Answer to Evan Birnholz’s Dec. 11 crossword, “Fringe Movie Pageant”


After the information broke that The Washington Publish Journal will be shutting down, I wrote final Sunday that I’ll “nearly undoubtedly” nonetheless be writing crosswords for The Washington Publish. I can now fortunately say that for sure. After the ultimate concern of The Journal runs on Dec. 25 it is possible for you to discover my crossword within the Arts & Fashion part of the newspaper. I notice that not everybody enjoys fixing crosswords on newsprint as a substitute of the modern journal pages, however a minimum of that’s one method to entry my puzzles. You even have the choice of accessing my crosswords online, the place you possibly can clear up on desktop, cellular or pill or print out a PDF which recreates precisely how I would like every puzzle to look in print. Nevertheless you select to resolve, I look ahead to making puzzles for you and I hope you get pleasure from them.

The title of at the moment’s puzzle suggests we must be desirous about movies, however the place are they? The grid seems to be a bit of smaller than ordinary at 19×19 squares, and several other solutions don’t appear to suit their clues. 1D: [Hidden peril, perhaps] is … RAP? 2D: [Part in a play] is … OLE?

One thing is amiss, however you’ll discover a key trace at 78A: [What edgy films do, just like 13 films in this puzzle] which is PUSH THE BOUNDARIES. These movies can all be discovered simply outdoors the grid. The truth is, they every have their very own clues underneath the heading of Fringe Movies. (In print, these Fringe Movie clues seem after the Down clues; however when you clear up on-line, the Fringe Movie clues may be discovered by clicking on the Data button above the grid.)

  • Fringe Movie 1: [1982 film that takes place in cyberspace] is “TRON,” over the northern fringe of the grid. The crossing Down solutions are (T)RAP at 1D, (R)OLE at 2D, (O)PALS at 3D, and (N)ESTERS at 4D.
  • Fringe Movie 2: [2013 film with a virtual assistant named Samantha] is “HER,” over the northern edge. Crossing solutions: (H)ARE at 5D, (E)GADS at 6D, and (R)EDUCES at 7D.
  • Fringe Movie 3: [2003 film with the line “Treat every day like Christmas”] is “ELF,” over the northern edge. Crossing solutions: (E)STATES at 8D, (L)ENTS at 9D, and (F)ATE at 10D.
  • Fringe Movie 4: [2007 film featuring the song “Falling Slowly”] is “ONCE,” over the northern edge. Crossing solutions: (O)PINING at 11D, (N)ODES at 12D, (C)LOT at 13D, and (E)ELS at 14D.
  • Fringe Movie 5: [1989 film featuring TV shows on Channel 62] is “UHF,” over the jap edge. Crossing solutions: BEA(U) at 34A, INC(H) at 42A, and WOOL(F) at 47A.
  • Fringe Movie 6: [2012 film in which a stuffed bear comes to life] is “TED,” over the jap edge. Crossing solutions: BOOK I(T) at 57A, MIC(E) at 67A, and METE(D) at 73A.
  • Fringe Movie 7: [1968 film about the actress and singer Gertrude Lawrence] is “STAR,” over the jap edge. Crossing solutions: AREA(S) at 90A, FINES(T) at 96A, ELI(A) at 102A, and DEA(R) at 106A.
  • Fringe Movie 8: [2013 film about a novice nun living in the Polish People’s Republic] is “IDA,” over the southern edge. Crossing solutions: SWAM(I) at 95D, TIE(D) at 101D, and FOND(A) at 96D.
  • Fringe Movie 9: [1989 film in which John Tremont spends quality time with his father] is “DAD,” over the southern edge. Crossing solutions: SALA(D) at 93D, LOL(A) at 99D, and BORE(D) at 94D.
  • Fringe Movie 10: [2020 film adapted from a Jane Austen novel] is “EMMA,” over the western edge. Crossing solutions: (E)MOTE at 88A, (M)ADAMS at 92A, (M)ILK at 97A, and (A)LEE at 103A.
  • Fringe Movie 11: [2010 film with an acronymic, colorful title] is “RED,” over the western edge. Crossing solutions: (R)OWING at 53A, (E)VAN at 60A, and (D)ARES at 68A.
  • Fringe Movie 12: [2004 film that served as the basis of a horror-themed Las Vegas escape room] is “SAW,” over the western edge. Crossing solutions: (S)AVE at 27A, (A)KIN at 37A, and (W)ANTS at 43A.

