“Cultural Appreciation”

[.puz][PDF][Solution] Difficulty: 3/5

Welcome back, cherished nerds! Just a couple of announcements and heads-ups before we talk puzz.

David Steinberg of the Universal Crossword is running a pair of my puzzles this week on Monday and Thursday, the latter co-authored with craft maven Sarah Sinclair.

If you’re in the midwest, there are still spots available at Patrick Blindauer‘s STL Crossword Puzzle Tournament on June 18th. Word is Patrick’s a first order mensch. And about a week from now registration will open for Boswords 2022, taking place on July 24th. As I’ve previously mentioned, I’ll be getting married the night before, so if I make an appearance it’ll definitely be part of an elaborate bit with Jessie on our way to the airport for our honeymoon.

Many thanks to Ben (of Nautilus Puzzles), Ariel (of Haymarket Squares), and Andrew for test solving today’s puzzle!

thanks, old sport

Honestly, I thought there was going to be more to work with. I knew I wanted to limit myself to “thanks a lot” phrases that would be decently well-known to my largely American/English-speaking solving base, but it turns out that many such phrases hinge on qualifiers that don’t really ever mean anything like “a lot.” “Danke schön” and “grazie mille” were in this category.

I also toyed with giving the solver a bit more to go on with the relevant clues. You could imagine a formulation like [Words of gratitude in Osaka] … [Words of gratitude in Oaxaca] … etc. But ultimately it felt best to do the revealer do the revealing. I gather this made the solve a bit crunchier, which, yum! Texture!

Happy solving, friends.


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