Play this week’s crossword here.
Ante up! In this week’s crossword, Head Puzzles Editor Gabe Robare deals us in for a high-stakes round of poker. The grid is flush with mid-length entries and some challenging clues, so raise your hands: anyone else folding under pressure? If this puzzle forced you to check your ego, it’s a good thing you can call us for help with tricky clues, thoughts from Robare, and the answer key.
Here’s hoping these jokes don’t flop.
14A: I wonder if this could have fit into the poker theme somehow, with a POT USER being someone who wins the big pot at the end of the game. It seems that Robare chose a different route. (Read more here about New Jersey’s recent legalization of weed.)
16A: There is no shortage of inspiring Muhammad ALI quotes. Another great one is: “Hi. I’m Muhammad Ali.”
18A: Themes typically take up the longest Across entries in the grid, but there’s some bonus material here, with [Raise, say] as the clue for BET.
26A: This is one of those answers that appears all the time in crossword puzzles due to its high concentration of vowels. ASEA can mean literally “on the water,” or, figuratively, [Flabbergasted].
42A: I love clues like this because, while they usually don’t click right away, the answer seems obvious once you get it. In this case, restaurants will never make you pay for MENUS.
56A: Don’t talk to me about LIMITS. This clue acts like they go away after Calculus 101, but no. They had the audacity to come back at the beginning of every calculus course I’ve taken.
3D: I suppose Robare could have gone with “AT AN all time high” or “At an all time low.” It seems he’s an optimist, given that he chose the former.
4D: If you read my first paragraph, the answer to this clue should come easily to you. [Jokes that usually elicit a groan] are PUNS. In my defense: I was low on ideas for an introduction.
7D: Clever clue here for ORE, [Rock band?] misdirecting us towards a music group. I’m not sure how many three-letter rock bands are out there, though, so perhaps this and the telltale question mark will give away the game.
37D: According to the Wall Street Journal, Dwyane WADE has one of the most misspelled names in sports, with 4.3 percent of articles sampled getting it wrong.
41D: The answer here is MENELAUS. When it comes to Greek mythological figures, if Percy Jackson didn’t meet them, then neither did I.
Today’s theme entries can be found at 23-, 32-, 43-, and 49-Across. For those who might be unfamiliar, the first three community cards in TEXAS HOLD ’EM are called the FLOP. They are followed by the TURN, and the final card is the RIVER. Consistency is important when designing crossword themes, so I paused at first when I saw FLOP as part FLOPPY instead of on its own, like TURN and RIVER. However, a quick Google search shows that TURNCOATS and RIVERSIDE are actually both one-word answers themselves, so no consistency is lost.
Thanks to Robare for a fun solve. Check back next week to see a new constructor make her debut!
This is my first genuine themed puzzle in The Daily Princetonian — I’ve published two themelesses and one quote-puzzle. Head Puzzles Editor Owen Travis is much better with these sort of wordplay themes than I am, but I’m still excited to get this one in. Also, I’m not a poker player — I’ve only played once, betting with buttons, and I prefer euchre. Still, I enjoyed making this puzzle, and I’m especially proud of ORIGAMI, ASSISTS, and MENELAUS.
Need more help? See below for the answer key.