Answer to Evan Birnholz’s June 25 crossword, “To Make a Lengthy Story Shorter”

Eight e-book titles have had one letter eliminated to create wacky titles:

  • 23A: [James A. Michener novel about a chili morsel in a piece of nursery furniture?] is CRIB BEAN, which you get by eradicating an A from “Caribbean.”
  • 30A: [Charles Dickens novel about a residence with constant plumbing problems?] is LEAK HOUSE. Take away a B from “Bleak Home.”
  • 37A: [John Steinbeck novel about furious, slack-jawed gazes?] is THE GAPES OF WRATH. Take away an R from “The Grapes of Wrath.”
  • 49A: [Carol Shields novel about a person who celebrates a birthday in early April by getting high?] is THE STONED ARIES. Take away an I from “The Stone Diaries.” So shut to creating a 4/20 joke with this title, however within the zodiac calendar, the final day of the Aries signal is April 19.
  • 68A: [Donna Tartt novel about a short putt?] is THE GOLF INCH. Take away a D from “The Goldfinch.”
  • 83A: [Chinua Achebe novel about how slim Oreo cookies just can’t stay intact?] is THINS FALL APART. Take away a G from “Skinnygs Fall Aside.”
  • 100A: [Celeste Ng novel about the absence of male deer in people’s lives?] is OUR MISSING HARTS. Take away an E from “Our Lacking Hearts.” A test-solver identified to me that it’s conceivable you might initially fill in OUR MISSING STAGS since “Our Lacking Levels” is a believable e-book title as effectively.
  • 109A: [Blake Crouch novel about the stuff that makes up Noah’s ship?] is ARK MATTER. Take away a D from “Dark Matter.”

Take these deleted letters and also you spell out the revealer at 119A: [Shortened, and what the letters removed from eight novels in this puzzle spell out] which is ABRIDGED. This can be a non secular successor to my Oct. 20, 2019 puzzle “The Purloined Letters,” which had the identical theme idea however completely different e-book titles and a unique revealer.

As a substitute of mentioning different solutions and clues, I wished to take a second to salute a colleague. Mitch Rubin has been my editor ever since I started writing puzzles for The Washington Put up in December, 2015. He was one of many individuals who interviewed me after I utilized for the gig, he reviewed and edited virtually each considered one of my weblog posts, and he was instrumental in convincing the newspaper to maintain me when The Washington Put up Journal shut down on the finish of final 12 months. At the moment’s weblog put up marks the final considered one of mine that he can have reviewed, as he’s leaving The Put up on June 30. I wish to assume that “To Make a Lengthy Story Shorter” is an apt, concise description of modifying, and though that’s not all that an editor does, maybe this puzzle can function a becoming tribute to Mitch.

What I admired most about Mitch was his willingness to study how crosswords work and do no matter he might to advertise them for readers since, by his personal admission, he doesn’t actually resolve puzzles. On the identical time, I wanted him to assist me keep on activity and meet my deadlines, to advocate for my crosswords to The Put up’s administration, and talk with copy editors and The Put up’s design group and the tech group at Amuse Labs at any time when I wrote an uncommon puzzle that wanted some further time and care. Not solely that, however not as soon as in your entire time I’ve written crosswords for The Put up did he ever ask me to alter out a solution or ask me to be something aside from myself in my work. You don’t all the time get a supervisor at your job who can efficiently steadiness the wants of a number of folks and Mitch was nice at that.

Thanks for all of your assist during the last seven-and-a-half years, Mitch, and good luck in your subsequent adventures.

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