Monday, June 11, 2018

"Plenty of Broom," by Brian Thomas

Constructor's Comments

First of all, if you ever get the chance to try out curling, give it a shot!  It's a blast, most everyone is friendly and excited to help new folks out, and you get to drink beer afterwards.  What's not to love?  Sadly for me, I moved away from a city with a dedicated curling facility, but I have lots of good memories out on the ice.  Including technically becoming a professional curler, we got second place in a bonspiel and won something like $40.  I'm happy to retire on top.  Anyways, last winter I was watching some pre-Olympic curling qualifiers and ended up with a puzzle idea out of it!  I was able to stack each set of themers on top of each other because the letters happened to work out nicely—it's not really necessary with so little theme in the middle, but it freed things up a smidge.  Hope you enjoy!

P.S.  Erin Rhode wrote a really nifty puzzle along the same lines for The American Values Club crossword (AVCX)—you can access it here (Feb 7, 2018) or read about it here!

Editor's Comments

I always like when a constructor comes up with a theme I never would have thought of.  I've heard of curling, but that's pretty much all I could've told you before editing Brian's puzzle!  I also like how the theme is "complete."  What usually happens with this kind of theme is that there are one or two category members that just don't combine nicely into phrases or that combine into phrases but not ones that can be arranged symmetrically.  Thus, including all four possible curling positions is an elegant touch.  Theme aside, Brian included plenty of long bonus entries to jazz up the Monday solving experience.  My favorites are OUTSIDERS, PROJECTILE, and TIME-LAPSE.

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