Toughie No 2031 by Sparks
Hints and tips by Mr K
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BD Rating - Difficulty **** - Enjoyment ****
Hello, everyone. They say that a change is as good as a rest. Well I could certainly do with a rest, and so I volunteered to blog this Friday Toughie in Dutch’s absence and, in case that wasn’t change enough, to do it from Florida. I’m not sure that rested describes exactly how I feel after solving and hinting this fine puzzle from Sparks, but it was definitely a refreshing experience. There’s an obvious theme running through the grid with the 9a/19d pair featuring in several clues – I wonder if that has any significance? In addition, there’s another group of answers having something in common that I won’t spoil here. I couldn’t work out by blog submission time if there was something deeper going on there, so suggestions and speculation on that point are welcome and I will just say here that in hindsight it was an A-I puzzle. It’s also a pangram, and it uses a few words and definitions that I needed to verify post-solve. I’ve inserted hyperlinks accordingly, along with links in a few other places where I thought background information might be useful or interesting.