Meta: untimed (but I solved it!)
David Steinberg’s Fireball Crossword, “International Relations” – Jenni’s writeup
This week’s Fireball challenged us to identify which Oscar winner for Best Picture could have been the title of the puzzle. Peter helpfully pointed out the theme answers with asterisks. There’s no wordplay; they’re all straightforward. Each answer contains something else.
15a [Greek grove growth] = OLIVE TREE.
- 25a [Preserves for later playback, in a way] = TAPE RECORDS.
- 38a [Ingredient in some macaroon recipes] = ALMOND EXTRACT.
- 48a [Software development stage] = BETA TESTING.
- 62a [British Invasion figure whose band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008] = DAVE CLARK.
So we see that each of the clues has a connection that is French. Et voila! THE FRENCH CONNECTION is the answer to our contest. Very nice. The theme answers are solid (“tape records” is a bit clunky and 20th-century, but in the language) and the contest was nicely pitched to be challenging without being insoluble.
I’ve had technical difficulties that have delayed this post long enough, so I’ll wrap it up here.
What I didn’t know before I did this puzzle: that the NSA has a program for children called CryptoKids. That’s – unsettling.