Monday, June 18, 2018

"High Steaks," by John Guzzetta

Constructor's Comments

This theme started when I heard someone say, "WELL DONE, SIR!"  Once it mentally matched with RAW MATERIAL, the difficult pair was taken care of, and RARE and MEDIUM were easy to come by.  I think this might be the first theme I've ever completed on a slip of paper, without having to scour the Internet for at least one entry.

I prefer my steaks more toward the left side of the puzzle.  Like, walked through a warm room. . . .

I tried keeping the puzzle at 72 words but had to add a block when things got a little too junky.  I've learned the hard way to think of puzzles from a solver's perspective rather than a constructor's and shoot for mostly clean first and foremost.  I hope solvers will find this one entertaining!  And, as always, thanks to David for an amazing job editing!

Editor's Comments

Every once in a while, making a puzzle's theme entries vertical can add another level of complexity.  The "high steaks" wordplay thus brings this theme from good to delicious in my mind!  John went big by bringing the word count down to 72—in my experience, most Mondays are closer to the maximum word count (78)—but the fill is nonetheless very well done.  Entries like RHEE and SERE might be tough for NEWBIES, but they're offset by plenty of juicy midlength entries like LOW GEAR, RUDOLPH, CHIMES IN, BYE WEEK, and DIET COKE.  Here's hoping your feelings about this puzzle are as tender mine and John's are!

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