Chloe Revery’s New York Times puzzle – Sophia’s write-up
Theme: HOPPING MAD – phrases that imply “mad” are cut up between two solutions, damaged by a black sq..
- 17a [Pepper measuring over 1 million on the Scoville scale]/ 19a [“Veni, ___, vici” (Caesar’s boast)] – GHOST CHILI/VIDI
- 23a [Chanel No. 5, par exemple] / 25a [They’re the picture of innocence, in the pictures] – PARFUM/INGENUES
- 37a [The whole ___] / 40a [What a flour grain may grow from] – SHEBANG/RYE SEED
- 50a [French farewell] / 54a [Relaxed] – AU REVOIR/AT EASE
- 62a [Really miffed … or a hint to the circled letters] – HOPPING MAD
This is a cute theme! I discovered vaguely what was happening fairly rapidly with the cut up offended phrases, however the revealer nonetheless shocked me after I reached it. I just like the mad phrases Chloe selected, that they’re all about the identical size, and that the cut up occurs in the midst of every of them. The consistency helps tie the puzzle collectively and feels fairly elegant.
One downside that may come up when the theme of the puzzle shouldn’t be strictly tied to its longest solutions is that the longest solutions can as a substitute really feel boring and solely in service to the theme versus being sparkly themselves. Some of the half-theme solutions right this moment are true standouts, like GHOST CHILI, AU REVOIR, and the entire SHEBANG. Others, like VIDI or PARFUM, don’t actually add a lot.
I appreciated loads of the fill on this puzzle – MOON ROVER and OLD PAL are my favourite entries, however the complete massive NE and SW corners are very nicely crammed with nearly no dreck. However, I believe the highest left of the puzzle could possibly be tough for some solvers. SIG EP, OCHOA, AMFAR, and HAIFA all have the potential to be unknowable, and in case you’re like me and misspelled each ALLAN and INGENUES with E’s, it’s not going to assist. FBI FILE is a enjoyable reply too, but it surely’s arduous to parse from only some letters. I personally needed to come again to the highest left after ending the remainder of the puzzle so as repair up my errors.
Overall, although, this puzzle did the alternative of constructing me hopping mad! Congrats to Chloe on an excellent NYT debut.