Puzzle #19: Reptilian Overlords

[.puz][PDF][Solution] 🦎 🐍 🐊 🏛

This puzzle was inspired by comedian Claire Parker’s Twitter bio (spoiler alert), which led me down a deep, dark Wiki-conspiracy rabbit hole.

I had only tangentially been aware of the Reptilian Overlord conspiracy theory. Which, if you’re not familiar with, deserves extensive poorly-sourced research on your part.

Sssssssspoiler alert

*SPOILER ALERT*

One of the pros of running an indy crossword puzzle site is that I can frame an otherwise straightforward theme (people descriptors with a reptile in them) as something outlandish like… an alien lizard conspiracy puzzle.

It’s a pretty tight theme set: FLORIDA GATOR, SOCIAL CHAMELEON, DJ SNAKE, LOUNGE LIZARD. And there isn’t a ready-made revealer answer (REPTILIAN PEOPLE, 15, to match SOCIAL CHAMELEON, felt a little forced), I had to go to mirror symmetry with the theme set. And since mirror symmetry allows you to isolate them answers in pretty tidy ways, I was able to get a bunch of bonus fill I like in there: FÜR ELISE, ETSY SHOP, SO TO SAY, DAD JOKE, MEGADETH, etc.

Anyway, try to watch Mitch McConnell and believe he’s not a bullfrog in sheep’s clothing. JUST TRY.

-Ross