Constructor's CommentsFor lots of constructors, the most compelling part of crossword construction is creating clever themes or lively clues (both good things). But I get most excited by collecting words and phrases and creating themed dictionaries to put them in.
For this crossword, my debut with The Puzzle Society, I looked in my "themeless" dictionary—"A for effort" through "zoot suit"—hunting for words and phrases I hadn't been able to work into a themed puzzle.
I found COCKAMAMIE, which made me think of my father, the electrical engineer, who used this word to describe anything not up to his standards. Originally I had THINGAMAJIG in the puzzle, but David Steinberg had me rework the puzzle to clear out some obscurities, and I just couldn't keep . . . whatchamacallit? Oh, yeah, THINGAMAJIG.
However, I was able to keep SEE NO EVIL crossed with GONE GIRL. (I recently read the book—couldn't put it down.) Since there aren't too many television characters whose names are instantly recognizable, I was happy to work in OLIVIA POPE.
The entry I like the least: NAIL BED. I hope you enjoyed the solve.