Let’s talk a little bit about puzzle difficulty. Those of you who have been following along with the difficulties (they’re tagged at the bottom of posts) may notice that I’ve overhauled the system. There’s been some discussion on Facebook and elsewhere about my perceived difficulty being a bit of an understatement. Sorry y’all – it’s just meant to be a guideline based off of how challenging I think it’ll be based on my perception and test-solver feedback. I hope the new system is both accurate and vague enough to work across the board. I’m throwing out words like “easy” and “hard” since those are pretty definitive and going with things like this puzzle’s rating: “challenging” (whatever that means). If this doesn’t fix the problem, we’ll regroup in a few weeks and I’ll classify everything by Greek letters. :)
This is a name-heavy puzzle – if you haven’t started it yet, you’ve been warned. You might guess that 37-Across inspired this puzzle’s theme; you’d be right. I came up with a 15-letter alternative to 18-Across, but I just couldn’t make the symmetry work. (Have a guess at it in the comments?) I’m still happy with how it turned out, theme-wise. Watch out for the chain of linked clues in the fill. I think it’s much more fair than when you get two clues linking to each other with no other info. Is there a War on Linked Clues brewing, or am I safe? Thanks for coming back for more this week – don’t forget to share the puzzle.