Babe in the Woods – The New York Times

Mr. Fogarty offers us four Across theme entries, and each of their letters takes up two squares going across. Each pair of crossing Down entries also uses the letter in the corresponding elongated square.

If you are solving online or in the app, you will have to write the elongated letter into each square so that it appears twice.

These theme clues are also fairly tricky for this type of theme, but that makes it all the more evil sorry, I meant fun. Add to that the fact that the word LONG is not just the revealer, but it must be inserted before each theme answer to make the real answer, and you have a puzzle that is rich in fun by any measure.

For example, at 18A, the Oboe or flute sound clue is tricky enough. It sounds as if were supposed to be thinking about the sounds that the musical instruments make, but no the answer is VOWEL, stretched over the five elongated squares. And why are they stretched? Because the vowels in oboe and flute are LONG VOWELs (with the exception of the silent E).

Looking at 12D and 13D, both TILDE and GELDS share the common L in VOWEL.

Got that? I dont want to be too LONG-WINDED, so I will leave it there.

Experienced solvers are used to seeing rebus squares on Thursdays, where a group of letters share a single box in the grid. My idea for this puzzle was to invert that mechanism. In this grid, some letters occupy the real estate usually taken up by two letters.

The grid design has been modified to help solvers catch on quickly; its still one letter per box, even if some boxes arent squares. Hopefully that kept the puzzle challenging but fun.

Im grateful to Mr. Shortz and the whole puzzle crew for taking my grid, which Id bodged together by applying correction fluid to a printout with only squares, and making it work crisply in print and digital forms.

And speaking of gratitude: Happy Thanksgiving!

Almost finished solving but need a bit more help? Weve got you covered.

Warning: There be spoilers ahead, but subscribers can take a peek at the answer key.

Trying to get back to the puzzle page? Right here.

Your thoughts?

See original here:
Babe in the Woods - The New York Times

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