I post this puzzle with much love in my heart for my co-author Amanda Rafkin, whose name you’ll recognize from the masthead at the Universal Crossword where she is an assistant editor. Whether or not it was happenstance we’ll leave to the gods to decide, but her recent first solo-edited puzzle happened to be one of my grids. Kudos to David Steinberg for hiring such a talented puzzle maker, and mazel tov to Amanda for her many good crossworks.
A couple of thoughts and spoilers for “Left Speechless” after the jump!
Today’s puzzle follows an age-old crossword formula, using a revealer answer to indicate the placement and meaning of various rough synonyms or category examples. If you’re just starting out, it’s not a bad theme type to dabble in, and generating revealers like FIRST DANCE, RIGHT WING, CENTER STAGE, etc., can be a fun little thought game.
I don’t tend to go back to this well too much anymore, but Amanda and I like a challenge, and stacking ALL QUIET ON (10) THE WESTERN FRONT (15) represented a cute little constructor’s flourish. And who knew that *that* swan is called a MUTE SWAN? Pretty honkin’ good name right there.
For more grid’s from Amanda and her various collaborators, check out her Brain Candy website. And happy solving!