A bonus post today because I was so excited to come across a couple of clever themes in — of all places — an airplane magazine. Southwest Airlines wisely bought a pair of puzzles from NYT crossword constructor Brendan Emmett Quigley that had me smiling on my flights from Philly to L.A.
The first, titled “Island Hopping,” hides the name of several isles within the grid. The trick to finding them is to “hop” over the black square separating several of the long entries. In 46 Across — “With 48-Across, setting for ‘The Wire'” — the answer is BALTI_MORE, with my underscore representing a black square and the Asian outpost of TIMOR being the hidden island.
Others: “With 18-Across, back door, e.g.” is SECR_ETENTRANCE (17 Across), for the Greek island of CRETE. “With 28-Across, swim with the sharks?” is SCU_BADIVE (25 Across), for the island nation of Cuba. And “With 63-Across, composer of the tone poem ‘Daphnis and Chloe'” is EFREM ZIMBA_LIST (61 Across), for the Indonesian island of Bali.
Quigley had a second fun puzzle in magazine called “Trip Planner.” The theme answers tell a quick and clever story of a “trip” through four choice words: walk, stumble, fall and land.
The full answers are WALK THIS WAY (“1977 hit by Aerosmith,” 20 Across), STUMBLE UPON (“Popular discovery-engine website,” 30 Across), FALL CLASSIC (The World Series, with ‘The’,” 47 Across) and LAND O’GOSHEN (“‘Oh, my!’ 57 Across). Truth be told, I wasn’t really familiar with the source of the Goshen answer, so I looked it up. I’m guessing the mild oath “Gosh!” stems from the longer phrase.
See you tomorrow for a recap of the NYT puzzle!