“Global Network”

by Ross Trudeau

[.puz][PDF][Solution] Difficulty: 3.25/5

n.b.: Today’s puzzle is the most theme dense grid I’ve ever written. 49% of the white squares are thematic!

Short post today, as my parents are arriving for a visit in just a few hours! As of this writing, the forecast is for SEVENTY FIVE degree weather here in Cambridge, which is going to make for sort of an strange trip to the apple orchard this afternoon. But, when in New England, right? Photos of Jessie’s apple scones forthcoming.

No notes on today’s puzzle — it’s pretty straightforward! I am curious as to how a theme like today’s–which doesn’t try to hide the ball at all–plays for regular Rossword solvers. Leave a comment, and happy solving, friends!

23 thoughts on ““Global Network”

  1. I liked the puzzle! I thought it would be too straightforward but given the facts used to clue the theme entries, it was interesting and I learned things. Funniest/most aha clue for me was 53D. Iā€™d never heard of 43A. Most embarrassed I was stuck on 35D. And eventually found my way around the error (noted above) on the clue for 49A šŸ™‚

    • Glad to hear it, Sendhil. I had my fingers crossed that the clue content was going to carry the day. The irony is that personally I’m often left sort of cold by straight trivia. Go figure!

  2. It’s amazing how many clowns you got in that Volkswagen! We are not worthy.
    Couple nits (in addition to Neil’s, above): Need to color 10D and 46D, as well as the last letter of 22A. Also, referencing the clue to 38D, I think “Jolly Roger” is a flag, not a ship – so maybe “Boatswain *under* the Jolly Roger”?
    Lastly I will interpret the abutment of 48D and 53D as intentional poetry. Deus in this lovely Machina.

  3. I had fun trying to fill in the countries based solely on the clue rather than any crossings. Got most of ’em. And nice work getting that fellow alum in there.

  4. I’m with Andy Gefen: I liked filling in the countries based on the clue. If it wasn’t for Putin’s hubris, I wouldn’t have know that Ukraine grows so many sunflowers. BTW Jolly Roger was the name of Captain Hook’s ship.

  5. Very impressed with the density. Thanks to Worldle I’ve been very geography-conscious lately, and well aware of Africa in particular.

  6. As an embarrassingly slow solver, I clocked in at 80 minutes around the world. Fun puzzle! The 20A clue had me laughing all the way to the answer.

  7. I liked it. Took only a couple of minutes but it was a ton of fun — and a geographic challenge (if you didn’t rely on the intersecting entries. If you cook up another good theme like this, I’d like to see another one of these. But also keep the hard ones coming!

  8. Since you asked, I’m not a big fan of this kind of straightforward theme. It just feels like boring trivia rather than the clever wordplay that makes crosswords so fun!

    • I’m generally with you here, Zef. And mildly surprised that the response is so positive. Then again, one of the things I like most about (say) the NYT puzzle is that they’re so committed to featuring such a broad range of puzzle *types*.

  9. Almost got all the countries just on the circle crossings. Wait, there is more puzzle? OK, I’ll go back and finish. šŸ™‚ Nicely done.

  10. OK so YES – this was a lot of fun and I applaud you X2 for fitting in so many countries. And bless you for giving us useful crosses for those we just didn’t know. Thanks!

    • When I decided to give this concept a go, I knew that it was only going to be fun from a setting perspective if I was able to a) get a hilarious amount of theme material in the “network,” and b) render it with decently smooth fill. I think I exceeded my own expectations on both counts.

  11. Reading through the comments, I see the issue has been fixed. I too worked on one of the earlier versions where all the squares were not coloured properly. When I first dropped 46-D and saw no colouring, I thought there must be some sort of meta going on here. When I couldn’t find anything, had to jump here right away to see I missed something.

    Loved this one–EXCELLENT fun to solve!

Leave a Reply