by Ross Trudeau
n.b.: If you’re confused or at all pissed after you finish today’s puzzle, I invite you to check out the solution and/or read the explanation below the jump.
I published Part 1 of this series as a bonus grid this past Wednesday, but didn’t email that puzzle out to avoid spamming subscribers with inbox notifications about, you know, soccer. But seeing as I’m just incandescently excited about team USA’s games this week, I’m going all-in on the footie content, with apologies to those of you who don’t dig on sports ball.
Okay, so it’s back-to-back puzzles with the same gimmick. Sue me. I just *love* the unique challenge that goes into constructing these types of puzzles. As I noted on Wednesday, they’re known as Quantum Crosswords, the most famous example of which melted the brains of NYT solvers back in ’96. I’ve made about a dozen of these over the years, including one that featured the Will Smith/Chris Rock awards ceremony spat. I’ll allow myself a moment of authorial pride here when I say that this particular example is probably the most elegant that I’ve been able to render. The relevant answer pairings are:
LEONORA / LEONORE [19th century opera heroine]
THE METS / THE NETS [New York City pro squad]
EMAIL / GMAIL [Digital messaging used by billions]
ART / ALT [___ rock (music genre)]
PART I / PART A [First section]
BLACKED / BLANKED [___ out (redacted, in a way)]
AC POWER / DC POWER [Option offered by one side of the Tesla/Edison “Current Wars”]
Of course, the solving software requires me to designate only one of the viable answers as “right,” so these puzzles always play just a bit better solving on paper, but hopefully the payoff gave you some good mental cookies.
Happy solving, friends.