Thursday, May 10, 2018

"Two by Three," by Alex Eaton-Salners

Constructor's Comments

I was lucky to find three answers that fit the theme and each have 15 letters.  There aren't too many in-the-language options—especially if you exclude examples with repeated words (such as DREAM DREAM DREAM).

This grid is unusual for me since I don't often construct puzzles with only three theme entries.  It's always fun to do something a little bit different, though.  And because the theme entries span the grid, they don't force the placement of any black squares.  Using only three themers (plus a revealer) also provides the flexibility to incorporate some longer bonus fill while maintaining a relatively low word count (in this case, 70 words).

Editor's Comments

I love the quirkiness of this theme!  For those of you who are still confused, the sequence RE appears three times in each theme entry.  When you say the reveal RETRY out loud, it sounds like "re-tri."  (Don't worry, I had to stare at this for a little while, too.)  I also like how Alex brought the word count down to 70 (!), which is low even for a themeless grid.  That allowed him to work in bonuses like LEITMOTIF, GREAT LAKE, CHEESE DIP, SHARKSKIN, TOE RINGS, and DOODAD.  Even long entries like PARAMETER and OVERDONE are more interesting than short crosswordese.  Finally, you might've noticed something unusual about the SUA clue:  I added an anagram.  SUA has appeared in other crosswords, but I feel it's tough and not particularly inferable.  Your thoughts about the use of anagrams in clues?

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