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Puzzle Solution #22: What did Delaware?


The ceremonial opening

Commemorative coin.I’m always tempted to steal a line from Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, when I post my puzzle solutions: You’ve wasted another perfectly good 15 minutes half-hour what seems like a week solving another of my not-ready-for-prime-time puzzles. I probably have used that before, in fact. No matter, I’ve used themes similar to the one used in this crossword before too. I am nothing if not consistent.

First, in the guise of a random musical interlude, a small measure of spoiler space. Before scrolling past it, please treat yourself to Northern Dialect, that episode of the Wait Wait podcast will in fact wait.

The solution

Crossword #22 solution.

This is certainly one of my tougher puzzles. Friends who are familiar with the crosswords of the New York Times have called it Wednesday-Thursdayish. I deliberately clued it with this later-week difficulty in mind–this grid seemed to fit–and then questioned its suitability for my casual-solver audience.

Also, by the time I got around to publishing it I had grown disenamored with its punning theme entries. But just this morning I received an email from a friend:

Perhaps your best puzzle yet. Reminds me of the geographic puns of my childhood. (“What did Delaware? She wore her New Jer-zee”).

Not everyone hated the puns! (My friend lived his childhood in the early 1940s, during a less jaded time pun-wise.)

The howler

I almost always commit one boo-boo and this puzzle’s was a doozy. In the earliest copies of the crossword, the clue for 47-across’s FOLLY identified Secretary of State William Seward’s president as James Buchanan. His president was Andrew Johnson. Since this clue was the revealer (“Seward’s Folly” pointing to Alaska), the mistake was a big one. It was quickly corrected–thanks to the sharp eye of solver George B–but a few saw it.

Recent Crosswords:
DATE TITLE
06/20/2018 #22: Northern Dialect
01/30/2018 #21: Special Editions
10/10/2017 #20: Saints We’d Like to See
02/13/2017 #19: Themeless, but Dark
10/03/2016 #18: Shady Business
07/11/2016 #17: Ars Poetica

   Complete Crosswords

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