Welcome to The Phillipian’s version of “Wordplay,” a spinoff of the daily “The New York Times” crossword blog: a commentary on theming, gridding, and cluing of published crossword puzzles.
As the first installment, this week’s writeup details The Phillipian’s inaugural puzzle, with the subdued theme focusing on the admission of 420 applicants to Phillips Academy.
Although not strictly abiding by the style guide for most crosswords, our first puzzle aims to give you a taste of the prowess of puzzling, closer to home.
Though the theme is more subtle in this week’s puzzle, it is symmetrical across the grid, meaning the theme entries mirror each other in placement. You won’t find that many obvious three-letter fills – which is more of a reflection of amateur gridding, rather than your intellect.
This puzzle was fun to make, and I was quite pleased to discover that the answer for 41 Across fit perfectly across the 15-by-15 grid, and provided the first entry for this week’s theme, “See You in September?”
I was particularly satisfied with 73 Across: “Seen many a road?” You might not be, though. Sorry, I’ve always been a fan of wordplay.
You’ll stumble across some nastier clues, such as 8 Down: “South American evergreen,” and 26 Across: “Coffee order to a Bostonian, say.” Most of the other clues should be within reach, though I would welcome any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.