Stuff in Microdots – The New York Times

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52A. There’s a handful of portmanteaus in this puzzle, and this is the most surprising of the bunch, I think. “Constantly posting pictures and news about one’s kids on social media” solves to SHARENTING, a mix of “sharing” and “parenting.”

13D. Shouldn’t “When doubled, comment made with a wink” be “nudge?” That didn’t fit, and when I had just the middle two letters of this entry — I and N — I considered the possibility of a pair of “wink”s. Instead, it’s HINT, as in HINT, HINT, which I found amusing since I thought this clue was challenging and could have used a HINT or two.

27D. In the 20th century, a “Breakout site” would be a prison or a teenager’s chin. In modern times, there are different possibilities. I thought that “Breakout” might refer to a sub-gathering in a Zoom meeting and briefly toyed with the term “e-conference,” but in this case the location was an ESCAPE ROOM. These may seem like they’ve been around forever, but they didn’t appear until 2007 in Kyoto, Japan.

35D. The “Spanish little ones” here aren’t “ninos” or “ninas” or even “bebes,” as I posited in desperation. They’re a combination of the above: NENES. The singular form, NENE, is in hundreds of crosswords, and almost always clued as the goose; however, this plural version shows up frequently with variations of this clue — “Barcelona babies,” “Iberian infants” — so I probably should have known.

Nice to be back in The Times after a few years.

Quite a few of the long slots appear for the first time, including: UNCONSCIOUS BIAS, ECO SHAMING, SHARENTING, GIN MARTINI, SNOOZE FESTS, WHAT A BEAST and CAREER PATH.

Most of these also evoke specific associations for me: WHAT A BEAST, a phrase I often hear fellow rock climbers use; SHARENTING, a relevant new topic of interest for me as a new parent; UNCONSCIOUS BIAS, a target of numerous work trainings. And so on! Hopefully, a few of these click for you, too.

My favorite clue (courtesy of the NYT editorial team — thank you!) is CAREER PATH as “Work in Progress?”

Hope everyone enjoys, and a shout out to Marzena and Yvo, as always. 🙂

The New York Times Crossword has an open submission system, and you can submit your puzzles online.

For tips on how to get started, read our series, “How to Make a Crossword Puzzle.”

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