26D. “It is hoisted on a brig in strong winds” is the clue of TRYSAIL. The number of things I know about sailing would fit on a ship’s deck in a bottle, so I had to get TRY from the crossings. SAIL was a gift, however!
55D. I like the unnecessarily complicated clue “Spice whose name consists of two consecutive pronouns” for THYME. These two consecutive pronouns would be THY + ME. Silly but smart – my favorite kind of clue.
65D. Finally, we have a Times crossword standard: a âGood name for oneâ¦â hint. Today we have “Good name for a museum curator?” As a clue to ART (because ART is both a name and something a museum curator could keep).
Theme of the day
The theme of this puzzle was 64A: EASY PEASY! Uhâ¦ I meanâ¦ easy PZ?
The grid contains four long Across entries that contain two-word sentences starting with P and Z. The first of these is “Former CNN Presenter with Real Crime Series on Investigation Discovery Channel”: PAULA ZAHN. In the middle of the grid is another PZ: PRINCESS ZELDA, the “classic Nintendo character named after the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald”. As well as being a fun starter, it’s also a great anecdote.
The other two PZ inputs on the grid aren’t people, but they’re equally fun inputs, and the 64A EASY PEASY revealer ties it all together for an EASY PEASY Monday puzzle.
My original idea was to make an EZ PZ puzzle in which each theme entry contains these two pairs of letters. But it failed when I couldn’t find a single candidate theme; there are hardly any with just PZ (DROP ZONE, LEIPZIGâ¦ ZIP ZABEL?). So I thought about different themes of letter combinations, each idea more complicated than the next (at one point, rapper JEEZY made an appearance), before going back a bit on my ambitions. A good thing about the simplicity is that this puzzle is, hopefully, accessible to new solvers – and to old pros, it’s a self-describing theme.
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The tipping point
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