Mr. Patterson gave us an impressive number of 10 thematic responses and two revealing ones. To me, this theme makes the most sense if you start with the revealer. At 33-Across, we have the clue: “With 44-Across, a little consolation… or a feature of the grid of this puzzle? With his partner, we get the SILVER LINING answer.
Let’s look at 69-Across as an example of a theme entry. An “attractive older man” might be called a SILVER FOX. Since the whole sentence does not fit, we can imply the money, because the squares border the edge of the grid. The answer you write is just FOX. To confirm, let’s look at 42-Down. I knew pretty quickly that the “metallic-skinned Marvel character” was the SILVER SURFER, and the SURFER infill worked well with my crossers.
From these, we can deduce that each topic answer sits at the edge of the grid and is the end of a sentence starting with SILVER.
I found this theme to be a lot of fun. If you expect the theme responses to be the longest among the entries, you might get tripped up, but once you get the hang of it, it’s just a matter of knowing the trivia.
Psyche to be back with another NYT crossword!
As the theme might suggest, this puzzle was born in the early days of my forties, when I was looking for a source of optimism. It had been a while since I had found a theme that I liked, and spending more time than ever in my living room, staring at my laptop, I really felt in the rut.
Listen ! Metaphorically and literally, a SILVER LINING appeared! And boy, was that a badass. The theme took a lot of iterations – by the time I found a working grid, my metaphorical recycling bin was overflowing with crumpled junk. It would have been nice to put DOLLAR or MEDAL there, but those are the breaks.
The theme also asked for a few concessions in terms of sparkling filler, but I hope you find something here that speaks to you. Well done to my favorite furry friends, KOALAS, who finally found a way to get into one of my gates – they had a hard go-around on the bottom, and I’m shooting for them.
To the people who have been my silver liners during a difficult year – my girlfriend Liz, my parents and uncle, my roommates and friends – thank you for being there for me.
As always, my electronic door is always open for aspiring builders needing a grid review, second opinion, or general crossword puzzles. Find me on Twitter at @ KPat95 and send me a DM, and I’ll be happy to help!
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The tipping point
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