIR CURE: there are a whole bunch of Trudeaus in Canada and upstate New York, where my family is from. North America’s first Tuberculosis sanitarium was founded by my great-great grandfather, E.L. Trudeau, who treated mostly blue collar sufferers, but famously counted Robert Louis Stevenson among his patients. After he (RLS) was cured, he sent Dr. Trudeau his collected works, with an inscription inside the front cover of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde that read, “All winter with Trudeau by my side, I never saw the nose of Hyde.”

Happy solving, friends!

4 thoughts on ““The Old Normal”

  1. Hi Ross
    Either there’s a typo (truncation) in the 32A clue, or I just didn’t understand it? Solved on the cross but I’m not sure how RUN fits the clue.
    I feel like the clue for 50D could have been better. But don’t let it bother you, it happens to everyone.

  2. Hey, Rich! No typo there, just solid misdirect from Aaron. You can RUN on E[mpty], when the dash needle is pointing at the E in your gas meter! And as for the 50D clue, we also have Aaron to thank/blame. What a guy 😀

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