Another Thursday NYT Spoiler Alert
[SPOILER ALERT: Thursday, July 2, 2015, NYT]
Kudos to Timothy Polin and Will Shortz: you stumped me!
After completing the Thursday NYT puzzle, I had no idea what I had solved - only by virtue of the app's congratulations was I certain that I had correctly filled the grid. I studied the completed puzzle for 20 minutes, unable to suss out the key to the day's theme.
After a while I decided to scoot over to Rex Parker's blog to see what I was missing. The theme itself was a meta-puzzle of sorts, and a good one.
I was reminded of a quote on solving from Will Shortz (and a little disappointed in myself for giving up too quickly):
If you get stuck on a puzzle, a time-honored technique is to put it aside and return later. Perhaps the brain works subconsciously on problems in the interim. Whatever the case, a fresh look at a tough puzzle almost always brings new answers.
Would I have figured it out after more studying and perhaps a night of sleep? Most certainly, but it was late (I usually solve the NYT at night when it's released) and I just had to know the answer.
In any event, my trip to Rex Parker's blog in search of answers reminded me of another Will Shortz quote:
A question I am asked often is this: "Is it cheating to use references?" In reply I always quote Will Weng, one of my predecessors as Times crossword editor: "It's your puzzle. Solve it any way you want."
Don't forget that the first volume of the best from year one of "Monday Fills" is available on Amazon. For a mere $7.95, you'll get 84 top-quality crosswords in a finely-bound paperback book. It makes a great gift and is a terrific way to show support for Monday Fills.
Back next week with another fill...