Monday, April 1, 2024

Puzzle #224: Left-Brained (+ Word Cloud solution)

This is the first time I've published a puzzle here on April Fools' Day. But I didn't plan ahead for it at all - no shenanigans in this one (pdf, puz, pdf solution), aside from my usual ones. Below the grid, after a spoiler space: the solution to the meta from a few weeks ago, Word Cloud.









The Word Cloud meta featured two grids that were placed back-to-back. Here's the solution to Grid A:

And Grid B:

Something that might jump out at you is that the top row of Grid A has no letters other than A and B, which suggests that that row is a guide as to which columns you should flip over. But there are also black squares in the top row, so how can the A's and B's uniquely specify which set of columns to flip? One way is if they correspond to their symmetrical counterparts in the bottom row, so the B in column 1 tells you that you need to flip over column 15. If you do that, the bottom row will spell out the meta answer, which is Joni Mitchell's BOTH SIDES, NOW. (It's also quite intuitive to just flip over the columns that have a B in the top row - since the top row is nearly palindromic, that will get you almost all of the way there too.) The answer is displayed beautifully in this picture courtesy of Kate Chin Park:

But I couldn't resist including this picture too:

Karen Spencer's assistants helping with the meta

Randomly chosen from the correct submissions was Russ Kale, who wins a crossword subscription!

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