New York Times, May 24
Who the hell is JOHN WALLIS?
That was my question after his name appeared as the answer to 29 Down (“See note”) using letters from the crossing clues. The “note” referred to in the clue was a Will Shortz special, indicating this puzzle was a twofer: A crossword with a bonus connect-the-dots type image.
The theme clues — represented by asterisks — all contained references to the infinite: WORLD WITHOUT END, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, ALWAYS MINE, HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL and EVERLASTING LOVE.
In turn, that helped me figure out what the connect-the-dots shape was: SYMBOL OF INFINITY. That’s spelled out in the circled squares, starting at the end of 57 Across, by traveling counter-clockwise in a continuous line (as explained in the note). Though the shape was faintly identifiable by looking at the arrangement of the circled squares in the blank grid, it was still quite an a-ha! moment to have figured it out.
Now I know what John Wallis invented: the sideways “8” figure that represents infinity. I learn something new every day. (A special nod to 114 Across, WYNNE — “Arthur ____, inventor of the crossword puzzle.”)
Think that catches me up on the puzzles I missed while I was a gone.
Questions or comments? Twitter me @crosswordkathy