Movie about aquariums – The New York Times

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FRIDAY PUZZLE – How times change. Since we first met Simon Marotte in 2021, he’s published five crosswords — not including this one — in The Times, and all of those crosswords have been Monday through Wednesday.

This is Mr. Marotte’s first Friday puzzle, and it’s always exciting to see a designer transition from the themed world to the free, unthemed world. I think he succeeded. The grid and clues are both fun and challenging enough to prolong the pleasure of solving.

More about the mystery under the spoiler alert.

My first answer was 17A’s PIZZA ROLLS, and I can tell you that even for this old hand, starting a puzzle with two Zs is a little exhilarating.

Including high Scrabble-count letters in a crossword doesn’t guarantee fun, but in this case I can honestly say I had fun. LOADED DICE sits on top of these PIZZA ROLLS, and the entry I DON’T WANNA crashes through both. On the other side of the grid, I loved that I GOT NOTHIN’ was crossed by WINE SNOBS. Below, a PRAIRIE DOG and Sir IAN FLEMING are bisected by the NIGHT SHIFT entry.

How can you not like a grid like this?

And take a close look at these misguided clues! It took me a while to understand the “Funny Bones?” hint. and I explain it below. “Issuer of the bond?” is another very clever one. We are not talking about a financial instrument. The “Issuer” is IAN FLEMING, the creator of James Bond.

1. This “Book of Legends” is not a tome about superheroes. The legends in this note are the symbols on cards. The answer is ATLAS.

14A A nickname for dice is “bones,” and when they’re “funny,” they’re loaded. The answer to Funny Bones? is LOADED DICE.

28A. These “port authorities?” are WEINSNOBS, not seaport authorities.

45A. My first thought was Finding Nemo, but turns out the “film about aquariums?” is SCUM, or the film that sometimes forms around the glass.

59A. A “Hot Competition”? is a sporty MEET. A heat is a race or other competition in which the first place finishers advance to the next round.

I am thrilled to have my first off topic in The Times!

I have to give credit to designers Robyn Weintraub, Nam Jin Yoon, Caitlin Reid, and Ryan McCarty (to name a few) whose puzzles inspired me to challenge myself to construct a fun Friday crossword.

Hope this was a happy solution!

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

Check out our How to Make a Crossword Puzzle series for tips to get you started.

Solution almost ready but need a a little more help? We’ll cover you.

Spoiler alert: subscribers can take a look at the solution key.

Are you trying to return to the main game page? You can find it here.