Capital of Roman province of Africa / FRI 4-1-16 / Actress Issa of Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl / Like blackjack hands with ace counted as 11 / Sister brand of Scope / Agrostologists study / His .366 lifetime batting average is best ever / Comedian who married Joyce Matthews / Gloaming to sonneteer / Darkness fall L Sprague de Camp novel
Friday, April 1, 2016
Constructor: Peter Gordon
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: April Fool's message — DUE TO BUDGET CUTS / THE NEW YORK TIMES / CROSSWORD PUZZLE / WILL END TOMORROW
Word of the Day: ANOSMIA (52A: Inability to sense smells) —
//) is the inability to perceive odor or a lack of functioning olfaction—the loss of the sense of smell. Anosmia may be temporary, but some anosmia (including traumatic anosmia) can be permanent. Anosmia is due to a number of factors, including an inflammation of the nasal mucosa, blockage of nasal passages or a destruction of one temporal lobe. Inflammation is due to chronic mucosa changes in the paranasal sinus lining and the middle and superior turbinates. Since anosmia causes inflammatory changes in the nasal passageways, it is treated by simply reducing the presence of inflammation. It can be caused by chronic meningitis and neurosyphilis that would increase intracranial pressure over a long period of time, and in some cases by ciliopathy including ciliopathy due to primary ciliary dyskinesia (Kartagener syndrome, Afzelius' syndrome or Siewert's syndrome). Many patients may experience unilateral anosmia, often as a result of minor head trauma. This type of anosmia is normally only detected if both of the nostrils are tested separately. Using this method of testing each nostril separately will often show a reduced or even completely absent sense of smell in either one nostril or both, something which is often not revealed if both nostrils are simultaneously tested. // A related term, hyposmia, refers to a decreased ability to smell, while hyperosmia refers to an increased ability to smell. Some people may be anosmic for one particular odor. This is known as "specific anosmia". The absence of the sense of smell from birth is called congenital anosmia. (wikipedia)
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here) pays $301, a fee that is a straight-up middle finger to the NYT and its a. cheapness and b. claim to pay the most in the business (a claim made most recently here). So the April Fool isn't you, solver. It's the typical constructor who accepts being paid primarily in "prestige" and "cachet" while the NYT profits like mad. It's also the NYT for running a puzzle that is essentially making fun of the its own stinginess toward crossword constructors. Rest easy, solvers. THE NEW YORK TIMES / CROSSWORD PUZZLE / WILL END when hell freezes over, or Manhattan floats out to sea, whichever comes first.
Solving this puzzle was a weird experience. Since the theme is a made-up quotation, you have to work at it through the crosses, and it took a while for the thing to fill itself in. Puzzle wasn't hard, but it played a little choppy, as it's mostly short answers, and I had to run a lot of them before the quotation elements became clear. My first move was a straight diagonal across the grid, from NW to SE:
You can see that I inferred the word "YOU" on the second theme-answer line there. That ended up being wrong. But the rest of this is right, and I was able to slide across the bottom (via OCEANARIA (62A: Large marine fish tanks), a word I learned just this week while I was making one of my own puzzles...) and then fill in the missing parts of the grid from there. This is about the point when I was able to start making inferences about theme words. I was wrong about "YOU" there, but I was right about TOMORROW, and once I ditched that errant "U" on the second theme line and replaced it with the "R" from 36D: Overhaul (REDO), I saw immediately that the third theme line was CROSSWORD PUZZLE. Here's where the first big breakthrough came:
Peter Gordon has a Kickstarter going for Fireball Newsflash Puzzles, puzzles that he writes to be as jam-packed with current events as possible. Great for those who keep up with the news and want ultra-fresh, high-quality puzzles. Get in on it here.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
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