This past Valentine’s Day, Jessie and I decided to build a puzzle together on Twitch in lieu of a romantic dinner. And we’re all about romantic dinners. But as it happened, Valentine’s Day fell on a Monday, and it was just more convenient for us to get wine-drunk and weird on the preceding Saturday, which was what we did! If you happen to have been tuned in to that Twitch stream, I hope enough time has elapsed that the solve feels fresh.
I chose to post this puzzle today because, well, Jessie is out of town. She was invited to present her research on how criminal groups act as political brokers at a conference in Reggio Calabria. (Apparently academics who study organized crime convene where the organized crime historically has been, which, yay!) And her absence represents one of the very few times we’ve been apart for more than 12 hours at a time over the last 26 months. And I miss her. On top of everything, her trip took her nearly to the very slopes of none other than Mount Etna! GAH!
Anyway, thanks for abiding a little love note to my forever collaborator. A couple brief thoughts/spoilers for “Hit the Low Notes” after the photo below of the beautiful jet-setting polymath in question.
I don’t actually remember the original raison d’être was–it was a “sax” homophone puzzle–but at some point Jessie offered BASS SAX as a revealer with vertically-oriented answers, and suddenly the whole thing felt a lot more interesting. Especially since there were at least four viable theme set works with four distinct spellings to work with. I would have much preferred to work OLIVER SACKS (pictured above) into the puzzle, but ultimately the symmetry didn’t allow for its, specifically because of the relative lack of ___ SACS options from which to choose.
Happy solving, friends!