They say you can’t go home again. Mostly I agree, though making puzzles with Amanda feels like going home.
Recently she’s been editing a new offering from the Puzzle Society called The Modern Crossword. It’s a puzzle that fills what sometimes feels to me like a certain difficulty/originality vacuum. Amanda’s been running grids of unpredictable sizes and wide-ranging thematic conceits that keep you guessing in satisfying ways. Go thence!
The idea here is similar to puzzles you may have seen that ask you to ignore certain cluing letters. Perhaps you recall this Robyn Weintraub NYT grid from a few years ago. We wanted to modify that concept by a) asking the solver to WAIT FOR IT (i.e., the I-T strings in the relevant clues), and b) doing our best to deviously misdirect via the “surface” clue.
So, for example, [Phil Esposito‘s Winter Olympic sport] super *feels* like it should be MEN’S ICE HOCKEY (or something), but the clue is really asking you for [Ito‘s Winter Olympic sport]: FIGURE SKATING.
Similarly, [Twitch felt by expecting mothers] isn’t a baby kicking, but rather [Itch felt by expecting mothers]: PREGNANCY CRAVING. The other theme answers are:
[Brad Pitt’s 1960s TV show] = [Itt’s 1960s TV show] = THE ADDAMS FAMILY (We went back and forth on the merits of something that made more timey-wimey sense, like Eartha Kitt’s 1960s TV show.)
[Witchita hub named for an inventor] = [ITA hub named for an inventor] = LEONARDO DA VINCI
[Financial obliteration, at a tech company] = [Iteration, at a tech company] = SOFTWARE VERSION
[Ditsy Marvel movie duo] = [Itsy Marvel movie duo] = ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
[Swimsuit issue] = [I.T. issue] = COMPUTER PROBLEM
Hope that clears things up! It became obvious that we’d need to omit any other I-T strings from non-thematic clues, which was pretty
irritating annoying, actually…
Happy solving, friends!