Note: If you’re confused or pissed after you finish today’s puzzle, I invite you to check out the solution and/or read the explanation below the jump.
Rossword regulars are very familiar with my passionate devotion to all things US Soccer, so it will come as no surprise to many of you that I’ve got some World Cup Bonus Content on tap. This midweek grid is a little amuse-bouche in anticipation of the Yanks’ opening game on Monday the 21st.
And by the way, if you’re not familiar with how world soccer’s governing body operates, check out Netflix’s “FIFA Uncovered” or the World Corrupt podcast from Roger Bennett and Tommy Vietor. One should always consume FIFA products with some appropriate amount of ambivalence/guilt.
Spoilers for “FIFA MATCH Fixing 2022, Part 1” below.
Today’s puzzle is an example of a so-called Quantum Crossword. They let you have it both ways when you’re commenting on Chris Rock/Will Smith culpability or predicting the outcome of presidential elections.
Whether you dropped WALES or THE U.S. in at 37-Across ([Team that will win the FIFA World Cup match between 🇺🇸 and 🏴 this coming Monday]), all of the down clue/answer combinations remain valid:
GOOD SHOT / GOOD SHOW [“___, old boy!” (royal hunting trip compliment)]
AHH SO GOOD / AAH SO GOOD [“This … feels … blissful”]
EPS / LPS [Some records, briefly]
MUSSING UP / MESSING UP [Disheveling, as hair]
SOCRATES [Brazilian soccer legend who shares a name with a noted Greek philosopher]
More World Cup puzzle content to come this month. Sorry/you’re welcome, and happy solving, friends!