WEDNESDAY PUZZLE — Was this as tough for you as it was for me? I like to think of myself as an expert theme spotter, but today I needed help from one of the editors to figure out what was going on in Amanda Chung and Karl Ni’s puzzle.
That stemmed, in part, from confusion about the revealer clue, but I’ll get to that.
Generally pretty easy for a Wednesday, but perhaps it was eased up so solvers could spend their time with the theme.
32A: “Snake’s warning” has only three letters, so it can’t be HISS. What if it were a sort of onomatopoeia? The answer is SSS.
65A: These morsels of deliciousness came on the scene a few years ago, and they usually consist of açai berries, a fruit mixture of some kind, yogurt and granola. Never heard of an AÇAI bowl? Solve it by working the gentle crossings.
4D: Does an agnostic lack BELIEF, or do they question whether there is a greater power? I was under the impression that those who lack BELIEF are generally called atheists.
The tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) version of the theme: Base phrases that have the feminine suffix -RESS are made “gender neutral” by switching the end to -ER. For example, at 20A, DELIVERY ADDRESS is changed to DELIVERY ADDER, clued as “Maternity ward worker who counts each day’s births?” The revealer clue is “Like 20-, 28- and 45-Across vis-à-vis the female-sounding phrases they're based on?”
This took me an agonizingly long time to see. At first, I thought just -ER had been added on to the ends, but that didn’t get me very far as far as the revealer was concerned. There’s a reason for that.
If you look at the “female-sounding” phrases, changing them from -RESS to -ER makes them gender neutral only if you consider that the lone alternative we’ve had until recently, the masculine, has been the default. So I didn’t see this as gender neutral, and that’s why I didn’t immediately catch the theme.
However, since the theme entries are all things rather than -ESS-ending words that refer to people, it’s more O.K. than not O.K. It was meant to be done in good fun.
Also, I like “feminine sounding” better for the revealer clue, since we talk about gendered speech as either feminine or masculine, but maybe that had too many characters for the space allotted for the clue.
Amanda Chung: I was inspired by Ross Trudeau’s note last week (and similar ones from other constructors I admire) to offer any assistance I can to those from underrepresented groups that are interested in crossword constructing. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to meeting you. Now on to the notes …
The female version of something often has the suffix “-ess” (e.g., waiter and waitress, lion and lioness). With the recent movement to use more GENDER NEUTRAL words (e.g., “actor” for everyone across the board), it was a fun challenge to find words that ended in “-ess” that were NOT the female version of something, and then make them a “gender neutral” something.
