I’ve mentioned before that today’s constructor, Patrick Berry, is one of my favorites, and today’s New York Times puzzle, “Soft T’s,” is another example of why. It’s not so much that the theme idea is that innovative (switching words with a hard “T” sound to a softer “TH” sound, kind of like a lisp I guess), but that the puzzle itself is ultra-smooth with lots of interesting entries that hold the theme in place.
NYT solution - 04/28/13
Let’s first look at the theme entries themselves:
- CREATIVE WRITHING from “creative writing.” Is it a flaw that the hard “T” in creative isn’t also changed?
- THE LEATHER OF THE LAW from “the letter of the law.”
- GETS OFF LITHELY from “gets off lightly.”
- LATHE BLOOMERS from “late bloomers.” Weird phrase here.
- BATHE AND SWITCH from “bait and switch.”
- A SCYTHE FOR SORE EYES from “a sight for sore eyes.” Wouldn’t this make them sorer?
- “NO LAUGHING, MATHER!” from “no laughing matter.” Cotton Mather, I’m thinking.
These entries are pretty funny in general, which is about all one can ask with this type of wordplay. But the gems here are hidden in the nicks and crannies–the Greek ARACHNE crossing ICHOR is beautiful, as well as the long down pairings: ORVILLE, TOENAIL and SCRAWNY; UMBRELLAS, PAROLEES and FREAKISH; DESOLATE, ASK AFTER and TAILFINS; and finally, BEARING, ALSO-RAN and TOCCATA. Man, that’s some great work.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, it looks like it will be a beautiful day!