Friday, June 29, 2018

"Rising Action," by Stu Ockman

Constructor's Comments

Since I began constructing, I've enjoyed playing tricks with the grid:  having phrases start on the right and end on the left, words floating outside the grid, nonlinear theme entries, islands, phrases that can only be read in a mirror—well, you get the idea.  Looking back, the 14th grid I constructed (months before my first puzzle was published anywhere) had the phrase LOOKING UP rising from the SE corner.  Today’s grid is a redux of that early puzzle with four phrases rising from the bottom of the grid but, instead of looking up, these are going up.  I hope you were able to (1) rise above this little trick and (2) enjoy the challenge of solving something a little different today!

Editor's Comments

This theme feels perfect for a Friday.  I'd say the rising gimmick is tricky but not frustratingly so, and all four theme entries are fresh and lively—my favorites are HOT AIR BALLOONS and LIFE EXPECTANCY.  Stu also did a great job with the grid, making sure to include plenty of 6s, 7s, and 8s rather than just the usual assortment of 3s, 4s, and 5s.  I also find it interesting how the fill has both A DEUX and ADIEUX—certainly different enough French words to include in the same puzzle, but curious that they share so many letters.


  1. I love it when you speak French to me! My third language. ADIEUX, A DEUX, NUIT, NEE. C'est magnifique!

    1. That's so impressive! My only two languages are English and crosswordese.