Answer to Evan Birnholz’s March 26 crossword, “ID Numbers”


Subsequent weekend is the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford, Conn. In-person registration closed on Friday as a result of the capability of the Stamford Marriott ballrooms was reached. However when you acquired in earlier than it closed and plan on attending come say hello to me … and when you’re competing just about from afar, good luck.

In different information, Eric Berlin has organized an enormous charity puzzle pack referred to as Puzzles for Democracy. It’s designed to boost cash for the federal government watchdog group Frequent Trigger, and it options 51 puzzles of many various stripes (crosswords, selection puzzles, logic puzzles, cryptics, and extra) from a group of constructors. That’s fairly a set, so test it out when you’re .

5 theme solutions have circled letters, and every reply has its personal revealer describing these letters. The twist is that the revealers are alphanumeric, so that you get to put in writing some digits within the squares.

  • 23A: [North Hollywood Spa in Los Angeles, e.g.] is BATHHOUSE. It accommodates a circled H/H/O revealed by 101A: [Chemical formula for a liquid found in a 23 Across (and a description of its circled letters)] which is H2O. The two is crossed at 81D: [To be shared by a couple] which is FOR 2.
  • 37A: [Bloom featured during an annual D.C. spring festival] is CHERRY BLOSSOM. The circled C/O/O is revealed by 35D: [Chemical formula for a compound absorbed by a tree bearing a 37 Across (and a description of its circled letters)] which is CO2, crossing 48A: [“Texas” dances] which is 2-STEPS.
  • 57A: [Video game in which you place flora to defend against an undead horde] is “PLANTS VS. ZOMBIES.” The circled P/S/S/S is revealed by 42D: [Shortened name of a console for 57 Across (and a description of its circled letters)] which is PS3, a shortened title of the PlayStation 3. The three is crossed at 55A: [Final part of Act 5 in “Romeo and Juliet”] which is SCENE 3.
  • 78A: [Metallica song with the lyric “I’m pulling your strings”] is “MASTER OF PUPPETS.” The circled M/P/P/P is revealed by 116D: [Potential audio file format for 78 Across (and a description of its circled letters)] which is MP3, crossing 125A: [Like the most prestigious Michelin-rated restaurants] which is 3-STAR. In all of the years I’ve listened to MP3 information, I’ve by no means identified that it stood for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3. That simply leaves us with one other abbreviation, MPEG, which apparently stands for Movement Image Consultants Group, however that’s not related for fixing right here. Transferring on …
  • 110A: [Danger to a computer network] is CYBERSECURITY RISOk.” The circled Y/Y/Ok is revealed by 121D: [1999 tech scare believed to present a major 110 Across (and a description of its circled letters)] which is Y2K, crossing 124A: [Second phase] which is STAGE 2. I keep in mind all these scary experiences about how the Y2K bug was supposedly going to trigger computer systems everywhere in the world to crash and produce about technological doomsday. We kind of snort about it now because the mega-disaster that wasn’t, though this December 2019 Submit essay by Zachary Loeb suggests that there have been actual Y2K-related issues — it’s simply that pc programmers addressed them rapidly and efficiently as a result of they took measures to counteract Y2K nicely forward of time.

This theme was truly an offshoot of final week’s “Forming a Bond” puzzle. I had the alphanumeric combo MI6 on my thoughts and I questioned if there have been any phrases with an M adopted by precisely six I’s, and ideally no stray M’s anyplace in between. One of the best ones have been most likely ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISION, AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, and AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION, however I made a decision to stay with an ordinary 21×21 puzzle somewhat than enlarge it to accommodate a type of.

Working with numbers in crossword solutions can generally be a bit dangerous, not simply because the digits are surprising, however as a result of it may be difficult to make them unambiguous within the crossing solutions. For example, there are a number of PlayStation consoles and when you’re not aware of “Crops vs. Zombies,” it’s not unreasonable to surprise if the console is the PS2, PS3, PS4, or PS5. Right here, although, the circled letters may give you a serving to hand. Simply depend the one circled P and the three circled S’s in “PLANTS VS. ZOMBIES” and also you’ve acquired your reply — it’s a recreation you possibly can play on the PS3.

One humorous spot the place this technique can go a bit incorrect, although, is 78A. The reply is “MASTER OF PUPPETS,” however when you don’t know that 82D: [Little, in Italian] is POCO, you could possibly find yourself with “MASTER OF MUPPETS” by mistake. That might make 116D a nonsensical M2P2, which doesn’t match. In any occasion, here is a video that somebody made to match up Metallica with the Muppets. By no means let it’s mentioned {that a} mistake in a crossword can’t result in nice issues.

Another solutions and clues:

  • 46A: [Family furball] is PET and 3D: [Fir ball?] is ORNAMENT. I hadn’t deliberate this clue echo beforehand however I used to be completely happy to land on the pun for the ORNAMENT clue.
  • 51A: [Plot that’s about 75 percent the size of a football field] is ONE ACRE. A soccer area covers 57,600 sq. ft, whereas one acre is equal to 43,560 sq. ft.
  • 104A: [“Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers, and ___” (book by Andy Greenwald)] is EMO. I discussed two weeks in the past that I would seek the advice of this glossary to start out discovering new angles for EMO clues, and right here we’re. I simply didn’t anticipate I’d seek the advice of it this rapidly.
  • 14D: [Exhibitionist athletic event] is UNDIE RUN. I’ve by no means taken half in a single, however I’ve been ready to drop this reply in a puzzle for some time now.
  • 38D: [“___ on an Empty Street” (2004 Kings of Convenience album)] is RIOT. You actually can’t go incorrect with Kings of Comfort, in my view. Give “Homesick” and “I’d Rather Dance” a pay attention.
  • 70D: [Reality show?] is TRUTH. Possibly one of many trickier clues immediately; it’s a must to interpret “present” as that means “show.”
  • 86D: [Individual who governs alone] is MONOCRAT. This was a word I didn’t even find out about till writing the puzzle. AUTOCRAT is a believable (and extra frequent) reply, however the crossing solutions gained’t permit it.
  • 97D: [Fall guy?] is ICARUS. My favourite clue immediately.

Lastly, I do know that final week we had a meta, however I couldn’t resist — there’s one other one developing subsequent week. I hope you get pleasure from it.

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