Wednesday Crossword: NYTimes No. 0330
Started in the NW with 1A: PASSE (So last year) and 1D: PFC (USMC one-striper), which led easily to 2D: AAH (What a doctor may have you say) and 4D: SEMPERFI (Motto for a 1-Down informally).
Which brings us to the first of the five long (or longish) horizontal answers (17A: CHEMICALTESTING, Some lab work), and my standing complaint against the printing staff at the Sacramento Bee. The theme of the puzzle is at the center, 34A: CLIMATECHANGE (Environmentalist’s concern… or a hint to the shaded letters). The inner puzzle was rather nifty, even though we all know climate change is naturally occurring and not caused by man, but the cleverness was stolen from us Sacramentans because nary a shaded letter appears in our local fishwrap. (64A: NARY, ___ a one (zero)).
But did I let that omission thwart my enjoyment of the puzzle? Nyet. I powered forward, noodled through the inner puzzle without so much as a clue from our local printers, and completed the grid in a workmanlike sixteen minutes. Not bad for a midweek crossword. Altogether a thoroughly pleasurable puzzle today.
The long horizontal answers involved in the cute inner puzzle include: 17A: CH[EMICALT]ESTING (see above); 23A: [MEALTIC]KET (Source of income); 34A: [CLIMATE]CHANGE (already discussed); 49A: DIR[ECTMAIL] (Like some add campaigns); and 56A: SATEL[LITECAM]PUS (School branch). That the bracketed letters are a scramble of the word “climate” should be obvious to you if you’ve read this far into the post. Right?
Can’t let the inclusion in the puzzle of my favorite Beatle go by without mention. I heard the other day that Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. Congratulations!! 27A: STARR (Fab Four surname).
My favorite word of the day, though, is 41A: THORAX (Part of an insect’s body that holds the legs). I don’t know why, I just like that word. Thorax. Makes me smile.