“Join the Chorus”

[.puz][PDF][Solution] Difficulty: 3.5/5

Happy holiday weekend! Just a few puzzle world odds and ends to share today.

-First, Natan Last is writing a book that promises to be required reading for the modern puzzle enthusiast!

-The New York Times has paused crossword submissions for the month of July, so if you’re a constructor looking to peddle your wares elsewhere, check out this submission spreadsheet maintained by puzzle maker Matthew Stock.

-Tournament crosswording is right around the corner! You can now officially register for both Boswords (Boston, 7/24) and Lollapuzzoola (NYC, 8/27), at the latter of which you should feel free to approach me for one (1) crisp high five.

Warm appreciation to this week’s test solvers, Mike, Anna-Marie, Dave, and Diary of a Crossword Fiend‘s own Amy! Thoughts and spoilers for “Join the Chorus” below…

actually, their aesthetic seems pretty consistent imho

With apologies to one of my all-time favorite box-to-box midfielders, the inimitable Toni Kroos, the homophone puzzle genre really only has two essential features.

First, the sounds-like words need to sound pretty ding-dang close. Obviously “Cruz” won’t always be pronounced just like “crus,” but they’re both a lot closer to “crews” than even your average American soccer fan’s pronunciation of “Kroos.”

Second, the pattern needs to have a raison d’être expressed via an apt revealer. In this case, MOTLEY CREWS [Ragtag bunches … and an apt description of the ends of 17-, 25-, 35-, and 47-Across] expresses the base sound *and* unifies the collection of relevant words as, well, a motley assortment. Which they are! Unless, of course, your BOOZE CRUISE happens to be serving nothing but GRAND CRUS, which… sounds like a pretty rough hangover in the making.

Kudos to those of you who noticed the callback to last week’s puzzle with the clues for EAZY-E and CELIA CRUZ. Is there an echo in here?

Happy solving, friends!


16 thoughts on ““Join the Chorus”

  1. A good start to a Holiday Sunday. 63A taught me a new meaning for “garage sale”–made me laugh at the image. Thank you and Happy Fourth!

  2. Very nice… it’s been quite a Cruise weekend here, what with my having seen Top Gun Maverick last night (awesome btw, go see it on a big screen).
    I’m a diehard skier but had never heard “garagesales” before (I always used “yard sale”). I love metaphors like those.
    The clue for 16A seems a little unkind.
    “Fantods” (22D clue) is not a word I’d heard before but am going to try to add it to my regular vocabulary.
    Happy Fourth everyone!

  3. 45A surprised me. I figured JFK –> DDE and Jack —> Ike. Still new to crosswords, but I thought that that was the custom.

    • Hi, Cheryl! JFK could very well be indicating DDE, in the initialism -> initialism convention, so this was something of a cruel misdirect. In some cases (as in this one), an initialism might simply be indicating informality, a la the word “prez.” Thanks for solving!

  4. Okay, I must be dim. I don’t ski, I do go to garage sales. I don’t understand the clue. Please help me.

    • Hi, Consuelo! This is sort of a niche term. It refers to the common occurrence of a skier scattering their hat/gloves/skis/etc all over the slope when take a tumble.

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