Hey guys, and welcome to Week 72! Besides the source material, today’s puzzle was inspired by puzzles written by Patrick Blindauer and friend-of-the-show Neville Fogarty. Patrick’s puzzle should be apparent, and Neville’s is a bit more subtle, but it’s still there. Also, for all those who are heavily invested in the theme material, I hope this puzzle does it justice. Probably not. Talk about high bars.
Also, Neville made this fantastic observation yesterday, left as an exercise to the reader.
Now, onto the meta!
The puzzle was looking for the appropriate US state, and the four long answers of two-word phrases in this puzzle were, from left to right:
18D – [*Political topic with a lot of heat?] = GLOBAL WARMING
6D – [*Bloody Mary majority] = TOMATO JUICE
25D – [*Confectionary since 1896] = TOOTSIE ROLL
10D – [*Delta Sky Club, e.g.] = AIRPORT LOUNGE
With the title “Heads of State”, the ‘head’ of each phrase gives us the initials GW, TJ, TR, and AL. These initials are also the initials of four different US presidents or heads of state: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. With these four presidents, and arranged from left to right, this should clue you in on Mount Rushmore, a monument displaying the heads of heads of state. With Rushmore as the key, the appropriate US state will be SOUTH DAKOTA.
Thanks to some self-advertising at the Indie 500, and a generous link someone provided in the WSJ puzzle comments (thanks, loyal fan!), we had a total of 56 correct entries for this week’s meta! There were several people who I know solved the meta there in DC, but didn’t submit an answer because they had other things to deal with. Nonetheless, congrats to all those who got it! This week’s randomly selected winner was David Stein. He will join Jon Delfin, John L. Wilson, Jim Quinlan, Eric Maddy, Andy Keller, David Cole, Roger Barkan, Patricia Miga, Erik Agard, Charles Montpetit, Steve Blais, Mike Ruslander, and Matthew Breen in a future section of the site. Congrats David!
I hope to have an Indie 500 recap up soon, which really rests on when I’ll get the drive to write it, and when the organizers say spoiler alert buffer period is up. Themeless next week, so that’ll be exciting. Also, big welcome back to Sam Ezersky.
Well, looks like I’m done writing like I’m running out of time. Enjoy the puzzle!