Thursday, September 20, 2018

"Going Over to the Dark Side," by Andrew Zhou

Constructor's Comments

This puzzle speaks to the odd use of the term word ladder, doesn't it, for yes, one can, of course, climb down a ladder, but it's usually got the connotation of something one climbs up.  Anyhow, I am usually not a huge fan of this type of puzzle, but I was encouraged to pursue this one in part because of the unexpected direction it would take (through TOOTHSOME, no less!).  The theme imparts a certain feeling to the grid:  the top half of the puzzle seems brightly lit; the bottom half seems engulfed in a dark shadow.  One of John McPhee's many dear pieces of advice on writing comes to mind.  Calling thesauruses "useful" but "dangerous," he writes:  "At best, [they] are mere rest stops in the search for the mot juste."  Moral: caveat utilitor.

1 comment:

  1. That was outstanding, Andrew. Once I'd finished and took a close look at the synonyms, they really hold up. It must have been extremely difficult to work out this chain.