Bop Psychology

Difficulty ● ● ◐ ○ ○

Puzzle Notes

Dear Crossword Nation Subscribers,

First things first -- THANK YOU for your kind comments about last week's puzzle, "Acting Vice Presidents." I'll refrain from elaborating on the theme, as some subscribers stockpile puzzles for later solving. Suffice it to say that it was a delight to make a puzzle that touched on recent historic events. I'm so happy that it was well-received.

This week's exercise has the mathematical properties of a themeless (wide-open grid with only 72 answers), but it's still very much a themed animal. All Crossword Nation puzzles are themed creatures -- that was my plan when I set out to create this series almost 10 years ago.

My fascination with themes -- especially big Sunday-sized subjects -- has resulted in crossword idea notebooks packed with subject snippets, drawings, word formations. In my office I stare at an idea board on which "in-development" themes are sketched out. Think of Carrie's wall of notes on "Homeland" -- if you stare hard enough at the seemingly-unrelated snippets, sometimes a pattern emerges.

Themed puzzles are much harder to make than their unthemed brethren. (Trade secret: that's why newspaper editors have a glut of themeless submissions, and comparatively-few fresh Monday/Tuesday-level and Sunday puzzles.) But I've always believed that early-in-the-week puzzles could have low word counts (like this one), and still be accessible and fun. Well, you'll be the judge!

It's snowing like crazy outside and I'm prepping to go out for a walk in the park. Maybe a puzzle theme will spring to mind as I slip-slide my way around the nabe! Welcome to Week 505 of Crossword Nation. We present "Bop Psychology" as your spotlighted puzzle of the week.

Be well and happy, Dear Ones. Until next time, I remain . . . 

Cruciverbally yours,


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Happy solving and be well!

Liz Gorski