Alex Eaton-Salners’s Fireball contest, “Read Between the Lines” — Laura’s review
Alex asks us, “What two-word phrase is hinted at by this puzzle?”
This took me a while to suss out; I was stuck seeing the capital-letter-I as a “line” and was trying to make something out with the letters in between those — C, R, NN — nope. And I knew that the title was the key, but what was I not seeing? Sometimes it helps to put the puzzle away for a while (I did that, and solved the WSJ Contest; stay tuned for my post on that to publish at midnight), and sometimes it helps to talk about where you’re stuck with a meta-solving pal (I can’t recommend that enough — even if you don’t have a group of folks to discuss these things with regularly, it can really help to describe your thought process to someone else; cats and dogs are good listeners, too). Turns out that all I really needed was for someone to ask, “do you see any other lines in the grid?” and there I went.
Step one: We have 10 words in the grid that can be paired with line to make another word or phrase (circled in red in the grid image above):
SCAN LINE was the only one that didn’t pop out to me as being a thing; but it is a term in video technology and computer graphics, referring to one line in the display (if you take a picture of a monitor, especially an older one, or of an older TV screen, you can sometimes see the scan lines).
Step two: Read between “the lines” to find a two-word phrase (circled in blue in the grid image above):
BLOOD STAG PARTY
LAND ED SKY
SIGHT IRE SEWER
TAN CT SCAN
WATER IONS WAIST
STAG ED IRE CT IONS = stage directions — something one might “read between the lines” of a script to find.
I liked this one a lot! Your thoughts?
Mark your calendars for April 29, which is [41d: Icing]: WHACKING Day.