Answer to Evan Birnholz’s Jan. 1 crossword, “Out With the Previous, In With the New”


I had hoped to open 2023 by wanting ahead to new puzzles, however first I want tackle an issue with the final puzzle of 2022. Print subscribers who solved the “Santa’s Workshop” selection suite in The Washington Put up Journal discovered that the underside line of clues in Puzzles 3 and 4 have been inadvertently minimize out resulting from a manufacturing error. It was an particularly infuriating misprint provided that it was the ultimate version of The Journal, so I now not suggest getting a bodily copy as a souvenir.

Nonetheless, it was heartening that many Journal solvers who wrote to me have been in a position to full and benefit from the suite anyway. Crossword followers are a persistent bunch — you assume a row of lacking clues will cease them? The right copy is on the market at this link, in order that’s the place I’d remedy it in the event you haven’t finished so.

Beginning this week, my puzzles can be revealed within the Arts & Model part of the newspaper, and they’ll proceed to be online in the usual place. I hope the expertise will nonetheless be pleasant whichever medium you select for fixing them.

It’s the daybreak of a brand new yr, so in fact we’re celebrating that at Puzzle Headquarters. At the moment’s crossword comes with directions: “This puzzle’s new letters spell out an apt phrase. The previous letters spell out one other apt phrase.”

Ten phrases have had their first letter modified to create wacky phrases:

  • 23A: [Money you get for a strong poker hand?] is FLUSH FUNDS, altering the primary letter of slush funds.
  • 25A: [The wild spree of a cellular messenger?] is RNA RAMPAGE, altering the primary letter of on a rampage.
  • 42A: [Gag about how many people it takes to change the devices of a whole chandelier, maybe?] is EIGHT-BULB JOKE, altering the primary letter of lightbulb joke.
  • 50A: [Knight who slays with a musical ax?] is SIR GUITAR, altering the primary letter of air guitar.
  • 71A: [Deluges of dogs?] is HOUND WAVES, altering the primary letter of sound waves.
  • 73A: [Takes bad golf shots quite often?] is SHANKS A LOT, altering the primary letter of “Thanks loads.”
  • 90A: [Course where people wear frat party robes?] is TOGA CLASS, altering the primary letter of yoga class.
  • 98A: [Sitcom character from Melmac sitting next to some books, say?] is ALF ON THE SHELF, altering the primary letter of Elf on the Shelf.
  • 118A: [What pirates say to their leader when they want a type of whiskey rather than grog?] is RYE CAPTAIN, altering the primary letter of “Aye, captain.
  • 121A: [“Move your butt” and “Shake your booty,” e.g.?] is TUSH ORDERS, altering the primary letter of rush orders.

The circled, new first letters within the grid spell FRESH START, apt for phrases which have gotten new starting letters. However as a result of I needed an additional layer to the puzzle, the primary letters of the unique phrases spell SO LAST YEAR. No extra New Yr’s resolutions about taking yoga lessons; in 2023 we’re doing toga lessons.

Another solutions and clues:

  • 85A: [Pilot’s hot spot?] is GAS OVEN. Certainly one of my test-solvers talked about to me that each time you will have a theme stuffed with wacky phrases, semi-long solutions with pun-style clues might be kind of distracting in the event that they run in the identical course since you would possibly assume they’re concerned within the theme. Nevertheless distracting it may need been, I made a decision to maintain this clue as a result of a) I appreciated it, and b) I wasn’t positive when GAS OVEN would come up once more because it’s by no means appeared in any of my puzzles till now.
  • 110A: [Goddess who offers Zagreus the Owl Pendant in the video game “Hades”] is ATHENA. I’m now as much as three “Hades”-related clues since I started taking part in the sport final yr. The opposite two have been about Artemis and Ares, so all of them thus far have been “A” gods. Assuming the sample holds, the subsequent one can be about Aphrodite.
  • 7D: [“Game of Bowls” painter Matisse] is HENRI Matisse. There’s a Matisse exhibit on the Philadelphia Museum of Artwork by way of January 29. My dad and mom have been on the town not too long ago and so they acquired to see it.
  • 82D: [Treats that would be apt desserts for a certain board game tournament] is CHESS PIES. I don’t imagine I’ve ever had one in all these, however I perceive it’s a Southern dessert.
  • 88D: [Giant feat?] is NO-HITTER. It’s a large (little G) feat, but in addition a feat for a pitcher on the San Francisco Giants.
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