Originally, each of the theme entries was clued as a person or an animal, like “Winged creature known for ramming objects with its head?” for FLYING BUTTER, but the image of a piece of butter flying across the cafeteria is pretty funny. Many thanks to the editing team for improving the SW corner.
Almost finished solving but need a bit more help? We’ve got you covered.
Warning: There be spoilers ahead, but subscribers can take a peek at the answer key.
Trying to get back to the puzzle page? Right here.
【余】【秋】【问】：“【刚】【才】【那】【伙】【人】【是】【什】【么】【人】【啊】？” 【林】【风】：“【不】【知】【道】，【我】【又】【不】【是】【百】【晓】【生】。” 【余】【秋】【说】：“【可】【是】【你】【好】【像】【和】【絮】【叨】【客】【很】【熟】【啊】。” 【林】【风】【问】：“【和】【他】【熟】【并】【不】【代】【表】【认】【识】【他】【们】【啊】，【还】【有】【你】【怎】【么】【知】【道】？” 【余】【秋】【分】【析】：“【我】【们】【同】【学】【都】【在】【说】，【我】【们】【倾】【楼】【好】【像】【在】【【絮】【叨】【说】【江】【湖】】【中】【全】【是】【赞】【美】【的】【话】，【而】【且】【絮】【叨】【客】【对】【我】【们】【倾】【楼】【好】【像】【很】
【漩】【涡】【和】【辉】【余】【光】【一】【瞥】，【发】【现】【诺】【羽】【的】【气】【息】【就】【在】【鲁】【卡】【斯】【的】【身】【后】【不】【远】【处】【隐】【匿】，【狂】【妄】【自】【大】【的】【鲁】【卡】【斯】【一】【副】【巍】【然】【不】【动】【的】【样】【子】【将】【注】【意】【力】【放】【在】【他】【身】【上】，【并】【未】【察】【觉】【诺】【羽】【的】【存】【在】。 【决】【定】【配】【合】【诺】【羽】【进】【行】【刺】【杀】【的】【漩】【涡】【和】【辉】，【在】【半】【空】【中】【调】【整】【姿】【势】，【力】【道】【尽】【数】【灌】【注】【进】【灵】【夕】【长】【剑】，【朝】【鲁】【卡】【斯】【重】【重】【砍】【去】。 【鲁】【卡】【斯】【眼】【底】【闪】【过】【一】【丝】【凝】【重】，【米】【尼】【乌】【斯】【是】【龙】【人】【族】【出】【色】
【踏】【进】【下】【界】【之】【门】。 【东】【帝】【回】【身】【拦】【住】【架】【火】【而】【来】【的】【火】【道】【君】：“【他】【已】【经】【走】【了】，【没】【必】【要】【追】【了】。” 【火】【道】【君】【似】【乎】【对】【东】【帝】【有】【些】【忌】【惮】：“【你】【不】【知】【这】【是】【放】【虎】【归】【山】？” “【尘】【归】【尘】，【土】【归】【土】！”【东】【帝】【不】【会】【让】【火】【道】【君】【下】【界】！ “【哼】！【他】【要】【是】【敢】【重】【新】【上】【界】，【我】【定】【灭】【其】【魂】！”【火】【道】【君】【转】【身】【便】【走】。 【一】【别】【百】【年】，【物】【是】【人】【非】。 【远】【处】【的】【星】【光】【给】汉中特色热面皮加盟店【老】【道】【苦】【笑】【一】【声】，【托】【着】【手】【里】【的】【补】【天】【石】，【无】【辜】【的】【看】【了】【看】【萧】【尘】。 【萧】【尘】【一】【脸】【坏】【笑】，【拉】【住】【要】【去】【敲】【人】【的】【猴】【哥】，【一】【指】【伍】【胖】【子】：“【猴】【哥】，【搞】【错】【人】【了】，【补】【天】【石】【是】【这】【胖】【子】【拿】【出】【来】【的】，【你】【要】【找】【他】。” 【伍】【胖】【子】【的】【脸】【色】【瞬】【间】【变】【成】【死】【灰】【色】，【一】【把】【抱】【住】【老】【道】【腿】，【大】【哭】【起】【来】：“【道】【祖】【救】【我】。” 【猴】【哥】【大】【怒】，【眼】【中】【金】【光】【暴】【闪】，【身】【形】【如】【大】【鹏】【一】【般】【跃】【起】，
【如】【今】【自】【己】【已】【经】【拿】【到】【了】，【应】【该】【就】【可】【以】【离】【开】【了】！ 【白】【水】【将】【这】【颗】【绿】【色】【豆】【子】【装】【好】，【随】【即】【便】【和】【温】【燕】【燕】【离】【开】【了】【这】【幢】【建】【筑】！ 【白】【水】【回】【到】【了】【自】【己】【酒】【店】，【打】【算】【好】【好】【休】【息】【一】【下】！【至】【于】【温】【燕】【燕】，【由】【于】【帮】【助】【这】【个】【城】【市】【解】【决】【了】【最】【大】【的】【麻】【烦】【和】【问】【题】，【因】【此】【去】【接】【受】【相】【应】【的】【表】【彰】【了】！ 【白】【水】【这】【时】【候】【想】【起】，【看】【来】【自】【己】【还】【是】【要】【尽】【快】【返】【回】【华】【夏】【大】【学】！【自】【己】【那】【台】【破】【电】【脑】
【不】【知】【为】【何】【好】【多】【章】【节】【被】【屏】【蔽】【了】。 【不】【过】【也】【无】【所】【谓】【了】，【文】【笔】【稚】【嫩】【已】【经】【不】【能】【继】【续】。 【自】【己】【总】【结】【通】【篇】【文】【章】【太】【一】【般】【了】，【缺】【乏】【跌】【宕】【起】【伏】【引】【人】【入】【胜】【的】【故】【事】【内】【容】，【也】【缺】【乏】【对】【人】【物】【的】【鲜】【明】【刻】【画】。 【所】【以】，【就】【这】【样】【到】【这】【吧】。 【不】【过】【收】【获】【在】【于】，【这】【是】【自】【己】【第】【一】【次】【写】【了】【这】【么】【多】【字】【的】【文】【章】，【超】【过】20【万】【字】，【也】【算】【是】【有】【所】【感】【悟】。 【故】【事】【未】【完】【待】
【三】【个】【月】【后】，【这】【个】【世】【界】【又】【将】【开】【始】【新】【的】【一】【年】。 【劈】【天】【府】【镇】【守】【各】【州】【的】【堂】【主】【们】【纷】【纷】【提】【前】【一】【两】【个】【月】【赶】【来】【总】【部】【述】【职】，【一】【是】【要】【参】【加】【十】【二】【月】【初】【一】【的】【年】【度】【大】【会】，【二】【是】【可】【以】【顺】【便】【与】【总】【部】【各】【部】【大】【佬】【拉】【拉】【关】【系】，【或】【与】【其】【它】【州】【的】【同】【僚】【们】【加】【强】【交】【流】，【探】【讨】【来】【年】【可】【以】【互】【通】【有】【无】【的】【项】【目】。 【内】【事】【部】【已】【经】【把】【各】【州】【的】【年】【度】【财】【物】【数】【据】【及】【进】【贡】【情】【况】【核】【对】【汇】【总】，【一】【一】