“Eye for an Eye”

by Jessie & Ross Trudeau

[.puz][PDF][Solution] Difficulty: 4/5

Short post this week — Jessie and I are setting up for the Wonderland Mad Tea Party we’re hosting! Preparations are becoming curiouser and curiouser. Photos to follow.

As for “Eye for an Eye,” Jessie gets credit for this concept, which she described very early in our courtship after seeing this 2019 L.A. Times grid I made with Nina Sloan. My appreciation to Radhika and Spelling Beelieber for test solving this one. Thoughts and spoilers below.

I’ve messed with similar concepts in the past, including this E-centric grid from this past December. Perhaps you remember a T-for-Times offering from Alex Eaton-Salners.

The “E” and “I” versions are most compelling to me because they offer the added challenge of introducing words that both originate and terminate at the grid art letter in question. The bars of the two I’s in this grid bound ISTHMI, INCUBI, ILLINI, and IVAN VI, which themselves then constrain the possible entries that horizontally abut the Is’ middles. That’s why you see EL-HI in the fill. Woof.

Happy solving, friends.

11 thoughts on ““Eye for an Eye”

  1. Aye, aye aye! There are times when our eyes are blind to what is directly in front of us. I was getting nowhere solving this one so I took a short break. Upon returning, I quickly noticed the capitalized I’s inherent within the grid pattern. “What a clever visual” I chuckled to myself. And then it hit me square between the eyes!

    12D was one of the more inspired clues. Well done!

  2. Wow, just wow! I was ready to toss this puzzle but kept at it until the L”eye”ghtbulb went off in my head. Amazing construction, and the cluing was honest. And 38A was a new one for me.
    By the way, the puzzle’s title reminds me of this classic song by the Temptations.

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