The revealer had stated there have been 13 movies, although, and there’s a thirteenth Fringe Movie clue: [1983 film whose title is spelled clockwise in the first letters of the other 12 films]. Beginning with “TRON” within the higher left nook and studying them clockwise across the grid:

  • TRON
  • HER
  • ELF
  • ONCE
  • UHF
  • TED
  • STAR
  • IDA
  • DAD
  • EMMA
  • RED
  • SAW

… you get the 1983 movie “THE OUTSIDERS,” a meta-like reply that describes all of those movies actually being outdoors the sides of the puzzle.

My aesthetic on puzzles with hidden letters is that I would like the puzzle to kind professional solutions with and with out these trick letters, which is why the grid is pretty overloaded with black squares and there are only a few lengthy solutions. It’d be one factor to only chop off the primary or final letters of whichever random phrases and create gibberish entries, however I wished to go the additional mile and guarantee that the grid would accommodate actual phrases all through even when these hidden letters weren’t there.

One non-thematic clue I ought to point out is at 86A: [Former U.S. senator John C. ___, whose name can be formed by combining 44 Down and 22 Across and reversing the whole thing]. When you take a look at 44D: [Scriptural transgression], that’s SIN, and 22A: [NBA team that plays on a gray home court] is NETS. Add SIN to NETS to get SINNETS, then reverse the entire thing to get STENNIS, the previous senator at 86A. In lots of conditions the place I’ve a reputation that I’m not terribly acquainted with and I’m uncertain if it’s crossed pretty, I’ll usually exit of my method to give it a wordplay angle simply to make it a bit simpler to determine. Typically that may imply placing in further grid entries that may function a information. Nevertheless, I didn’t have to try this right here. I’d already constructed the sections of the puzzle with SIN and NETS; the central part with STENNIS was one of many final areas I’d constructed, and I simply discovered the mix by full accident. It pays to be fortunate generally.

As well as, I used to be stunned that I’d by no means heard of John C. Stennis earlier than penning this puzzle, though he served within the U.S. Senate from 1947 to 1989. This was no one-term politician who fell out of the general public eye sooner than he was in it; he was a senator for over 4 many years! For no matter motive, although, Stennis by no means made it to my reminiscence banks. There was a degree the place I’d thought of going with the “Recreation of Thrones” character STANNIS as a substitute since I’m way more acquainted with him, however both approach I’d be caught with a reputation that some of us would know and others wouldn’t, and STENNIS meant one fewer correct noun can be required (STANNIS would have necessitated BAINES at 80D as a substitute of BEINGS). The sudden SIN + NETS discovery is what finally sealed the deal on that alternative.

Lastly, a private word concerning the puzzle: You’ll have seen a word above the clues that claims, “Glad birthday, [answer to Fringe Film 9]!” Fringe Movie 9 is DAD, and this was my approach of wishing my outdated man one other glad journey across the solar at the moment. I’d initially hoped to place DAD someplace in the primary grid, however after I noticed I might make him a theme reply, effectively, there was no turning again. My Dad is the man who obtained me interested by crosswords within the first place, letting me and my brothers attempt to assist him out on fixing New York Occasions crosswords after we had been youthful. He’s additionally liable for introducing us to TRON, and that’s not as a result of it reveals up in puzzles pretty usually — it’s as a result of he rented it on VHS from the video retailer so much after we had been youngsters, and I’d sit and watch that light cycle scene over and time and again. There’s a nonzero likelihood he’s celebrating his birthday by watching “Tron” proper now, to be sincere. However nevertheless his day goes, right here’s a hearty elevate of my digital glass to you, Previous Dad.

(And no, my Dad’s title isn’t Fringe Movie 9, in case you had been planning to make that joke.)

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button