N.B. Today’s puzzle is a Sunday size 21×21 grid, so the clues will populate above and below grid, rather than to the right. If that bugs you, you can download the .puz and solve in AcrossLite, or print out the PDF. Notes below! -R
As some of you may know, I recently took the plunge to make a go of it as a full-time puzzle maker/writer! So while the puzzles on this site will always be free, it’d mean a lot to me if you supported the ad-free, independent crossword cause with a donation. I appreciate you!
If you do make a donation, leave a comment on today’s puzzle to introduce yourself and I’ll shout you out on Sunday night! Parker and I are doing a special Cursewords Live crossword construction stream at 8pm eastern, Sunday 1/30. We’ll be talking about the ins and outs of putting crosswords together, and perhaps doing some live solving with help from YOU in the chat. Drop in and say hi! It’d also be a perfect opportunity to gripe about the Sunday New York Times puzzle. 😉
As for today’s puzzle… boy howdy. A *perfect* example of the creative possibilities that diagonal symmetry opens up. Thoughts and spoilers for “Flip Your Lid” after the jump. Many thanks to Bruce, Katie, Rajeev, and SpellingBeelieber for test solving!
Permit me a brief word in favor of thematic symmetry. It isn’t necessarily de rigueur, especially when you’re dealing with rebuses and thematic material that changes directions/orientations. But if you’re able to render everything symmetrically, you’re going to win my heart. That goes double for symmetrical grid art!
In today’s grid, the only way to achieve full symmetry is with either mirror symmetry–which wasn’t viable given the restraints on the theme material–or with parallel symmetry as you see here. Further, both the first two themers in WILDLI[FEZ]OOS and MEGAVI[TAM]INS may need to intersect, ditto the revealer answer of TIP OF THE HAT has to intersect the final in ES[CAP]E HATCH in the southeast.
Rending a theme this way is a gigantic pain in the butt, but, shoot! Look at the footprint of the theme material and tell me that doesn’t move your pattern-seeking mammalian brain just a skosh!
Happy solving, friends!