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Crossword #22: Northern Dialect

Peregrine falcon - By Greg Hume (Greg5030) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17098529Fast on the heals of my Special Editions crossword–published just six short months ago–I add another puzzle to my amateur cruciverbalist collection. This latest effort asks the question: is there any limit to which this constructor will not go to force-fit a tortured bit of wordplay into a crossword theme?

Clearly, the answer is no.

Still, worse puzzles do occasionally surface in the most exalted of places. Take the awful, tone-deaf offering this week in the New York Times. Please. Its revealer for a theme of gun-related phrases (inoffensive in themselves) was TRIGGER WARNING. Nice. In my opinion, this puzzle didn’t have enough going for it to justify the ugly association.[1]

So, tortured it may be, I am confident my puzzle won’t be the worst puzzle that solvers of the Times crossword will have seen this week. Tortured but not tortuous, that’s my lofty goal. (I do expect to hear from some that this puzzle is more difficult than most of mine.)

Please enjoy responsibly. Look for the solution on Monday.

Puzzle thumbnail

Download the puzzle
PDF copy to print
Puzzle file for AcrossLite[2]
Solve online at XwordInfo.com

Checkmark iconThe solution to this puzzle was published on Monday, June 25.

Recent Crosswords:
04/24/2020 #k1: Meadow’s First!
04/20/2020 #24: Roadside Attractions?
02/20/2020 #23: World’s Smallest!
01/30/2018 #21: Special Editions
10/10/2017 #20: Saints We’d Like to See
02/13/2017 #19: Themeless, but Dark

   Complete Crosswords


  1. The New York Times blogger who writes about their puzzle declined to write about this one. Will Shortz stepped in for her and (of course) defended it. Others varied in their reactions. The crossword blogger I read most regularly, at Xwordinfo.com, didn’t take note of it–but he claims to be unfamiliar with the term trigger warning! Amy at Diary of a Crossword Fiend was quite critical of the theme, and included links to gun control advocacy websites in her review. The angry, self-anointed King of Crosswords excoriated it, but of course he did. He hates Will Shortz and the NYT crossword with a fascinatingly masochistic and monomanical passion.
    I’m not usually thin-skinned about crossword content, and think the so-called “breakfast test” can be silly. But I believe running this puzzle with its clunking revealer was a poor decision. I’m only (mostly?) kidding about my puzzle being better than this one. Its constructor is one of the most published in the business. He’s no amateur, and I’m sure he throws away ideas better than any I’m likely to have. So why would he–or the NYT–use this one? [^]
  2. The Across Lite program can be downloaded for free at Litsoft.com and runs on Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X. I can recommend it unreservedly. It is easy to install and use, and is free of any of the malware garbage that commonly plagues freeware. [^]

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